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Getting Started

The Invitation to take part in Landscapes of Mutability



marks the starting point for #LandscapeInPain. It's only early stages of the project, so there is a lot to think about and much to do. This work came directly out of the invitation to take part in a research project at the University of Glasgow called Landscapes of Mutability. They invited twenty people to take part in a mail art exercise by sending three postcards to them by late May this year which will be shown in an online exhibition.


I wasn't sure if I should take part because I couldn't think of what to do. Fortunately my friend and colleague Susan Timmins suggested doing something about the Viking Energy Wind Farm, perhaps write to future generations of Shetlanders to apologise for the horrible legacy it is creating. Many of us in Shetland are devastated by the development of this Wind Farm. I, like a lot of people, feel helpless not only in failing to stop this one but also the further development of more of these across Shetland. Perhaps making art work helps to mend the pain we feel as well as creating artefacts that record a response to the destruction.

This image is one of my early attempts. It is important because it made me begin to think about traffic cones. Initially I was obsessed with the image of diggers moving across the horizon line along the top of the hills. I experimented with a lot of different ways to make images from photographs, using Photoshop, but I didn't really like anything.

After a while I started using the red and white colours of the traffic cones which seemed to be popping up all over the place. They are like alien invaders in the landscape. I am using their colours, red and white, to draw attention to the signs of construction, most of which are very visible but some of which might remain invisible. These signs range from traffic cones, signage, metal barriers and armies of vehicles to somewhat less obvious ones, such as new fencing, silt catchers and whirly bird chasers.