Thursday 26 January 2012

suainte at sabhal mòr ostaig

The wall piece - ' 100 ropes / 50 plants' will be at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig with the accompanying film by Catherine Weir from Sat 4th Feb to Mon 16th April.
The building is open Mon to Sat 9am till10pm.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

plant lines

noticed these daisies forming a live rope along the edge of a
sheep track.....

Sunday 7 August 2011

Rope note 12

'To see if a woman was suitable to become a bride she was given a ball
of tangled to twine to untangle, seeing if she was patient enough to do
this task'  Highland tradition

still from looped film 'cho mearr rì ceann-sìomain' in the exhibition

Friday 5 August 2011

Rope note 11

' the rope to pull the plough was made of twisted root fibres or seal skin'

Having been aware of the extent of the traditional use of ropes, needing
ropes for everything I wrote this poem as part of the exhibition -

pull the plough
hold the haystack
fasten the thatch

lead the horse
tether the cow
bind the pannier

secure the fowler
snare the bird
lash the boat

make fast


Monday 18 July 2011

Rope note 10

‘ A young man on St.Kilda was not supposed to marry until he had a horsehair fowling rope wherewith he could supply the needs of his family.’
Twisted into a thick cable, horsehair was used for letting fowlers down the cliffs.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Rope note 08 and 09

 Horsehair rope was valuable because of its lightness and strength but the supply was limited.
‘I was told that if a man who had a pony with a fine tail stabled it at an inn while he attended market or other diversions, he was apt to find that all the hairs had been plucked out when he returned to fetch the beast.’
(Highland folk ways)

RN09. ‘In Martin Martin’s day the marriage portion of a St.Kilda woman was expected to bring her husband was 1lb. of horsehair for the purpose of making thin ropes to snare the seabirds.’

3 balls of twine from the entwined exhibition

Saturday 16 July 2011

100 ropes

I am back on Skye after the opening of the exhibition, the ropes were 
shown as one big wall piece with the earlier ropes on the left, browns, 
reds, whites moving through to the more recent ones on the right, greens,
yellows, flower and seed heads. They worked really well.
I am now aware of how I haven't been looking quite so closely for the 
last few days. The grasses, sedges and flowering plants all change so 
quickly, growing, flowering, changing colours each day. You really
need to keep your eyes in.


Friday 8 July 2011

100 ropes

100 ropes
50 plants

This piece installed along with the rest of the work for entwined / suainte
at Inverness Museum and Art gallery

'cho mearr rì ceann-sìoman'   'as merry as a rope's end'

Thursday 7 July 2011

rope note 06

Installing the wall of ropes

rope note 06
'sìoman - rope of twisted straw or hay
               rope of twisted heather
               rope, cord
sìomanaiche - one who makes ropes of hay, straw or heather'
source Dwelly

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Rope note 05

I am taking the 100 ropes out of the freezer today, packing up and
going over to Inverness to start to install the work. They will need
a full 24 hours aclimatising before I can unpack them.

rope note 05
'In Lewis coir rope was known as Sìoman Thearlach (Charles' rope) because
it was supplied by Charles Morrison, a Stornoway merchant (Stornoway
gazette 27 July 1951)'
source Highland Folk Ways by I.F.Grant

this is grass rope on my studio floor

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Rope note 04

I came across this in a folk museum in the North of Spain, not sure of its
exact use, it is made from willow with fairly thick stems about 1/2" across

rope note 04
'In the old days bridles were made of twisted twigs, or even honeysuckle'
source Highland Folk Ways by I.F.Grant

Monday 4 July 2011

Rope note 03

St.Kilda continued -

rope note 03
' the birding ropes which were used to go down the cliffs were tested by
four men pulling on it whilst the other end was tied to a specific boulder
and you weren't allowed to use it until it had been passed by the
source Am Baile website