I am curently in Fair Isle and have spent the last two days with collaborator Inge Thomson. Although I have been to the island before, it's been a real privilege to be on the isle with Inge and to experience the island with her. Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Fair Isle with writer Ruth Little, film maker Andy Crabb, writer and actor Peter Cutts and photographer Jennifer Wilcox as part of the Sea Change project with Capefarewell. Inspirations gathered on that trip have been blogged here
This year I return to continue my research and refine ideas in a collaboration with Inge Thomson. Inge has been experimenting with translating the coding and pattern of Fair Isle knitting into sound and I have been very interested in the colour and softness of landscape, ecology and waters of Fair Isle. Gut weed coating the edges of the rock, graphs of bird sightings and sonagrams of seabirds are providing lots of ideas in digital print and stitch.
Fair Isle's maritime environment is very rich, both at the natural environment and human community level. The two aspects are inextricably linked and a threat to the first has serious implications for the second. The Fair Isle community has witnessed an erosion of that richness and is concerned that, without concerted action, the resource will be devalued or lost.
Fair Isle has a wide range of maritime attributes and issues which are important and deserve urgent measures for these assets to be safeguarded. The Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative (FIMETI) was set up by the people of Fair Isle to help achieve this.
In 2012, the Fair Isle community presented a petition to the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee asking for the Council of Europe Diploma condition that - Fair Isle waters should be designated a Marine Protected Area - be honoured and implemented.The island is now being considered by the Scottish Government as a Demonstration and Research Marine Protected Area (MPA). In 2014, we still await the outcome. Fimeti.
Inge Thomson dips hydrophones into the water at Gunglesund