Throughout my life I have maintained a close connection with the landscape around me. From time spent living on the moor during my childhood summers, to the daily work on my croft, and regular walks and explorations of the island for both research and pleasure, the environment of the Outer Hebrides is a constant part of my life. This has had a huge influence on my artistic work, and also on other aspects of my career. The Hebrides are of vital importance to many species of breeding birds, from residents such as the Golden Eagle, to the Arctic Tern which travels each year from the Antarctic to establish summer colonies on our shores. From 2005 until 2010 I worked as the Lewis & Harris Walks and Education Officer for RSPB, leading people on walks around the island. I gave presentations in local schools and took the children out to the shores and moors to raise awareness of the diversity of life that surrounds us. My love of birds also finds its way into my textile art, as can be seen in the Feathers & Layers section of this website.
In 2019 I had the privilege of being a member of a National Trust for Scotland conservation work party on the beautiful Hebridean archipelago of Hiort (St Kilda). These islands are the most remote part of the Outer Hebrides and encompass a unique landscape and culture. Despite being born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis, only 40 miles to the east, the experience of going to Hiort is still like stepping into another world. From the landscape and birdlife through to the astonishing stonework and history of the people, it is a source of inspiration which will fuel the next stage of my creative work.
A major part of my work involves engaging with the Hebridean landscape for texture, colour and design ideas. I then bring my finished pieces back to the places that inspired them. These images show the photoshoot for the Eagle costume from my Glamourie book.