I am five weeks late with my artist diary; my aim roughly was to write every two weeks. Well there is a reason of course, hence the title of this blog! I did finally get a summer holiday at the end of September, better late than never, and went back to Orkney, in search of that magic which transfixed me a year ago on my first visit.
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I like Stromness with its air of serenity, the seals and the sea air. As soon as I could I went back to the Pier Arts Centre, a remarkable gallery with strong connections to the Orkadian artist Sylvia Wishart. My treat this visit was an excellent exhibition: “The lamp in the Seaward Window” the art of Sylvia Wishart and the first complete survey of her work (1936-2008).
Busman’s holiday I know, but I found it very relaxing to see her lifelong ambition to paint the beloved landscape of her native Orkney. She constantly recorded what she saw, yet a lot of her later work was quite semi-abstract and went more mixed media.
To pick inspirational images from Orkney is a challenge in the space I have here, there are so many. I did a lot of island hopping this time and got to enjoy the ferry crossings and that sense of being at the ‘edge’ of the world you have in the outer islands.
Westray probably offers the most spectacular cliff walk anywhere. At the northern point I sat sheltered in the sun by the lighthouse, before continuing south along the western coast of the island. There are untouched beaches on Westray, with fossils and white sand and green rocks (you have to go and find them yourself one day).
Rackwick Bay on Hoy is for me the most beautiful and magnificent beach I have ever been on. It feels like you are removed from the rest of the world and I did try and ‘bottle’ some of the timeless peace I felt here to bring back. These images remind me.