‘Swimming off Great Bernera’, 1998-2002

 

These works record swimming off Great Bernera (Bearnaraigh) – the experiences and the place.   Great Bernera is an island off Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.  Organised protests against Highland clearances started there.  A smaller island – Bearnaraigh Beag - lies just off Bernera; two hundred years ago it had a school, now it has some sheep and fish farms offshore.  The landscape is primeval – rocks, grass and the sun and words do not help you much there. Swimming off Greater Bernera is a character building experience; immerse yourself in the water landscape. The  liquid shapes get to your imagination not through thin air which separates you from objects; what you see is brought to you  tangibly through the viscous water washing and tingling your body.  That body though is not quite your usual orderly body – it is like jointed bodies of Homeric vases.

 

Horizontal rain 1 - 1998, 72 x 82 cm, sands, earths, peat, acrylics, yacht varnish on wood.

 

Stone snakes - 1998, 120 x 120 cm, sands, earths, peat, acrylics, yacht varnish on canvas.

 

Great Bernera - 2001, 120 x 120 cm, sands, earths, peat, acrylics, yacht varnish on canvas.

 

Swimming off Great Bernera: Down - 2000, 114 x 100 cm, acrylics, sand, peat, yacht varnish, wood glue.

 

Swimming of Great Bernera: Ahead - 2000, 114 x 100 cm, acrylics, sand, peat, yacht varnish, wood glue.

 

 Swimming off Great Bernera: Up - 1999, 114 by 100 cm, acrylics, peat, sand, earths, wood glue and yacht varnish on wood.

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming off Great Bernera - 2002, 9 boards,  68 x 44 cm, sands, peat, earths, yacht varnish, wood glue on board.