Six artists working within the Borders were commissioned by BAT to create new works on this theme following an open call.
A further four artists whose work focuses on the impact of the sea have also been invited to exhibit.
Sam Bain | Stuart Delves | Rosy Eribé | Alice Francis | Mary Morrison | Kevin Peden
Natasha Smith | Catriona Taylor | Mark Timmins | Jill Watson | Lawson Wood | James Wyness
Sam Bain e4:
Visual Artist Sam Bain, working in oil, pastel and drawing, found her inspiration in the trawlers, boats and navigational maps of Eyemouth harbour.
Rosy Eribé e1 e3:
Rosy Eribé and her team from Eribé Knitwear, a successful Galashiels company were invited to lead the knitting and knotting workshop in The Mission.Together with the knitters and natterers of Eyemouth they will take a contemporary look at gansey knitting, inspire, and in the knitting, patterns and stories will be stitched.
Alice Francis s3 e1:
‘Locations would get more foreign as the fish travels inland.’
I propose to make myself a fish costume. This would be a lightweight head and a body that can be hitched up so that the wearer’s legs can walk freely. It would be made using a base of boning and knitted/knotted/netting, with scales and fins possibly formed from ‘washed up’ foam and plastics from the sea. (I live on the Solway Firth close to what is known as ‘Plastic Beach’). The fish would walk from Eyemouth to Selkirk with its backpack, sleeping out on the way. It’s pilgrimage would be filmed by an accompanying camerawoman, my daughter Rosie Giblin. I hope this would include time on a fishing vessel from Eyemouth, and visits to the port, pubs, river, beauty spots, chippy etc along the way. Locations would get more foreign as the fish travels inland. A short film would then be edited and projected in one or both towns, the findings of the ‘Fish out of Water’, which would be humorous but also may shed light on serious aspects.
Mary Morrison s1:
Of outer and inner depth, Mary Morrison’s work fathoms the relationship between the individual and the landscape that has shaped them as a ‘geography of the mind’. Her painting is informed by the Atlantic archipelago and combines a sense of place with layers of meaning suggested by annotation – of music, mapping, measuring. Grid references staves, shipping charts and tide tables all recur in her work.
Where works have titles referring to specific locations, the intention is to draw on a connection to these places in order to explore wider themes. Mary’s work investigates ‘the relationship between the individual and the landscape that has shaped them, something you carry with you – a ‘geography of the mind.’
Kevin Peden e4:
Visual artist Kevin Peden was struck by:
the powerful presence and attention the ‘Good Hope’ commands. The sheer scale of the structure within the environment is truly inspirational. So it’s no shock that my
work will respond to this traditional structure and the sense of community that has built up around it. The workshop is strewn with objects salvaged from the
boat and ….I have been drawn immediately to three points within the space. These were the propeller, the pulleys and the deck.
There is a chap in the community who has Parkinson’s. He volunteers a few hours a week and has been patiently rubbing down the metal propeller. Visually, the
texture itself tells the journey of this boat.
Natasha Smith s1:
Natasha Smith proposed to carve ‘fossils’ of the debris of modern seaside life.
The plastic forks you get to eat your fish and chips with; a plastic stirrer; an ice cream spoon. The sort of ephemera of the modern world which litters the beaches.
I have long been interested in fossils; the magic trace of something in the far distant past. I also love the idea of ‘fixing’ in stone the things that we throw away and cease to see. The juxtaposition of past and present, close and far is one I hope which will foster thoughts about where we are now and what we are doing to our planet for future generations.
Catriona Taylor & Stuart Delves s2:
The question of sustainability is very much at the heart of debates about the future of the fishing industry. It has been addressed by artist Catriona Taylor and poet Stuart Delves in their light installation of projected words onto dark water contained in a tank, reminiscent of the large fish tanks in the Fisheries Mutual Agency at Eyemouth.
Over-fishing has undoubtedly caused the reduction in stocks of many species of fish in the North Sea as elsewhere, although local fishermen will tell you that some species are recovering faster than is acknowledged.
Government efforts to control fishing through quotas, combined with the escalating costs of running a boat, have had a huge impact on the fishing economy in Eyemouth. The white fish catch, formerly the mainstay of the industry, has fallen from 4,627 tons in 1990 to 299 tons in 2011, whilst the northern ports of Fraserburgh and Peterhead have ring-fenced the licenses for herring and mackerel.
There are now only 5 large boats sailing from Eyemouth, there used to be around 45.
Only prawn and lobster fishing remains healthy.
Mark Timmins s4 e2:
A particular passion of Mark Timmins, in the field of photography, is “the marine environment, exploring the colour, pattern and abstraction of the fishing industr y.”
Nets, ropes and boxes have caught his eye. Bringing an exhibition of his photographs to Selkirk, Mark juxtaposes the abstract, colourful harbour detailing of Eyemouth with the inland market town and its connection to the green hills.
Mark has also been working closely with a group of young people at Rowland’s (Selkirk) to produce a digital alphabet made from images they have gathered from around the town: forming a unique and creative alphabet out of old signs and lettering.
Jill Watson s1:
Jill Watson’s sculpture, Widows and children, commemorates a tragic event which still reverberates in Eyemouth today. On Black Friday, in the Great Storm of 1881, 189 fishermen lost their lives at sea, of whom 129 were Eyemouth men.
Jill made a series of bronze sculptures that have been placed along the affected Berwickshire coastline, depicting the widowed women and their children looking out to sea. Family members watched helplessly from the pier as their husbands, brothers and fathers drowned before their eyes. They either capsized or were smashed on the Hurkar rocks at the harbour entrance. The storm left 93 widows and 267 children without their fathers.
Lawson Wood s3:
Below the reflective surface of the water, Lawson Wood talks of the beauty and rich biodiversity of the coastal waters off Eyemouth. Lawson was a founding member of Scotland’s first Voluntary Marine Reserve, established off St Abbs Head in 1984.
Now, stretching from St Abbs down to Almouth, there is also the Berwickshire & Northumberland Coast European Marine site, the largest in Europe.
Lawson, brought up in Eyemouth, has worked tirelessly in helping to establish these. He dabbled in rock pools as far back as he can remember, and has been diving
since he was 15. Now he is one of the world’s leading marine photographers, with many books published of his spectacular underwater images. A selection of images taken in the waters off Eyemouth and the coast up to St Abbs form a part of this exhibition and reveal the extraordinary beauty in the sea near and beyond our border.
James Wyness s1 e1 e4:
For Casting the Net my work will investigate, by means of field recordings, specific aspects of the sonic working environment and its influence on the lives and work of men and women in the fishing industry and textile industries.
My primary topic is the use of sound in gauging the health of a seafaring vessels and working machines in general. Sailors used to, and probably still do, use their ears as much if not more than their eyes to judge whether a vessel is sailing or working well. This important form of auscultation, or aural diagnosis, is used across many domains of working life, from industry to agriculture.
28 Feb 2013 – I spent the best part of the day in the company of Robin Aitcheson who gave me an right good education on a range of aspects in and around the fishing industry and set his machines and processes in motion for my benefit.
I recorded the ice ‘pack’ from the side of the factory building with hydrophones, the turbines and machine housings using contact microphones, the ice making plates and the ice rake using a stereo shotgun mic.
Finally Davie and Kyle Spouse kindly allowed me on board White Heather VI as she was loaded up with ice from above.
Extract from James’s blog: http://dippinlug.wordpress.com