Thursday, 22 April 2010

A Sense of Place

The tree
Snow in our new backyard on April 9.

There was a standing joke, when I was doing my Masters, that we had to work in the phrase a sense of place into our defence at least once if we wanted to graduate. Although I wasn't sure how to at first, I found it wasn't all that difficult -- after all, if a hockey arena doesn't scream "sense of place" to a Canadian puckhead, what does?

Place is also the theme of the first episode of a series on BBC Radio Scotland entitled Scotland on Song that I'm listening to as I write this blog entry. Sadly, BBC only keeps programmes like this available for one week after broadcast, and it has now disappeared off iPlayer.

But by strange coincidence, the in-studio guest for this episode is Dougie MacLean, who, until Eyjafjallajökull erupted and UK airspace was closed, which stranded him on that side of the pond, was supposed to be playing a concert here on the 24th. While I'll get a refund on my ticket, I had so been looking forward to seeing him live (again) and going out for a wee dram or two after (helps that the concert promoter is an old friend!).

It was at Dougie's concert here in 2008 that I started working on a project called My Past Life that has periodically hibernated while I thought about how to execute what I saw as the finished piece. I've recently revived more activity on it, as I used the knitting of the two replicate Lewis chessmen as the centrepiece of two residency applications (one rejected, one wait-listed).

I'm anticipating that it will be finished by the end of this year. Cross your fingers!

Pathway Sentinels
Our new neighbourhood park.

And now that we've totally moved to our new home, and I have a studio* to lock myself away in and work, I'm curious to see how this shift in perspective changes what I do: I know that it will definitely impact how things will get done.

(* Referred to by one friend as "The Mad Linda Cave.")

Last Saturday was the first day I managed to not do anything related to packing, or unpacking, or sorting, or recycling, or anything else to do with "the move" and it was so nice to get back to art-relating thinking. Like last year, I took the opportunity to buy a fresh-shorn fleece from a friend's flock, take pictures of happy little lambs, and drop in on the opening of a friend's art show.

Catching rays

A great day for all concerned....

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