Research is currently underway for a new collaborative project with my friend and peer, Yvonne Billimore. We’re combining our practises to make site specific sound, notational and sculptural pieces conveying an interaction with nature. We are taking trips to the Isle of Eigg and Harris this year to develop the project. My accordion and various other props will be joining us on our adventure.
For more information on Yvonne’s practise please view the website for my Gallery that has just recently opened in Moray – http://www.cordyhedgegallery.com
Exhibition of works by Louise Pearson and Yvonne Billimore.
DUALCHAS: EPITOME OF PLACE
THE VANISHED WORLD
Even the sheep, which replaced the people, have gone- to a large extent. The great sheep farms were designed to provide landowners with an economic miracle, providing meat for the great burgeoning cities of the south and wool to the factories, but they became unsustainable…
The land was given over to sporting estates to become grouse moors and deer forests… this too declined…
the Highlands are now designated National Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest….they are… often viewed as one of Europe’s last great wilderness areas… where some of the Highland’s indigenous creatures can still be found, inhabiting the Glens.
Edited Text: R. Noble, The Cultural Impact of the Highland Clearances, 2011.
I composed a piano piece for the exhibition, it was written at rothiemurchus in the Cairngorms.
The wonderful Wilma Kennedy did a reading of this poem for us and we are so delighted to have such a beautiful voice featuring as a sound piece for the exhibition.
ALLT AN LOCHAIN UINE
Aig allt an Lockan Uaine,
Bha mi uair a thàmh,
’S ged bha ’n t-àite fuar,
Ged thigeadh gaoth ’o thuath orm,
’Us cathadh luath o’n àird,
Bha Allt an Lochan Uaine,
Le’ fhuaim ga m’ chuir gu pràmh.
Mo chaileag bhoidheach chuach-bhuidhe,
Na biodh ort gruaim no greann,
Ged tha mi dol as ’m eòlas
Ma’s beò dhomh thig mi ann,
’S nuair bhios damh na croice
R boilich anns a’ ghleann,
Cha d-thoirinns’ blas do phòige
Air stòr nan Innsean thall.
Oidhche dhomh ’s mi a’ m’ aonar
’S mi chomhnuidh anns a’ ghleann,
Am bothan beag nan sgor,
Far an cluinnear boilich mheann.
Air leam fhéin gun cuala mi,
Fuar ghuth os mo cheann,
Ag innseadh dhomh ’bhi seòlta
Gun robh an tòir ’sa ghleann.
Dh’ éirich mi le buaireadh,
’Us thog mi suas mo cheann,
Gach paidreag ’bha mu ’n cuairt domh,
Chuir mi mu’m ghuaillnibh teann,
Bha ‘Nighean a Chornail’ shuas uam,
A choisinn buaidh ’s gach àm
‘Ghaoil’, thuirt I, ‘na biodh gruaim ort
Mas ruaig e na bi mall’.
Shiubhail mi gach aonach,
O Laoighe gu Carn a’ Mhàim,
Bheachdaich mi gach caochan,
Nach bitheadh daoine ann,
Ach mu ’n d’ éirich grian ’s na speuraibh,
’S mu ’ d’ fheuch I air aon bheann,
Ghrad dh’ aithnich mi ’san uair sin,
Gun robh ’m ‘Madadh Ruadh’, ’s a’ ghleann.
Labhair mi le céille,
’Us dh’ éisd mi ris gach allt,
Mar fhreagradh iad d’ a chéile,
’Us iad gu léir gun chainnt,
Labhair mi ri m’ Uachdaran,
’Thug uisg a’ cruas nam bean;
Le comhnadh ’n Fhir ’chaidh cheusadh,
Cha bhi mi féin a ’m fang.
AT THE BURN OF THE GREEN LOCHAN (THE STALKERS DREAM)
At the burn of Lochan Uaine
I sheltered once from harm;
Although the place was cauldrife
My shiel was wondrous warm;
Though down the mountain gorges
Came wind and drifting storm,
The burn of Lochan Uaine
To soothe me had a charm.
My bonnie gold-curled maid! again
Be blithe, show no dismay,
For though I go beyond my ken
I’ll come again another day.
When antlered stags across the glen,
Are roaring for the fray,
I would not give thy kisses then
For the Indies far away.
In the glen one night abiding,
With bleating kids around,
In the rough-built little sheiling
Methought I heard a sound
That seemed to counsel caution
As it passed along the ground
And warning gave that searchers
My lone retreat had found.
Up rose I then bewildered,
My head remained not low,
And all my poor belongings
I bundled to go;
O’erhead the ‘Colonel’s daughter’ *
That vanquished every foe
Said, ‘Be not affrighted
In fleeting be not slow’.
I tramped by every streamlet
From Lui to Carn a’ Mhaim,
Well marking lest pursuers
Might at them bide their time.
The sun into the heavens
Had not begun to climb;
I was ware of ‘red dogs’ watching †
Ere it shone on peaks sublime.
I hearkened how, all speechless,
Burn unto burn replied,
And to the One who rules me
With fitting words I cried-
To Him that brought the waters
From the rocky mountain side;
And me, through Him that saved us,
No evil shall betide.
Translation by A. Gow, Edinburgh, in The Cairngorm Club Journal.
*His rifle, referred to as the ‘Colonel’s daughter’, as it was a present from the Laird of Rothiemurchus.
† ‘Red Dogs’= foresters.
There was a great turnout at the exhibition and many people brought stones with great stories to tell to add to the cairn. (in exchange for a dram of course)
I translated the poem ‘At the Green Lochan’ into an alphabet code that I had created using different coloured triangles. I translated both the gaelic and the Scottish versions of the poem to exemplify the growing distance between the languages; whilst simultaneously pulling them together through the medium of form and colour.
I’m about to embark on an adventure up to Ryvoan bothy in the Cairngorms with fellow artist Yvonne Billimore to do some project research for a collaborative exhibition, featuring ourselves and recent graduate/self acclaimed Serendiptologist, Eilidh McKay, later on this year.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience exhibiting at the RSA New Contemporaries show. It gives me great satisfaction to have my work presented alongside such a wonderful and diverse selection of artists and architects. Receiving the Art Prize and the Mcleane and Watters Medal is overwhelming! Furthermore, I have been informed that I have sold 6 pieces to Walter Scott, the global investment management company, which is a huge delight! I am so lucky to have been given this opportunity to exhibit my work in such a prestigious location, I am incredibly honoured to have the support of such a big organisation. I look forward to the future!
Acrylic on Mahogany board, 16 x 17 inches, December 2011
I spent 3 and a half weeks in Morocco during the Summer of 2010. The highlight of the trip was definitely hiking up the High Atlas Mountains and staying with a traditional Berber family who lived and worked upon the mountains. The Berber people are truly inspirational, hard working and welcoming. The scenery was astounding and the colours amazing. Triangles everywhere.