In The Sketchbooks & Onward To Edinburgh

Posted on Posted in Collecting and researching, poetry, Work in progress

 Work-in-progress notes for my forthcoming collaborations exhibition at The Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh



Koors Saat An Snaa

Twa days effir
he waaks amung
da waashin lyns a’dryin fysh

 hingin ootsyd hoosis
laek kut-oot strings
a’choynt-up men

 da baerns makk
wie fowldit paepir
an a paer a’sjiers.

 Siks munt laetir,
ati’da hert a’Jol,
wie da snaa apo da aert

 da unjin ati’da pikkil drum
willa med da maachikk happin
an a saat tung’ll mynd apo

 dat lang simmir nyght
da katsh wis taen.



Foula sketch for ‘Pocket Noost’


One of the biggest influences on my work as many people would know is literature, and more specifically poetry, and through my work I have had the opportunity and good fortune to work with some excellent poets. For a long time I’ve wanted to produce an exhibition based around collaborations and work influenced by literature ,and this May I finally have the opportunity to do so with an exhibition at the Scottish Poetry Library, in Edinburgh.

I am working on an exhibition of assemblages and drawings, influenced by the work of various poets including Andrew Philip, Donald S. Murray, Jen Hadfield, Valerie Gillies, Robert Alan Jamieson, Norman Bissell, Peter Urpeth, Christine De Luca, Kevin MacNeil and Rob A. Mackenzie. There will also be a selection of images from a project I am developing, based on Alexander Barclay’s translation of Sebastian Brandt’s ‘Das Narrenschiff’ (The Ship of Fools), originally published in 1494 and translated by Barclay in 1874.




 Being given the opportunity to exhibit in the Scottish Poetry Library is also a great privilege for me. During the 80’s and the 90’s I was a regular visitor to the old library in Tweeddale Court, just off the Royal Mile, and was lucky enough to have several pieces of my work featured in Lines Review thanks to the SPL’s founder, Tessa Ransford. I’m thrilled to have the chance to show my work in the fantastic surroundings of the new library building.

Amongst work featured will be several new works, including a sequence of small theatre-like assemblages entitled ‘Horizontals’, based on five one-line poems by Andrew Philip (below), and two boxes inspired by Robert Alan Jamieson’s pieces ‘Koors Saat an Snaa’ (above) and ‘Ta Kompis’.


unreal estates

crammed horizons crowned with crows



 the earth’s limit     the sky’s shore     the sea’s march



 sleek white singers of the skyline whistling reels



 only the roaring silence of the clouds



 are ye dancin? the wind asks the swell



Over the next few weeks I’ll post some more of the poems along with sketchbook images of the art work. The exhibition will run from the 8th of May to the 14th of June 2010, with the normal SPL opening times applying.


 Poems by kind permission of Robert Alan Jamieson and Andrew Philip

Photographs by kind permission of Murdo MacDonald

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *