A final posting from Cape Farewell expedition

Shiants - watercolor by John Cumming

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Kellie Gutman writes: The artist, sculptor and writer John Cummingtook part in the fourth and final week of Cape Farewell’s expedition to the Shetland Islands this summer.  John was born and raised in Burra Isle, Shetland. He writes:

What draws me to these places is hard to define.  The journey is part of the magic.  The sea is endlessly, and wonderfully alive; unlike concrete, unlike tarmacadam.  No two sea journeys are ever the same.  On the trip to North Rona, we met families of dolphin, Risso’s, basking sharks and minke whales.  The sea was calm, the swell long and leaden.  The night-time journey back was before a north-easterly gale, sailing only on the jib.   Driving southwards at eight to ten knots, we listened to the clicking of a school of pilot whales some three miles away.

Next day the sheer sculptural magnificence of the Shiants was a revelation.  I have a personal lexicography of island profiles; the Kame of Hoy; the Kame of Foula; the Drongs of Eshaness; each place uniquely powerful and awe inspiring, yet even now, weeks later the basalt columns and screes of the shiants are etched on the back of my eyelids.

For his complete posting, including additional sketches, as well as postings of others on the expedition, see the Cape Farewell blog here.


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