This Summer I have been busy with the Pittenweem Arts Festival and during the run up to the festival I have also been thinking of some new pieces relating to the Manx Beauty,
I have been working on a series of large etchings of tree stumps, a memory of the trees that built the boat. I am also planning a second version of the ‘Manx Beauty, The Passage of Time’ using part of the piece of copper I found beside the boat and some new, small, related etchings.
Recently I have been working towards a group exhibition at the Watermill Gallery in Aberfeldy.
Attached are pieces I am exhibiting.
The exhibition runs from 17th March to 4th June.
Kirstie also took part in the event at teh East Neuk Salt Co playing her fiddle, promoting, the partnership between our project and the Company, and great sea food cookery – music and story telling, all of which we will be involved in , on the rebuilt Manx Beauty.
Recently I visited the artist Will Maclean’s exhibition at the City Arts Centre in Edinburgh.
Much of Will’s work deals with sea related imagery and he often uses boxes.
I thought it might be interesting to try to create a box, or maybe several, relating to the Manx Beauty.
I have decided to use an old wooden box that was washed ashore by the tide.
I found a newspaper from the 1960s when the Manx Beauty would still have been a working fishing boat and stuck the pieces on the sides and back of the box.
I heard that Archangel Tar was often used to waterproof various things on fishing boats, so
for an additional effect to evoke the senses I rubbed the Archangel tar over the inside and outside of the box.
I selected objects relating to the Manx Beauty and experimented with various arrangements inside the box. I haven’t decided on the final arrangement yet but the objects include a nail and a piece of copper from the boat, some fishing net which happens to be a very similar colour to the copper, a piece of wood from the boat and a small etching of a herring bone and the hull of the Manx Beauty.
This month I have been working with found objects relating to the Manx Beauty combining paintings and drawings to create collaged pieces using the interesting structures on the surface of the boat as a ground for the drawing and paintings. I had some very exciting news from the R.S.A saying that I have received the An Talla Solais Award for my etching ‘Manx Beauty, the Passage of Time.’
Over the last month, I have been preparing work for exhibiting in 3 different galleries.
My etchings are shown currently in the Watermill Gallery in Aberfeldy, Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and Sprosons Gallery in St.Andrews.
My time has also been spent working on ideas for the Manx Beauty project through a process of experimentation developing my art practice.
This month I have been preparing work for two exhibitions. One is at Frames Gallery in Perth. It is called ‘The Art of Printmaking’ and runs until 26th March. The other exhibition is at the Watermill Gallery in Aberfeldy. It runs from 19th March until 8th May.
I also heard yesterday that my etching ‘Manx Beauty, Passage of Time’ has been pre-selected for this year’s exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy.
Following on from last month using my etchings possibly for a concertina book. I made the book out of the prints that focused the eye on the etching rather that the surrounding structures.
The layout, form and images of the book represent the boat created from wood that first would have started of as being trees, then trees were chopped to become a stump and lastly the boat itself being a container of things with the simplicity of the herring fish above echoing the shape of the boat.
In December I was asked to put work into the Christmas Exhibition ‘On a Small Scale’ at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh. I made 3 new small etching plates for this. Two of them were tree stumps and one was a group of trees in Loch Assynt.
Following on from the ideas I had been experimenting with, I thought it would be interesting to select images from the piece of Verdigris copper from the boat and combine these with my etchings of the trees and the tree stumps.
Here are some examples of my experimentation
I have continued to experiment with my etching of the Manx Beauty and to be inspired by the boat being ‘a container of things’.My experimentation has taken the form of overlaying other related etching plates. Some of them have been objects including netting, shells and feathers, but also some etchings of the sea.
I also feel inspired to use etching plates of trees as the Manx Beauty was created from trees.If I decide to follow this idea I will create a new plate of a size that will work with the dimensions of the boat and which will show the particular types of trees used to build the Manx Beauty.
From Kirstie this month
The etching of the Manx Beauty shows how it is now. I like the simplicity and elegance of the shape of the boat a ‘container of things.
With this in mind I have started experimenting with combining/overlaying other etching plates that relate in some way.
This month Kirstie has been working on an etching – she has kindly shown us the techniques behind creating the work.
Laying the dampened paper onto the plate
Kirstie has also been etching some amazing images on glasses that are to be sold to raise money for the Manx Beauty Project. – Watch out for these at our Coffee Morning on Saturday 30th October in the Coastline Church, Session Street, Pittenweem. 10.30 – 1pm
6 Sept 2021
This last month I have been visiting Manx Beauty to do working drawings and photographs for a large etching I am starting. I have also collected bits and pieces of old wood and rusty metal which might be useful.
One piece I have found particularly beautiful is a strip of verdigris copper which might have come from inside the cabin and could be the inspiration for all sorts of work, including possibly turning a part of it into an etching plate.
This month I’ve also been preparing work for a group exhibition at Weem Gallery.
We have just returned from a week up North. The cabin in Assynt was right on the beach and I spent time doing quick painting studies of the landscape/seascape changing weather and light.
These were quite similar to some that I’ve done at Cellardyke around the harbour, showing views that the Manx Beauty would have known well.
I was struck by the fact that whilst Assynt is far from Celladyke, its the same water that links them and the Isle of Man and I like the idea that water connects people and places rather than separates them.
Hello, I am Kirstie Behrens and I am delighted to have been asked to be Artist in Residence for the Manx Beauty project.I graduated from Duncan of Jordenstone College of Art and Design in 2019 in Fine Art and recieved the Angus Alive Graduate Exhibition Award see iink.
Below are some examples of my recent work. The suite of 7 St.Michael’s trees etchings was featured in Grand Designs Magazine and was also recently in Scotland’s Home of The Year in the house that was the runner up.
My work often revolves around time-based projects where natural elements are used actively as tools in this process creating marks which are traces and evidence of the passage of time.
In the sea project, the etchings of the rusty float on the shore have themselves been parcelled up with bits of rust tied with string and then exposed over the seasons to the ebb and flow of the tide. They carry traces of their time under the waves. I created the soundtrack for a film which layers images and sound together reflecting the rhythm of the waves. The film was projected onto one of the surviving sea washed etchings.
St.Michael’s Wood lies between Dundee and St.Andrews. Many of the trees have been cut down. I exposed an etching of a tree stump to the elements, placing it beneath one of the remaining trees. Over the year the etching, printed on paper that was once a tree has been reclaimed by nature and absorbed into the ground completing the cycle.
My coloured etchings represent the change of light over the course of a day. St.Michael’s Wood as it once was doesn’t really exist anymore, but as I laid out all my etchings together in a row, I was struck by how they seemed to create an echo of the lost wood.
I am looking forward to working with similar concepts within the context of the Manx Beauty.