Sunday, 28 June 2009


Image Left: Sitting with the stones

Space , Friday 26th June

My wife walks on ahead to the spiral and her sitting stone. I scramble through the bracken lifting patches of roofing felt, hoping to catch a lizard taking in the last of the days warmth. I have no luck and follow my wife to the spiral. The sun is making its evening descent towards Iona and has already begun to shoot out colour into the horizon. As my wife sits, I bounce round the rocks of the spoil heap photographing orchids, ferns, thyme and tight bunches of stonecrop.

The island is one mile by one mile, but what surface and what intricacy. Living here is like unfolding a lung. I have to ask myself what scale should I use to measure? Do I run a tape over points of the boulders or down into the crevices where hard ferns and stonecrop shelter? Maybe the surface of a leaf counts or the delicate inlayed scales that surround a lizards eye. If I look closely these details too give up their own structure and inversely the space that marks out their components. I once tried to grasp the size of mountain; in the dark of a winter evening I drove over its shoulder and understood the blackness against the streetlights of the villages and towns that clung to its foothills. Here there are few lights to give contrast and daily tidal surges make the ocean a less reliable yardstick.

Some days I go a little deeper viewing the world under a microscope and finding red splashes of blood in the body of a tick, blood that was once mine. Is everything just membrane, there are only boundaries and separation. When I draw caricatures two circles with dots at their centre become breasts or eyeballs dependant on viewer; a simple act of defining space. Am I only interested in defining space?

Image below: Common Lizard

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