Sunday, 15 November 2015

This is what is in the ocean 15/11/15

Tonnes of bladderwrack washed up onto my local beach after Storm Abigail, full of smithereened plastic. In 40mph winds, I struggled along to another beach to watch the waves. I found the carcass of a young swan, a seal, and an unidentified marine mammal, perhaps a porpoise. Its skin was flensed away, and the blubber beneath was a mosaic of little chips of broken plastic. It's almost impossible to get your head around how much of this stuff is out there, chugging around the gyres like a great oceanic washing machine. We've got to sort this.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New Shop on Etsy

The 'Dominant Species' limpets are now available to buy in my Etsy shop.

These ceramic limpet sculptures come from my exhibition 'The Dominant Species' in the Shetland Museum and Archives. Shape, thickness and density vary as the limpets are all made by hand using a thumb-pot method. Each limpet comes with a rudimentary LED light. Contact me for images of individual limpets so you can handpick your colony of glowing marine gastropods. They're keen to colonise new territory!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Alex Salmond's Farewell Speech

'When Scotland was alive with ideas and debate, all Labour could demonstrate was timidity and fear'. Regardless of your feelings about Salmond, it's worth watching at least the first 9 minutes of his farewell speech. Imagine, a politician whose own party aren't mortified by him. Actually, anyone who's sick of Westminster should watch or listen to the whole thing. Any of the folk who couldn't understand why Scots might even WANT to become independent should watch the whole thing.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship

I'm really grateful to have been appointed the 2014 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow hosted by Moniack Mhor. All the information about the fellowship and my planned project is here, but expect some posts about flotsam and jetsam. I start in December. Can't wait.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Shipping AIS Map

this interactive map shows real time shipping around Shetland. You can click on the boats and see where they're headed and what they're up to. Wherever we live is the centre.

Scroll down to Shipping AIS Map

Friday, 26 September 2014

Reading at Aye Write! next week

with Don Paterson, Sam Willetts and McGuire.

Mitchell Library, Wed 1st October

6-7, free.

book on 0141 287 2951 or

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


With bees

it's all about heat.

Hard to find ourselves

in a damp autumn dawn

now that the circus

has moved on

the worst- 

off cramponned

to a vertiginous

leaf, wings 
to a silver panel

to sop up
what thin warmth

they can 



on empty.

We can barely buzz

but do

what we can
without your teaspoon

of sugar-water –

slowly rocking

our grounded weight

(so mite-laden

we look like strawberries)

from limb to limb,

grieving, really,

the slippage

of the sun. 

Which is in

itself to recollect 

our business which is

to be us to agitate

each stiff joint,

gather a quorum and 

shiver together hum

fiercer and groom 

our leavening pelts

as the late rays stoke us,

no surplus

perhaps but enough

to get up and among

the dog-roses