The Sorrow and the Shame

Like the Balkans in many ways, over the centuries.

Grouse Beater

508Vast tracts of the Highlands offer arable land, fit for modern farming methods

If clearing people from their land by force is not cleansing what is it?

The term ethnic cleansing to denote over a hundred years of clearing Scots from their land is a phrase rejected by those who see Scotland’s ills issuing from its weather, strange culinary habits, an odd language, and a people a little too inclined to be chippy. Alba, it seems, is full of vexatious people who do nothing but complain.

Using ‘cleansing’ is condemned as out of context, erroneously contemporaneous, too emotional because it was often Scot against Scot.

Well, I have news for slimy proselytisers. It was Jewish guards given temporary preferment who hustled Jews to the gas chambers less their belongings and clothes. They had no choice. It was do or die. Who would dare not call that barbarity a cleansing?

Evictions, deportation in all weathers…

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It’s Earth Day

… and the Easter Bank Holidays. Rebellion is afoot. I sense a long, hot summer of action.

Activities over the weekend include painting and writing, listening to plenty of music.

My fuel, now that the sun is warming, is affogato.

I am avoiding the crowds.

Easter salad recipe:

You will need a large platter for this.

Sliced boiled potatoes and eggs left to go warm

Red onion, red pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, all chopped.

Variety of salad leaves.

Lots of rocket and grated carrot.

Black olives

An avocado, sliced. 

Croutons, pomegranate seeds.

Arrange everything as suits.

Dress with extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, lime juice, pepper.

Add some smoked salmon if you fancy it.

I don’t think you need anything else to go with. Enjoy!



OCA Assignment 3 learning log

On this assignment we headed in to fabric manipulation, exploring textile artists and creating tests and samples.

On researching manipulated materials, I began with artists named in the assignments folder. I liked Anne Kyyro Quinn and Mia Cullin. Their use of form was stable, with either blocks or simple combinations, of colour. Both artists named their patterns simply – tulips, button, chain, which made it easy to understand where the artist was coming from in their creations.

Then I researched paper design – layering, fan shapes in neutral colours. White gave rise to hues through shadows created by creases and slits.

In the world of fashion I came across Matilda Norberg  through the Royal College of Art. She uses strong blocks of colour, shaping and layering. I also added the V&A in Dundee to the file of examples, I liked its shapes.

I worked on making tests and samples and this is when frustration set in. Looking at the examples I liked and trying to copy them was proving difficult. Making paper stiff, curly, trying to manipulate calico to make it rigid, just didn’t seem to work and on reflection, stiffener and card would have been necessary to create ridges. I threw some tests away.

I learnt too that card had a grain and that I was probably working against it when making fans and curls. I fell out with using paper and card for the samples.

I stayed with calico and also chose tracing paper, the latter I found fascinating as a material to manipulate, including scrunching it. It was strong when scrunched but weak when I applied the scalpel to make strips. although I enjoyed working with the scalpel more than scissors.

It was difficult to know if I was doing the right thing for the assignment and I wasn’t sure, again, what stripes and spots refer to, so I don’t know if I have created the right kind of samples. But I made a set of 8 of each material – calico and tracing paper. I included the folder of researched examples and some tests.

I enjoyed cutting and slashing , creating ridges and layers. I decided to get the sewing machine out primarily because I couldn’t figure out how to get layers of triangles to be together without glue, so I ran the machine over them, which was fun!

Some of the experimenting felt like snowflake cutting. I noted how the card stuck to itself when fanned and snipped. I became more aware of the materials I was working with and how they resisted or accepted what I was trying to do with them.

I definitely preferred tracing paper and making slashes and creases in it. It proved to be a very pleasing material to work with and I thought it would work well with light. This image is an example I found on pinterest.

For fastening I used a sewing machine, hand stitch, masking tape and pins.

Once I made the decision to not worry about achieving the impossible with what I had, I went with the flow of the materials and created simple cuts, folds and layers. I learnt a lot about manipulation during this assignment. But I need to know what stripes and spots mean!



Chain by Mia Cullin

Tulips Anne Kyyro Quinn