Blàthan Briste | Broken Flowers is a collaborative exhibition conceived by Alec Finlay and featuring work by Alec and Hannah Imlach exploring energy independence, localism, and technology, from the Neolithic quernstones (hand-mills) of the islands, to the MoD rocket range on Uist and St Kilda, and the renewable energy arrays of the future.
Preview – Saturday 5 August 7pm including Work Songs, Do They Work? talk with John Purser and singer Linda Macleod and special screening of Carrier Strike by Ian Hamilton Finlay & John Purser.
Monday 7 & Tuesday 8 August 7pm. Free. – Artists talks, readings and Ecopoetics workshop with Alec Finlay, Hannah Imlach and Lila Matsumoto.
Wednesday 9 August – Monachs Boat Trip (leave Kallin Harbour 9.30am tbc.)
A day of performative installation and site-specific reading with Alec Finlay, Hannah Imlach and Lila Matsumoto on the Monach Isles. £85 including lunch. Advance booking essential. call 01870 603970
Alec Finlay has created a new sequence of poems and images, illustrated by Hanna Tuulikki, surveying Gaelic culture, the environment, and technology. Since 2005 Finlay has specialised in the field of renewable energy and, recently, considered the relationship between island cultures, languages, – Norse, Gaelic and Scots – and place-names as prophetic markers of tides and marine energy technologies. Alec conceived Blàthan Briste | Broken Flowers is an imaginative response to the confiscation of quernstones in the Hebrides – an event that offers a critical perspective on power, community benefit, and more recent technologies. Working with local informants, Alec mapped seven Hebridean lochs where quernstones were destroyed, commissioning Tuulikki to draw hand-mills imagined to have been retrieved from them.
Hannah Imlach represents the fluid interplay between technological and natural forms in her sculptural artworks. Taigh Chearsabhagh and Alec co-commissioned Imlach to design a new sculpture that is derived from this imaginative relationship between the quernstone and marine energy devices. This new kinetic work will be taken to the Monach Islands during the opening week of the exhibition where it will be assembled close to the site of an ancient quernstone quarry at Port Ruadh, and temporarily installed in the shallow waters to turn gently with the incoming and outgoing tide. She will also present an earlier work, Nautilus Turbine (2016), made in response to Eigg’s community energy network.
In this poetic, playful, and provocative exhibition mimetic forms characterise the relationship between localism and technology. The project asks whether devices belong, are beneficial, or extractive? Key to the exhibition is a new essay by Dr. Fraser MacDonald that discusses Erskine Beveridge in relation to the theme of island technologies. The installation also features a collaboration between Finlay and the renowned field recording artist Chris Watson on the myth of The Princess Forest. Imlach will also show a sound work, Aeolian Survey,created in collaboration with Glasgow-based composer Thomas Butler, a poetic exploration of the production and consumption of wind power.
Blàthan Briste | Broken Flowers has been created in collaboration with Lila Matsumoto, Hanna Tuulikki, Chris Watson, Thomas Butler, Maoilios Caimbeul, and Dr. Fraser MacDonald.
Thanks to Kildonan Museum and Fergus Granville for loan of quernstones for the duration of the exhibition.