The Living Wall – Guillemot Cliffs


  • Date
  • Venue Café
  • Event Types Arts, Visual Arts

A virtual Cafe exhibition by Catherine Yeatman

six panels – charcoal, ink and gouache on paper.

I conceived this work almost a year ago. I had a vision of a drawing installed in the busy cafe at Taigh Chearsabhagh. Filling up the height of the space with the social noise and clatter of crockery and tables to support it and help bring it to life.

In Adam Nicolson’s The Seabird’s Cry, he asks you to:

Look up at the jammed up life of a guillemot shelf….a densely tapestried network of longstanding relationships which have already lasted and evolved over the generations which have been continuous over the generations for thousands of years, on this cliff since the end of the ice age, perhaps 8000 years ago.”

I wanted to create a sense of the towering weight and space of the cliff for people sitting under it; to make them look up at the jammed up life. I planned a work that celebrated our seabird life and coasts and the heady days of high summer on this Atlantic edge where the elements of air land and sea meet.

As I’ve been working over the last couple of months to develop and realise my initial concept, these gregarious birds have filled up my house, kept me company, and populated my world. I did not plan or expect to make a piece about lockdown, isolation, and loneliness, but it turns out I have.

The Guillemot Shelf – The Antidote to Social Distancing.

Catherine Yeatman, May 2020.

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