‘Scrapbook’……Lotte Glob….Unstan/Onston….‘A Place Of Refuge’….’Sailing Into The Aurora’….

by Bernie Bell - 07:51 on 06 March 2023


Fraiku: Scrapbook

Little square windows
into a black & white past
Was that you or me?


And my response… 

“The older ones – Mum & Dad – sepia tinted.

People – memories – caught in time.

Who’s who?  Written on the back – if you’re lucky.”


Lotte Glob…

I’ve written of Lotte Gob and her work, and her croft, before…



Lotte has an exhibition coming up – ‘Eriboll Creatures’ at Kilmorack Gallery, Beauly... 


Some of Lotte’s critters remind me of Tove Jansson’s illustrations for her Moomin books…. https://tovejansson.com/tovepedia/#the-moomintrolls

Not necessarily like, but akin to.

Mike very much likes Lotte’s Creatures, and wove a little story around them….

Walking along through the croft and by the Loch, he encounters a wee beastie – bulging eyes and gulping throat which looks at him in a benign, unconcerned sort of way.

He walks on, and encounters Lotte’s sculptures…and Lotte tells him that there is nothing to be made, which isn’t a reflection of what is there, in life.


Unstan/ Onston….

I was very interested to read this…..


The Cairn has been one of my ‘star’ Neolithic sites for many years.   I first noticed the lines of grassy mounds going into the Loch of Stenness from the field near the Cairn years ago when standing on top of Unstan and wondered what they were, but couldn't find out anything about them at the time.  Now, I may not know exactly what they are, but I know they're part of something!

I have never been able to get the entire lay-out of them clear in my mind – Sigurd’s image makes it clear – clear as can be.  Once again – thank you Sigurd!


‘A Place Of Refuge’…

I’m on the mailing list for ‘Northlight’ Gallery, Stromness…. https://northlight.artweb.com/  and so received notification of the current exhibition in the windows of Northlight – with the kind permission of Hugh Hamilton I will share the email with my readers….

Photographs by Hugh Hamilton in the windows of Northlight Gallery until 15th March.

A Place of Refuge

Following a series of fatal winter storms in the Moray Firth, in 1845 a 40 foot (12 metre) day beacon and place of refuge for shipwrecked sailors was erected by Alan Stevenson of the Northern Lighthouse Board on the dangerous Halliman Skerries. The beacon is located at 57°44'0"N 3°19'17"W (57.7334°, -3.321°) in North East Scotland. 

This beacon reminds us of those in peril and perhaps, hauntingly, a relic for those who did not, and cannot, reach refuge. Like photography itself the beacon is a memory of what was.

A Place of Refuge looks north over the Moray Firth with the viewer placed parallel to, and on the edge of, the sea. The day beacon is tantalisingly placed in the same position on each image, even as the year shifts, to remind us that safely is always ‘just’ there. The small prints also help to reinforce the distant allure of the beacon.

The five images were taken over the course of one year, 2022, and are printed onto Japanese thin, and transparent, washi paper.  The swirling mulberry fibres within the paper reminding us of the seaweed forests between the waves.

At the conclusion of the show the prints, as displayed, are for sale with a guide price of £250, with all proceeds going directly to the RNLI.”

 HH Lossiemouth, Moray, Feb 2023


There’s something about the ideas expressed here that catches me.  Places of refuge - lighthouses - safety in a dangerous world.

It particularly chimed with me as I’ve just had this published in ‘Frontiers’, with its story of the fate of the Longhope Lifeboat men..… https://frontiersmagazine.org/as-sweet-as-its-name/ .

And I’m remembering a previous piece I put together about lighthouses ..…  https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/08/19/i-want-to-marry-a-lighthouse-keeper/ 

In an increasingly precarious world we need beacons, of all kinds, more than ever.


’Sailing Into The Aurora’….

I read this, by Christine Muir….


…and that image - of sailing into the Aurora - will stay with me.

I’m reminded of C S. Lewis’  ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’…….


Here’s one I made earlier… https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/08/12/remembering-the-covenanters/


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