Crail Path 2020 – 2021
A lockdown art project based on my regular local walk, and materials, and inks or dyes I have made using ingredients to hand in the kitchen or found in the local area. Using a variety of materials to make quilted textiles, artist’s books, paintings and embroideries my aim was to represent the different parts of the walk in winter and also how it changed as spring came. I have made a short video of the route and some of my finished artwork.
During winter lockdown 2020 I attended an online course with artist Alice Fox, gathered all sorts of materials and started boiling things up on the hob. I purchased a second hand pan to use and began to reduce the ink down after sieving the liquid, to make ink/dye for painting or dyeing silk thread and small pieces of fabric. Clay was collected from the Denburn and formed into basic crayon shapes for rubbings, and charcoal pieces saved from a fire. As my materials were ready I started painting and using the silk and wool threads and fabric scraps together with small pieces of hoarded silk and Fife linen, from the recently closed Kirkcaldy linen mill.
Living and walking only within 5 miles but with the world of the internet available, I enjoyed the support of friendly artists on the course and researched Crail maps online. Finding a nineteenth century map, I decided to represent it in embroidery and then quilt it. A pictorial map followed with images from my walk. Using artist’s books as a format to experiment in with my new materials, and having learned to use bookbinding techniques, I proceeded to divide the walk into sections and make images of them.
Numerous photos of the route were taken, especially during a period of brief snow cover. As spring came, I began taking more photos from the exact place, surprised by the rapid growth of plants. Each day there are small changes but these images seen with whole seasons apart, show the difference even more dramatically. These photos I had printed in pairs to compare the bleak winter with the hopeful summer. On some left over black and white photos I began embroidering elements of spring on them. I like to knit or stitch most evenings, and during lockdown this project had a positive, calming effect on me as I was occupied and producing something interesting. I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of interest in this project when I shared it in Crail Community Hall in December 2021, with many people recognising their environment seen in a new way and compared the project to their own lockdown walking routes. I had some great conversations with visitors and several good ideas to carry forward. Whilst a few of the items have now been sold, most are still available for exhibition or sale if you would like to get in touch. I will be photographing the items and adding them to this page.