(Above, from left to right: Anna Fleming, Kerri Andrews, Erlend Clouston, Merryn Glover, Rose Strang, at The Scottish Poetry Library).
I’m very excited to share a new video (link below), created in response to my recent exhibition The Living Mountain. Dreaming a Response, which is currently showing at The Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh until the 31st March. If you don’t get a chance to see the paintings at the Scottish Poetry Library, the exhibition continues at The Heriot Gallery, Dundas Street, Edinburgh from 17th to 23rd April 2023.
The video showed at the Scottish Poetry Library as part of a launch event of the exhibition and as part of an evening celebrating what would have been Nan Shepherd‘s 130th birthday (author of The Living Mountain)
It features really beautiful music by my friend (and collaborator on many projects since 2013) Atzi Muramatsu. I knew Atzi would respond to the themes with talent and sensitivity but I was deeply moved by his interpretation. Listening to it for the first time was a ‘hairs-standing-on-end’ thrill for me! I won’t go on too much, but do have a watch and listen. A heartfelt thank you to Atzi.
There was a wonderful buzz at the event, which completely sold out (Nan Shepherd being a popular subject these days). Much of the talk included speculation on why such a gifted author only published her non-fiction work The Living Mountain in her later years. I’m very grateful to Aly Barr and all at the Scottish Poetry Library for including me in the event. They were fantastic people to work with – humorous and calm throughout!
Three authors, Merryn Glover, Kerri Andrews and Anna Fleming, shared moving excerpts from their new books. Then, literary executor of Nan Shepherd’s estate (and lifelong friend of Nan) Erlend Clouston, gave a characteristically fascinating and humorous talk about Nan, followed by a general discussion and Q+A from the audience. There wasn’t enough time for all the many ideas and experiences to be shared.
Thankfully amongst all the excitement I remembered to buy all three books, all of which, from their unique perspectives, delve into the fascinating life and inspiration of Nan Shepherd:
The Hidden Fires, by Merryn Glover
Wanderers – A History of Women Walking, by Kerri Andrews
And here’s a link to Erlend Clouston talking about Nan as part of Simone Kenyon’s project called Into the Mountain – Erlend on Nan
The exhibition at the Scottish Poetry Library also includes a display of some of Nan’s letters and first drafts of poems. (My personal favourite was ‘Achiltibuie’ because it’s a jewel-like poem, capturing the incredible landscape of Achiltibuie – a place quite dear to my heart).
Thank you to everyone who attended the events at the Scottish Poetry Library. Thank you of course to my partner Adam Brewster who was there being supportive and creative throughout this project (which was two years in the making!) and for the stunning photos of the Cairngorms which feature in the video above. And again thanks to the Scottish Poetry Library for making the event so special and exciting. I think it’s wonderful how inspiration leads to many new inspirations, ever blossoming. It was just great to meet everyone there and share our love of The Living Mountain. Here’s to many more such events in future!
The Living Mountain. Dreaming a Response continues at the Scottish Poetry Library until 31st March, then goes on exhibition for one week at the Heriot Gallery, Dundas Street, Edinburgh from 17th to 23rd April.