Category Archives: ninian

outcry

It’s all about adding and substracting… In the artist’s own words.

Paul Bloomer’s latest exhibition ar the Shetland Museum & Archives in Lerwick, Scotland, UK, feels an epic saga in charcoal, cladding the whitest of walls inside da Gadderie, that non-static space devoted to the muable world.

The huge pictures felt they had been tailored to perfection. Paul needs to create his own creative time at his Bigton studio when he is not lecturing at the Shetland College at Gremista, or travelling to Europe with (or without) his students. 

My top favourite picture – swans’ flight –  was inspired by a recent trip to Vienna…  A regular visitor to Spiggie Loch as a visual artist or devoted angler, I was both surprised and amused to hear it on Sunday as Paul spoke of each charcoal on paper gigantic pictorial metaphors. 

Originally from the Black Country, Paul anchored his heart &  art  on this symbolic latitude where time and space are regulated by light and darkness in that perpetual dance of seasons.

However, as an islander, he too looks at the world in a unique perspective. 

And he works like a poet or a writer, with a pocket size sketchbook, to capture moments he will later reproduce on a gargantuan scale… 

Paul makes parallels between people and avian migration. His dreams transcend through circles… Black versus white.  

He constantly reminds us how mankind generates that poisoning world, itself pictured as a leitmotive throughout and in various ways, metaphors, as Paul reflects on each throughout that Sunday afternoon stroll in his presence.

Paul the environmentalist – politically engaged… Raged by a poisoning world, in which political disciples hide, such as those deduced by populism. His charcoal stick does not fail to challenge the viewer…

He nonetheless searches for lightness through nature, to find love and sensuality among geese, swans or starlings, Shetland’s commonest and yet captivating birds.

Sensuality expressed though the oneness of entangling whooper swans.

Paul very aptly entitled his exhibition a prayer for the healing of nations.


A must see. 🙂 

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Filed under 2017, 60N, Arcania, arts, birds, blogging, celebration, community, earth, exhibition, geopoetics, home, humanity, images, island, life, light, migration, ninian, north, project, review, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit

2016

   It all started with a shameless star, low (at around 6 degree elevation) but present in my Nordic sky.

It fills the heart with spirit. 

Hello, 2016. 

And what a prologue to exciting times ahead. As a kind of ritual, there is a hill I love to walk on every first day of every year’s primal month. It bears the name of the Wart of Scousburgh.  

  

I leave da buggy by the parish’s Eiffel Tower, and wander free among ravens, January’s cold air and ephemeral blue. The views always fill my heart and eyes with awe and humility. 

   Fitful Head, just under 300m above ocean level, stands as a vigil to the SW corner of the island.

Such kind of wandering notably has the power to give you perspective for the months ahead.
And from my hilltop to my favourite stretch of sand – Ninian’s Isle Tombolo – for a first reunion with shells, pastel sky and rollers, like a rite of passage into a realm where we wander before sunset, before ice grips fingers and roads. 

  
  
  
There, kindred spirits can be met, and marvel at such everlasting (even though shape shifting) magical place. 

2016 began with magic. Although I don’t usually do “resolutions”, I broke the rule and have endeavoured to add Norwegian to my bow. It makes absolute sense 🙂

Let me take this moment to thank you all for your follows, your “likes” and comments during the past year; and to 

Wish you a wonderful year ahead. May 2016 realise many of your desires, dreams, hopes, with, above all, good health and happiness.

May that star shine around you.

Namaste, N.

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Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, blogging, celebration, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, ninian, north, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, winter

passage


That bridge of sand at St Ninian knows so many prints of our feet. Human or not, we tread its length in and out, trace & retrace like sand weavers…

The other day, I took a friend after lunchtime. The sky was right, and we fancied to share our marks with sand and shells, light… Atlantic. 

So we walked it, came heart to heart with waterline… Reflected with clouds in mirror – smiled at the sun & sea of jade.

And if we felt alone on this vast expanse of freedom, our journey back to the mainland was crowned with a fabulous encounter in the form of two Arctic Skuas that came to add their prints to ours. My friend spotted them first from the distance. She knew my heart would pounce, and lens would wish to immortalise them. So I approached them with caution, and deep respect.


What a moment. Eye to eye with their majesty – heart to heart with our world. Such earthly encounter.

Their tolerance allowed a couple of shots before they decided to leave the sand for a moment… At every opportunity, such meeting feels a privilege, so natural and whimsical.


I still feel grateful to my friend for pointing me out to such moment.

And as we continued to imprint that fabulous sand bar, other wings on passage ennobled our afternoon, in the form of our swallows of the sea, locally known as tirricks, or Arctic Terns, those phenomenal travellers that come to grace our skies every summer. 

How I love this point of passage.

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Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, ninian, north, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, world, writing

smuha 

There’s a tremor in the island.

A she-jarl emerged off a long line of masculine “tradition” of guizer jarls… She made headlines in newspapers, and I hear even in London.

She made us dream last Friday night.



Here, to celebrate such event, a humble triptych of poetry.

SMUHA 2015

For Lesley S., first ever woman jarl in Shetland history.

Acrostic

Skeo Clett,

Music inside sand,

Undo twilight to let us sing,

Hold torches high for a galley & a woman,

Aud, unafraid of world’s fire.

—-

Free Style

By the Atlantic we gathered,

blue-eyed dragon looked to Venus

inside a night fit for

a realm, where

folk marched 

as one with

fire,

down to

the edge of

shells and sand, to

celebrate Aud The Minded

who captained her boat

till its end –

brandished her axe

before our world,

stars 

assembled 

inside a

sky

fit for 

a Jarl & her

people.

—–

Avant-garde

Sleep

in 

the 

arms of the

dragon, by Skeo Clett, 

wild Atlantic, where stars gather

above our heads, home of 

the human fire snake

that comes to die

in boat’s belly –

woman,

child, 

man 

march

by your side, 

through day and

night around da Ness,

fire unites kindred

spirits, fills cups

with mead

after

twilight,

animates hearts

till final reel.

Now

you have

stood among its flames,

led your own crowd

to edge of waves,

and sang the

song of

the

Norseman, 

wake 

in the arms of the dragon.



Notes:

SMUHA is Shetland’s South Mainland Fire Festival, held annually South of Lerwick.

A “jarl” is a viking chief.

“Skeo Clett” is the name of the rocky feature on the northern side of St Ninian’s tombolo (sandbar that links the Isle of Saint Ninian to the mainland). 

A “galley” is a viking longship. 

“da Ness” is the way folk call the Parish of Dunrossness (the southern part of Shetland’s main island, itself known as “South Mainland”)

© Nat Hall 2015

Programme image courtesy of smuha.org where more information can be found 🙂 

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Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, boats, celebration, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, ninian, north, poet, poetry, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, verse, verse poetry, winter, world, writing

light wanderings

It only takes a moment.
Be in the right place at the right time. Stand up and feel.

Plenitude found in one of those precious capsules of happiness when we align to earth and sea – feel at one with our homeworld.
As life allows, such communion with our land- (or sea-) scapes should not feel privileged moments, but natural ones.

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My nearest safe haven of now remains my local favourite beach. As a longer weekend loomed on the calendar, I took full advantage of it.
So I wandered down to the shore and locked my heart into the now

Here, my homeworld in panoramic 🙂
I had the whole of the beach, sea and sky to myself. I listened to the wind and waves in the shoormal, where sand and shells shift.

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20140227-095430.jpgSheer plenitude in such moments, topped up by magic northern lights way past twilight.

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Thank you for all this wonderful magic!

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Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, aurora borealis, celebration, colours, earth, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, ninian, north, shetland, shore, spirit, wind, winter, writing

message from a(nother) bottle

I love how bottles reach my shore through time. Here, a new message from Canada.

FROM INSIDE THE BOTTLE

With kind thanks to its author, Debbie Okun Hill 🙂

20140119-214146.jpg

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Filed under 2014, 60N, atlantic, Canada, celebration, geopoetics, ninian, poet, poetry, poets, project, review, shetland, spirit, verse, verse poetry, world, writing

top oda world

my skydiver [graffiti]What better way to start off a brand new year but by feeling on top of the world?

This is exactly what I did yesterday, with Debbie and Mathew, as they turned sunset chasers for a day. We were fortunate enough to enjoy a relatively calm – though crisp – day (at sea level!) so they came back to my latitude to enjoy a mystery tour of my favourite local hill, Mossy Hill & The Ward of Scousburgh, to look at the year ahead in a wonderful 360 degree perspective. They had no idea where they were heading to…

Although I had hoped for a flamboyant sunset, the oncoming front swallowed the end of the first dying day of the new year. However, that dusky blue is unbeatable. We braved the breeze – we stood still for a while and marvelled at the Atlantic before us. Later, we pushed it to the edge of our known world to marvel at Ninian Sands clad in silver. Perfect start to 2014! 

Here,

my three images

winter style Shetland blue

winter style Shetland blue

shetland blue 1 Jan 2014

ninian in dusky blue 1 Jan 2014 e

Happy New Year to you all. May 2014 shine in your eyes and hearts every day 🙂

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Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, celebration, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, ninian, north, shetland, shore, spring, wind, wishes, world, writing