'Prelude: Machair Canticle'

Beth Farmer & Marie Melnyczuk


The two woven panels represent the fragility of the Machair on the Isle of North Uist, where weaver Marie is based and the pair did a residency in 2020. Beth chose sounds of nature prominent on the Machair - wind and rain - as her inspiration, whilst Marie chose the sound of the rare Corn Bunting, resident of the Machair. Their collaboration was born from visiting each other’s studios and sharing screen printing and painting skills, whilst working with sound as a stimulus.

The panels illustrate the effect of crofting (human interaction) through the uneven warp and the repetitive seasons and practices throughout the weft. Through the placement of printed motifs representing the pair’s chose sounds, the work becomes somehow symbolic, a metaphor for the erosion of the Machair.

Machair Canticle No. 1
This textile communication work is a sound map depicting birdsong from the Paiblesgarry Machair on the Isle of North Uist. Using a multitude of both woven and embroidery techniques, the work depicts the songs of three rare birds, all of which are of high conservation concern;
Corncrake - dark yarn using traditional knotting and tapestry weaving methods.
Corn Bunting - embroidered brown yarn.
Skylark - encased woven marram grass.
The top half of the work is a woven twill depicting a silent machair; alluding to the impact that the threat of Climate Change poses. The open and fractured areas of the warp are used to create a sense of the encroachment of coastal erosion and the endangered biodiversity.

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