The Sea, the Sails and the White, White Blades is a new work exploring our evolving relationship to the sea and its potential futures by artist Stephen Hurrel, made during a residency in Helmsdale in the summer, 2014.
This three-screen video installation, incorporating glass sculptural objects, is a direct response to Helmsdale and the north-east coast of Scotland at a particular point in history. The title echoes the rhythm of the seminal 1970’s theatre piece The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil based on the same geographic area, and which was also concerned with relationships between industries, economies and people.
The installation collapses time and place to explore ideas of innovation and progress relating to industries of the sea, and locates these activities within the on-going cycles of nature, local traditions and possible futures.
At the time of developing this new work, approval was given for a major offshore wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth, consisting of 326 wind turbines. Once built, it will become the third largest offshore wind farm in the world.
The premiere of the work at Timespan forms the final instalment of North Sea Hitch, a changing exhibition of the artist’s work bringing Scotland’s northern seascapes into our northerly gallery. This exhibition and residency were part of GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.
The artist would like to extend his thanks to the following people for their help during his residency:
Michael Wiggin, Tina Wrighton (Dounreay), Michael Williamson & William Bremner (Hill Cat operators), Andy Sutherland (Creel boat hitch), Ian Pearson (Glass blowing tutor), Jacquie Aitken, Frances Davis, Brian Adams, Sandy Mackay, and all the Timespan staff.