Gill Tyson | Salt Stars

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 to Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gill Tyson's lovely artwork are new to the gallery and we thought the best way to introduce her was by inviting her to show her recent body of work 'Salt Stars' in our white gallery space. In her own words....

Not so much on the edge but over it”. After years of making prints about remote places, when we moved to Morvern I finally found myself at the end of the road.

I read that the St Kildans had settled near us when they were evacuated from Hirta, the main island, in 1930. The last print I had made for my Shelter exhibition (2013), had been of Hirta’s Village Bay. That seemed a good place to start.

In our house between a river and the sea I was struck by the important role of the night skies: all those stars, and the brightness of a full moon on the water, almost as light as a west coast day. The St Kildans were given jobs with the newly formed Forestry Commission on land they had acquired from the Ardtornish Estate, and housed in former estate cottages. I wondered how these islanders from the wind scoured, tree devoid St Kilda adapted to this new life of in the woods. One constant would have been that same night sky.

Living in this new, remote location gave me a chance to create work more intimately linked with one place. I always, sooner or later, see the possibilities of whatever I’m doing as a lithographic technique, so, as I’d been experimenting with saltwater painting I began to experiment with using salt as a sort of resist for lithographic washes. Where the particles of salt fall they absorb the tusche wash to create random patterns of stars, and the saltwater brine makes a distinctive wash. In order to make the washes specific to this special place I evaporated salt from the seawater in our bay. It’s surprisingly easy, though I don’t think Morvern Sea Salt will be arriving in the shops any time soon.