Translating concepts and insights into academic articles
A sample of publications in which my writing appears. There are ten further journal publications, and a couple of hardbacks that can be added to this pile.
Translating image into sound
After my PhD identified the rhythmic patterning of image as a significant feature of Signart, I played with translating this repetition of images into a soundscape, so that hearing people might better appreciate the intricate beauty of Signart as a form. To realise this project, I collaborated with Paul Scott, Victoria Punch, VS1 Productions, Helen Dewberry and Chaucer Cameron. The piece premièred at Ledbury Poetry Festival, 2016 then featured at Bristol Poetry Festival later the same year.
Translating movement into text
A cine-poetry translation I made for the Scottish Poetry Library, in 2014. For this, I collaborated with poets Gary Quinn and Christine de Luca. The original language of Gary's poem is British Sign Language (BSL). I provided a carefully skeletal yet syntactically structural guide translation for Christine, who then produced her English and Shetlandic poetic responses. The dynamic captioning is intended to bridge the gap between the properties of the BSL and English poems. The film was shown in the Scottish Parliament in the weeks prior to the passing of the historic British Sign Language (Scotland) Act of 2015. The work has since been included in the anthology Stairs and Whispers: Deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches, 2017).
Translating song into BSL performance
Interpreting for Annie Lennox's impromptu open-air concert at the Heldenplatz, Vienna, during the World Aids Conference, 2010. This clip was recorded by a member of the 100,000+ audience.
Translating Signart into a public drawing installation
For 'Action/Assemblage: Drawing Together (A Happening)', I combined action writing and the graphic drawing of HATCH artists and the public, to translate the British Sign Language (BSL) poetry performances of Paul Scott and Richard Carter into a live, situated artwork.
movement.language.line.sign (May, 2016). Is the poet in the poem? Playing with that question, I staged a 3 day takeover of Tamarin Norwood's residency at Spike Island, Bristol. Tamarin's empty studio was populated by three giant projections of Paul Scott performing his BSL poem 'Three Queens'. No translations were given; the only clues were 3 B/W images on the walls. The effect was haunting, and provocative, as the crowd as the closing Q and A testified.
Translating theory into experience
I’m beginning my bio-dynamic herb garden practice (see @GardenUnplugged) with an autoethnographic investigation of my own body’s response to biodynamic forces, like the moon. I’m investigating ashtanga yoga as a tool to access these responses, and keeping a herbal journal. There’s more of this autoethnnographic investigation in my blog.
'A Tale Told and Retold' is a stitched map, visually translating the turns and returns of talk in a narrative interview. The interviewee was recalling a stressful incident, and was switching rapidly between a number of related topics and perspectives.
I have been looking into traditional Hebridean weaving practices, and am much taken by the beauty of the kreel. I have begun drying some of the grasses from my Hebridean garden. So far, I have some willow withies (Salix alba, I think), some nettle stalks (Urtica dioica), brambles (Rubus fruticosus), red docken (Rumex obtusifolius), and marram grasses (Ammophilia arenaria) dried, and ready for working. I just need to find the time to begin weaving…
Translating raw fleeces into rug
My lovely Hebridean neighbour, Katrina, has kindly given me a few fleeces. I never worked with raw wool before and am planning to start with the basics- just making a simple raw weave rug on a basic dowel loom. For the meantime, though, I’m just happy sniffing the fleece…
Translating flora into colour
And I'm beginning to play with the non-fibrous properties of plants, too: dyes, inks, oils ..
Translating a plot of land into a herbal pharmacy
During 2018-19, as part of my studies towards a Diploma in Herbology, I had the privilege of curating and tending a small area within the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. I used the space to raise awareness of the health detriments of excessive use of digital devices. The project had its own outreach Twitter account, @GardenUnplugged.
From the plants grown on my little plot, I developed a number of herbal products to alleviate the symptoms of ‘Electronic Screen Syndrome’.
Although the space has now passed to the new first year students, I continue with my studies, and also my ethnobotany practice. The Twitter account has now been replaced by the ‘Ethnobotany’ blog on this website.
Translating youthful enthusiasm into garden design