January 6, 2022

Can the Spirit of Place Be Captured in Minuscule Details?

Alice Macmillan

LinocutBoreray, 202160 x 71

I have been exploring the ancient landscape of the St Kilda archipelago in my work and am fascinated by the atmospheric quality of these ‘ghost’ islands. It is an extreme environment battered by the elements and yet it encapsulates the wild romantic essence of the Hebrides. The energy of the place is palpable as seabirds dart in and out of the ocean. The seascape is dominated by jagged shards of volcanic rock piercing through the waves. The sea and cliffs teem with wildlife to the point where the endlessly diving gannets become part of the landscape. The scenery is dynamic, turbulent and ever-changing. I wanted to capture some of this energy, creating a snapshot of a chaotic moment in nature by focusing on the seemingly insignificant details. I aim to highlight the subtle movement and tonal qualities of ‘micro-environments’ bringing the scenes to life with details such as: water drops, ripples and bubbles, shimmering fish scales and wet feathers. These details create an energy, a fluid and fleeting glimpse into nature allowing the viewer to experience the essence of an encounter with the wild and ancient Atlantic landscape.