During the late autumn and early winter of 2011 I journeyed by plane – (overcoming at last my longstanding fear of flying!) – to land upon Orkney’s remote and open landscape: rusts, pinks, oranges, strong greens, and at the end of every view, the ever-changing sea. Sheepskins, hand-made felt, wools of every texture and hue: I was beguiled and drawn-in. There was an atmosphere of calm and peacefulness.
A few weeks later, I boarded the local St.Ives train as it clung to the hillside and rattled into Porthminster. Winter had cleared away the crowds and the wild winds whipped the sea into spirals of turquoise and lilac. Colours calling out – at first softly – from every aqua shutter, pink door and lime green window-ledge – then more persistently from the ‘New Abstractions’ at the Tate and the ghosts of Heron, Blow, Lanyon et al. I was re-invigorated by the sweeping-away of the old, and the ushering in of the new.