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Two Mythical Creatures

Ashrays (or Water Lovers)These are translucent nocturnal water creatures, both males and females. They live under water and are often mistaken for sea ghosts. The legend says that if they are captured and exposed to sunlight ashrays melt and only a rainbow puddle of water remains.

Ceasg (or Maighdean na Tunne: maiden ot the Waves) This is a Scottish Highland mermaid, with the body of a beautiful woman and the tail of a salmon. She lives in the sea as well as in rivers and can grant three wishes to anyone who captures her in exchange for her freedom. She can be a dangerous creature and can be overcome by the destruction of her separable soul which is hidden in an egg, a shell or a box.
salmon tail
Recent posts

Back at Work

After a busy summer working with students and marking, I am back at work for my exhibition.

During summer I have taken notes and drafted and sketched ideas. I have also refined the aims of this specific exhibition and considered opportunities for the future development of this project.

So, to summarise my thoughts:

The November exhibition will be inspired to and focused on two myths: Asharays and Ceasg (or Maighdean Mhara).

The techniques that I will use are: instant photography, cyanotype on fabric, digital collage.

Lead installations will be part of the exhibitions.

Texts (possibly on screen)

My Statement and an Official Beginning

My work has always focused on the creative exploration of places and on how myths, legends and oral histories permeate the space around us and possibly shape the way we interact with it. These ideas are at the base of most of my installations, performances and multimedia artworks, from Raining Buddhas (2009) to Until the End of an Everlasting Day (my practice-based PhD outcome in 2012), from Edges (2011) to This is the Way the World Ends (2015).
I believe that how we perceive and contemplate the land affects the way we treat it, and ultimately impacts on how we live within it. Reconnecting with ancient myths, legends, beliefs and local traditions concerning specific spaces and places around us would help us stop, reflect on and listen to our environment and develop a deeper awareness of it, and consequently a more thorough interconnection with it.
I also believe that, in order to give strength to my visual/creative reflection on the environment and to integrate environmental issues and …

Scottish Water Mythical Presences 2

...following to the previous post...

These are shape shaping aquatic spirits haunting rivers and streams. They usually appear in the form of a horse but can also take a human form.
"These water horses can also appear in human form. They may materialize as a beautiful young woman, hoping to lure young men to their death. Or they might take on the form of a hairy human lurking by the river, ready to jump out at unsuspecting travellers and crush them to death in a vice-like grip. Kelpies can also use their magical powers to summon up a flood in order to sweep a traveller away to a watery grave."
The sound of a kelpie’s tail entering the water is said to resemble that of thunder.
watery grave


Bean Nighe
Her name means washer woman. She is a ghost haunting desolated rivers or lonely pools.
Detailed infomration can be found on Wikipedia (,…

Scottish water mythical presences 1

Here the preliminary results of a web search about Scottish water mythology:

Ashrays (or Water Lovers)These are translucent nocturnal water creatures, both males and females. They live under water and are often mistaken for sea ghosts. The legend says that if they are captured and exposed to sunlight ashrays melt and only a puddle of water remains.

Blue men of the MinchThey supernatural sea creatures that are believed were to live in underwater caves in the Minch straight. They are represented as humans with blue skins and are believed to be related to mermen. Legends say that they used to swim alongside passing ships, and attempting to wreck them by conjuring storms and by luring sailors into the water. "If a captain wanted to save his ship he had to finish their rhymes and solve their riddles, and always make sure he got the last word."

Selkies Believed to live on the shores of Orkney and Shetland, Sel…

It might be about Water!

Today I was walking in the woods near the house, thinking about the forest as a potential theme. Then 'water' came to my mind. If I think of the string pictures, images or creative outcomes that I have produced so far, most of my favourite have something to do with water. And even the last polaroids that I took and particularly like, all include water.

The idea of working on 'water' has been in my head for a while. And it would particularly suit the use of cyanotypes (for obvious association with the blue colour).

So, here a few keywords, just to start brainstorming:

mythical creatures living in water
sacred water
safe water
dangerous water
letting go

Possible title that just came up to my mind
Aqua - Uisge
This title would use Latin and Scottish Gaelic: my own cultural past and the one of the place in which I live
A possible sub-title could be:
Watery Dream…


I am thinking of using cyanotypes as a medium for my next project. I have experimented with cyanotype a couple of years ago and there are several elements of this technique that particularly suit me:

- unlike other photographic techniques is quite simple and straightforward and doesn't require the use of too many chemicals
- I can print either on paper (different kinds of fine art paper) or on fabric (silk?)
- experimenting with paper treatments I can get pictorial effects
- ...and lastly, it is BLUE. A colour associated with melancholy, spirituality, the invisible...all the themes that characterise my research and my practice

For equipment:
Cyanotype on fabric:
Inspirational images: google search 'cyanotypes on silk' and 'old cyanotypes'

Making blue prints from polaroid. Print polaroid on negative paper and use it for blue print.
Creating an …