To: Oonagh Devoy
From: Katherine Galagan MD
Marilyn and I wanted to let you know that the book is finished now and a complimentary copy will be in the mail to you within the next week or so. We also both wanted to thank you sincerely for your contributions to this project. It is special artists like you who have made this book possible, and we are looking forward to sharing your work with our readers!
I should also tell you that the book is now available for purchase. To purchase additional copies of the book, go to www.cap.org, Shop tab (search Healing Art; you must have a registered account to purchase online); or call 1-800-323-4040 option 1. Item PUB315, $50 list price, $40 for CAP members (plus S/H).
Thanks again for your contributions to this wonderful book! It has been a real pleasure working with you!
Katherine and Marilyn
Yesterday saw me cycling in the early morning along the coastal cycle path to Carnoustie to meet and interview fellow beach comber, Stuart Henderson.
Initial contact had been made via my website through his daughter Marta, who herself is a practicing artist. Graduated in sculpture Marta now creates textile works and writes patterns. She wondered if I would like to see the objects and bottles that her dad has collected over the years. Of course I accepted!
When I was given my directions to meet at their home I was assured that I would easily know which house in the street it was , This was no exaggeration. The driveway was covered in shells from the beach and the pathway to the back door led to a wall with up-cycled buoys that had been converted to planters.
Our informal meeting began with introductions, coffee and biscuits. It was a family affair with Stuart, his wife Zenta, daughter Marta and the family pooches in attendance.
I was very excited to meet Stuart and hear about his beach treasure. I was not prepared however for the extent of his eclectic and beautiful collection.
Stuart began collecting from an early age when he would search the coastline for Irn Bru bottles. Fourteen bottles where required to earn him the £1.40 for his return bus fare homewards.
Examining Stuarts carefully curated haul of treasure I began to recognise groups of objects that I also collected myself: teeth, screw bottle tops, buoys, forged iron nails to name but a few.
Not only where we attracted to similar objects but some of our reasons for collecting where similar too:
Over the decades Stuart has found more that twenty 'messages in a bottle'. When Stuart finds a bottle he always tries to contact the sender. However bottles are not the only means to the creation of a human connection. Stuart has found a number of bags over the years also.
Every room in Stuarts house displays part of his extensive collection. I thought that my own collection was big until I got the chance to admire his. I was inspired not only by his keen eye but his wit and kindness too.
It was a real pleasure to meet with Stuart and his family and hear the numerous tales that resulted from his collecting. I felt privileged to be allowed to view his amazing collection. Our meeting concluded with me giving Stuart one of my bottles to launch into the waves.
There are certain dates where you cannot help but to stand still and reflect. An exhibition of practical work in progress and the handing in of a research paper critically discussing how the Masters seminar programme has influenced you is one of these dates.
As I take my exhibition down I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by. I have been academically challenged, nurtured and enriched by the course, my lecturers and my fellow students alike. I have also made many new kind and clever friends outwith the university. People who I would not have met if I had not begun this amazing journey.
With the new term starting in October it is time to prepare myself for my final year which I believe will pass quicker than my first. Although I have a plan of action of the practical works I wish to produce and the books I need to read for my final dissertation I can honestly say that I think I will be equally surprised at the end point of my next journey.
I feel so lucky to have found the Masters Course. It not only has enabled me to kick start my practice but has been a cathartic outlet for internalised grief.
Link to Gray's School of Art Master's Blog.
Over the summer I have been filming for my collaboration with the composer David Ward.
For a small 3 minute film you can easily have collected nearly 20 minutes of footage which you then have to laboriously par down. Even now I am not satisfied as I notice errors that I can only correct with further filming.
This is the third edit which although is still far from satisfactory has helped me to understand better the controls of my DSLR and the parameters of my video editing software.