Susan Kirkup

Not an artist by profession, I’m an accountant with an under developed creative streak. I feel privileged to live on the wild, remote North Coast of Scotland, a place I love, and Skerray most definitely holds my heart. I’m a recycling freak, and compulsive hoarder, I love colour and texture and have dabbled in craft projects.

This is my first involvement in a collaborative project, and I have enjoyed an opportunity to extend my limited creative ability. Experimenting with techniques such as “frying”, snow dyeing and bleaching, it has been a delight to create something from nothing, using anything from old curtains to a 40-year-old slip I wore under my wedding dress. I’m inspired by the beauty and remoteness of my surroundings and the strong sense of community here, but also by my fellow “mappers”, who’s work and encouragement has spurred me on to achieve much more than I imagined I would.

I enjoyed making each of the 37 hearts, representing homes within our community. My love of boats is the inspiration for the compass rose. Neave Island (smallest of the islands) is a favourite place and important aspect of the Skerray landscape and history. My passion for nature inspired the dragonfly, Burnett moth, and rare Scottish primrose. The depiction of the Tree of Life - in a landscape predominately devoid of trees, the Skerray people created an important legacy of tree planting. Wikipedia describes Skerray as “ home to a community of artists and a group of tree planters”.

Susan Kirkup (mostly tree planter, striving to be more artist)