Sarah left a week ago and I’m reflecting now of how the residencies went, what they contributed to hostel and island life and in what ways they benefited those that took part. I’ve personally found it incredibly rewarding to watch the hostel develop as a creative space and have learned a great deal over the winter. I’d like to thank Anna, Natasha and Sarah very much for rising to the challenge of coming to wind-swept Iona to pursue their art. It’s been a tough winter here yet they all have completed some amazing work and have contributed so much to the creative life of the Hostel and island. They have also shown exemplary stamina and vim in sticking with their Bothy home in what has been some truly vile weather. I’m impressed. I know also that many islanders appreciated their creative presence on the island and the opportunity to come and see their work. Personally, I’ve loved having them all around. It’s added so much to my winter and my understanding of this remarkable place.
All three have pursued quite different directions in their work, which all goes to show that nothing is what it seems, but is endlessly open to possibility and interpretation. Perhaps the ever changing skies and seas of Iona contribute to the poignancy of that moment apprehended. Kathleen Raine, captures something of it:
To write down all I contain at this moment
I would pour the desert through an hour-glass,
The sea through a water-clock,
Grain by grain and drop by drop
Let in the trackless, measureless, mutable seas and sands.
For earth’s days and nights and breaking over me,
The tides and sands are running through me,
And I have only two hands and a heart to hold the desert
and the sea.
What can I contain of it? It escapes and eludes me,
The tides wash me away,
The desert shifts under my feet.
Thank you all again and I hope that your time on Iona has been what you hoped it to be.