In August 2013 we set sail from Stromness on our second Sea Change expedition, aboard Lerwick community boat The Swan, with a crew of 27 artists, scientists and informers. More ›

The Crew

The expedition crew of 27 includes a wide range of scientific and creative folk.
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Video highlights

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Stone Cut Runes…


about 4pm
Monday 19 August – a retrospective diary entry

I found the museum.  I found two standing stones.  Stone cut runes.  And I found this…

to watch the dawn sweep over
a flat grey horizon
that is a stone cut rune
to put your mark on the morning’s silence
that is a stone cut rune 
to fish for meaning
in the sea of the air
that is a stone cut rune

– George Gunn

Any journey plans I had, changed.  Right at the start.  What were the plans?  I’ve had a protracted journey by train: Liverpool to Thurso, so far.  Two days, coast to coast.

Off the train – the lines stop.  I arrive in this small, seemingly sleepy harbour town.  This place is a ‘stone cut rune’ written by tides.

As I peramble along the main street, unintentionally I announce my arrival here.  The empty tin water bottle hits my rucksack in time with each step, making a loud but gentle, rhythmic ‘ding’.  Like a song of the rope slowly shivering against the mast of a boat as it waits in harbour, patiently.

Anyway, I found the museum.  I found two standing stones.  Stone cut runes.

In the cafe, in the next room I hear the sound of a small child chortling.  It reminds me of home.  For a moment, I’m moved.

I feel like I’m at the end of something: on the edge of something.  Now, I’m about to cross that space in-between.  A Celt visiting unfamiliar Viking shores.  Now, across into the chase…


The Ulbster Pictish Stone, 700 AD/CE


Author: James Brady


Joins the expedition for week 1 and 2 Based on the Wirral peninsula coast in Merseyside, James is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and activist. Through his diverse practice he endeavours to reveal creative patterns embodied within our symbiosis with places, environments and natural systems.
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1 Comment

  1. avatar David B says:

    Loved the Stone Cut Rune and sea of air.
    Joining the Swan + company Thursday/Friday and so looking forward to these times and islands. And my own fishy meaning.

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James Brady’s expedition blog for ecoartscotland

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See James Brady’s blog here:   http://ecoartscotland.net/    

Leaving Fair Isle

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Andy Crabb’s Sea Changes Part 1 now on vimeo

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Sea Changes, part 1 featuring Karine Polwart from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. Part 1 of a film about Cape Farewell’s Northern Isles expedition, on board the Swan LK243. The Swan is a traditional Shetland fishing sail boat, restored and operated by a community based trust in Shetland swantrust.com/. She is a truly beautiful boat. The film... Read more ›

Carbon Cycle

1.carbon sink
CARBON/SINK Site-specific organic drawing, North Haven pier, Fair Isle (peat and fresh water / 12” x 120”)     A musing on the ecology of the Carbon Cycle and the human intervention within it’s system: the symbiotic links between the entropy of organic matter – moorland as a carbon sink – fossil fuels – carbon... Read more ›

Wind, stone

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Wind, stone: by Teresa Elwes

Fish For The Table

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FishForTheTable 03 vimeo from Tam Treanor.

Microcosms: Eons, Tides and Dreams

‘I go to the rockpool at the slack of the tide to mind me what my poetry’s for.’ –      Jen Hadfield (from the poem, Daed-traa*)           ‘The parent materials were gathered together as volcanoes poured them out in fiery streams, as waters running over the bare rocks of the continents wore... Read more ›


bunk and deck
quota n 1. the proportional or part of a whole that is due from, due to, or allocated to a person or group 2. a prescribed number or quantity, as of items to be manufactured, imported, or exported, immigrants admitted to a country [from Latin quota pars how big a share?, from quotus of what... Read more ›

Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013.

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“Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013. from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. In August 2013 members of Cape Farewell’s “Sea Change” project explored the landscapes, history and future of the Orkneys whilst sailing on board The Swan, a beautifully restored Shetland Fifie. The group consisting of artists,... Read more ›

Pelagic Gannets

When the seas calmed and I was no longer confined to my sick bunk, it was wonderful to be on deck and to observe my new watery surroundings, I saw gannets flap and glide past the Swan and was amazed to see their large wingspan for the first time. They truly are a majestic bird!... Read more ›

Sea change See change

Go  2
Poet. Climate change.  Environmentalist.  Scientist. Carbon economy. (Ex-)soldier. Renewables. Conservationist.  Fishing quota.  Artist. Sustainability. Writer.  Everyday words susceptible to our own interpretation, predisposition and characterisation.   Words that can be polarising and divisive.  So what happens when you mix them with a few associated ingredients?  On the one hand there is the potential for an explosive... Read more ›

Big words + Lumpy times

scalloway map
LUMPY adj lumpier, lumpiest full of or having lumps (Transport / Nautical Terms) (esp of the sea) rough confused seas We headed south on ‘lumpy’ seas from Scalloway towards Sumburgh Head.  Our direction towards the East side was guided by the weather forecast and I was pleased to be moving at last. I have been... Read more ›