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.
Meet the crew ›

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Video highlights

Watch video highlights from the expedition ›

Ruth MacLennan

Joins the expedition for week 1 and 2


Ruth Maclennan’s work begins with her own encounter with a place—a neighbourhood of London, a futuristic capital city in Kazakhstan, a derelict cottage on an abandoned island, a ruined railway station in a desert, a fishing boat off the coast of Scotland. Her single and multi-channel video installations focus on overlooked moments, material remains and fragments of stories that reveal unresolved conflict. Maclennan has a Masters in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, and in Modern Languages from Cambridge University. Her work includes video installations, photography, bookworks, drawings, live events, and curatorial projects. Her collaborative art project Polytechnical Institute for the Study of the Expanding Field of Radical Urban Life, interrogates the present and speculates on the future through writing, performance, film, and events in the city.  She is currently developing a body of work in the Russian Arctic and the North of Scotland investigating the histories and present manifestations of relationships with the sea.  Her upcoming solo exhibition, The faces they have vanished, featuring new work filmed in Crimea and Odessa, opens at ICIA, Bath in 2013.

Ruth Maclennan’s solo exhibition and film, Anarcadia, was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and John Hansard Gallery and toured to Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Stills, Edinburgh, ICIA, Bath, Castlefield, Manchester, Loop, Barcelona and Edinburgh International Film Festival. Her work is on permanent display in Wellcome Collection, London. She exhibits internationally, and has participated in group shows at Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Loop, Barcelona, Kaaitheater, Brussels, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Munich Kunstverein, and also in Japan, Russia, Central Asia, and New York. Awards include the Joanna Drew Travel Award, Leverhulme artist in residence at the London School of Economics, Wellcome Trust award for State of Mind at LSE, and Arts Council England award for Archway Polytechnic. (www.archwaypolytechnic.org).  Her work is included in several monographs on contemporary art and archives, including All This Stuff: Archiving the Artist, edited by Judy Vaknin, Karyn Stuckey and Victoria Lane, Libri and Arlis, UK, 2013; Ghosting, The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists’ Film and Video, J. Connarty and J. Lanyon, 2006 and Potential: Ongoing Archive, ed. A. Harding, John Hansard Gallery, 2002. The book Anarcadia, published by John Hansard Gallery and Film and Video Umbrella, 2011, includes essays by Steven Bode and Lucy Reynolds and a conversation between Owen Hatherley and Ruth Maclennan. Other bookworks include Hide, ed. Hart/Maclennan (AIR, 2011), Reflections on the City from a post-flâneur, Proboscis (2011); Re: the archive, the image, and the very dead sheep with Uriel Orlow (London, Double agents: 2004), and Style/Substance—The MaxMara Coat Project with Volker Eichelmann (MaxMara, 1999).  Ruth Maclennan’s work is distributed by LUX.




Read posts by Ruth MacLennan

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

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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

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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 ›