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POSTCARDS FROM SHETLAND... 'Felt in the Broch'

I lived in Hertfordshire as an Artist in Residence for six years.  During this time I visited Shetland in 2008, fascinated by the beautiful landscape and variety of weather I returned to do a residency in Shetland the following year. My plan while in Shetland was to walk, draw and take photographs these were later used for my textile work. A focus on colour and texture from the landscape was inspiration for my handmade 2D & 3D felt work.  This work was later to become the front cover of an international Textile magazine.

After many exhibitions, residencies, commissions, community arts projects and islands trips. I am now studying a degree in Contemporary Textiles in Shetland, learning different techniques and developing new skills. Shetland has a rich Textile history which I am exploring and researching. I continue to be inspired by the pure natural beauty of this rather challenging environment. Whether using the colours or textures to create new work or to use the landscape as a back drop for my work.

One of the places I like to visit in Lerwick is the Clickimin Broch. The setting is mystical and depending on the time of day the light can give a very different impression. In about 1000BC a bronze-age family built a small farmhouse on a grassy islet near Clickimnin Loch. Walls were built to enclose their cattle and sheep. The Loch of Clickimin was cut off from the sea and ceased to be tidal. Although over time the Broch was developed, it was never finished. The broch was originally much taller than today, up to approx 12-15m high. It is an amazing place to explore with small rooms, enclosures and stairs within its thick, dry stone walls.

This was where I chose to place my work to see how it presented itself beside the dry stone walls. My soft cream felted hang hanging with a variety of round and oval shapes cut out hung beside the tonal matt textured stone. I used many areas of the Broch to see how the felt hanging worked or did not work within the inside/outside space. Playing with how the height of the walls or light changed the setting for the work. As well as how the wind moved the work, sometimes further than I wished it to be moved.


Clickimin Broch

Felt hanging by Connie Flynn in Clickimin Broch

I continue to be a member of HVA as I regularly travel south. It has been suggested to record my experiences in Shetland in the HVA monthly newsletter, do look our for the regular ’Postcards from Shetland’ by Connie Flynn

Article & photographs by CONNIE FLYNN