Before I began this artist in residency, I figured it would take me a few days of confusion with a steep learning curve, but by Tuesday I’d have fallen into my stride and it would all begin to flow.
As it turned out, on Tuesday I just felt tired and flat. It was like the intensity of the past 4 days had finally caught up on me.
In fact, I hadn’t even really made it to Tuesday. My mood had started to drop in the latter half of Monday and rather than staying at the apartment provided, I headed home for the night, desperate to see Maggie and the kids. And leaving them in the morning to head back to Wigtown, I was certainly heavy of heart.
I barely reached double figures in the number of portraits I took over the day. This was in part due my decision to try and focus on catching up on editing and printing photos, and putting them on the walls, as I was woefully behind schedule on this.
Highlight of the day, however, was meeting and chatting with Rab Wilson, who is a great advocate for Scots language. Not Gaelic, but Scots – the language of Robert Burns.
In some circles there is fierce debate about whether Scots counts as a separate language or simply as a regional dialect. But whichever side your support lies, there is no doubt it is full of rich words, some of which have no direct English equivalent.
Rab mentioned the word “tartle”, which is where you hesitate when introduced to someone because although they are familiar you cannot remember their name.
This sounds like a word that could have been invented specifically for me.
In fact, given how common it is, I found myself amazed to realise there isn’t a dedicated word in English for such an act.
Suitably impressed, I told him I’d be attending his festival event that evening, where he was reading from his book, “The 1957 Flying Scott” – a series of poems about his love affair with a classic pushbike, interspersed with Jazz music from the band “Bright Noise”.
Shortly afterwards I remembered I generally have very little interest in poetry, and jazz has never really done anything for me. Too late to back out now without losing face.
However, I needn’t have worried as it turned out to be fun after all.
Bright Noise with Rab Wilson
If you’re into poetry, jazz and/or bikes, then I think you’ll enjoy Rab’s book, which has been rather nicely bound and includes a CD of the music and linocut images by Hugh Bryden. It’s a collector’s item too, with only 500 having been produced. You’ll find it online here: http://www.hughbryden.com/?p=651
Meanwhile, if you would like to see the latest portraits, indeed all the ones I’ve taken so far, then do visit the Facebook or Flickr photo collections.