"Looking North Through Art" is a series of online talks in two parts. Over the course of eight events, four artists – to be paired with writers/ researchers in the second round – explore concepts of landscape and nature in Scotland. Through discussing some of their projects and thoughts, speakers will provide alternative approaches and perspectives which stand in contrast with and move beyond mainstream narratives surrounding the idea of “Scottish landscape”.
Our guest for the second event in the series is Sekai Machache (she/her), a Zimbabwean-Scottish visual artist and curator based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her work is a deep interrogation of the notion of self. She is interested in the relationship between spirituality, imagination and the role of the artist in disseminating symbolic imagery to provide a space for healing. Sekai’s most recent project, Divine Sky, utilises allegory and performance to tell a complicated history through poesis, immersive storytelling, and photography. This work denotes a process of inscribing and re-inscribing thought through automatic drawing with ink on paper, indigo parchment on fabric, performance to camera, layering and overlaying.
Sekai’s short film, Profound Divine Sky, was shot at Forsinard at the Flow Country in the Scottish Highlands, and will form the central focus of our discussion. Through movement, and to the accompaniment of four spoken poems, Sekai explores the ways in which Black bodies exist in rural landscapes. Sekai has written the following about the making of this exquisite film: ‘The image of the sky reflected in the peat bogs caught me as a beautiful image and became crucial to this project that encompasses many themes…Scottish landscape, African metaphysics and cosmology, ritual practice, Celtic song, ritual performance, Gaidhlig language, and Black Scottish Identity. I moved from confined studio/domestic spaces, continually drawing for the earlier pieces of The Divine Sky project, to finally getting the opportunity to travel North and the space suddenly stretching for miles and miles of gorgeous Scottish landscape, peatlands, sphagnum moss, and water. I perform in this place, tracing the language of water, my movements careful yet fluid.’
Free / Eventbrite