"I live and work on the Isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland - a speck amidst a chain of islands on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean."
"To dwell in such a place, where the forces and cycles of nature are extreme, is both inspiring and humbling. Nature here is dictator, rhythm setter and provider despite our technological advancements."
"I work creatively with natural phenomena, taking my inspiration from the complexity, strength and beauty of the oceans and wild lands."
"Appreciating the knowledge, skills and culture of the people who dwell in these places is part of this process. However, my work is from the perspective that humans are not central but merely part of these naturally occurring systems and cycles that are complex, integrated and vast."
"Each of my wind drawings are unique.. The large scale wind drawings are generated using a large tripod situated in a windy spot somewhere on the Isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides. The smaller circular Storm Barrel drawings may have travelled a bit as this equipment is more hardy, transportable and can be left out for long periods of time, even throughout a full storm."
"Each drawing is named after the Shipping Forecast for the day on which it was made."
Q&A from June 2023 for exhibition 'Trace' at OmVed Gardens
Can you describe to us a usual day in your practice?
Meg: “I lead a multi-faceted life on the Isle of Berneray, this is quite common for islanders as you often need several jobs across the seasons to make life work here. As well as being an artist, I am also a crofter and breed Hebridean sheep part of the North Atlantic sheep breed. My day starts with checking my flock, lambing in the spring or feeding in the winter. This is important to my practice as it brings me out in all weathers battling the elements or observing the changes in the environment, birdlife and flora as the seasons change.”
How long have you lived on the isle of Berneray? What drew you there?
M: "I have lived on Berneray for around 25 years. My husband's family are from the island and we moved up, started a family and built our careers. I hadn’t anticipated that it would be forever but here we are a few years down the line."
Where did your relationship with art begin?
M: "I studied my Fine Art degree as a mature student after working in contemporary art on the mainland then community development here in the islands. The rest of my siblings had all studied art and I was the last one to succumb to the pull of creativity. I haven’t looked back and certainly living in the Hebrides your are almost overwhelmed by source material as it is such a beautiful, inspiring yet humbling place to work."
How did your wind drawing process develop? Did you have to develop the equipment to do this?
M: "The wind drawings originated from my defeated attempts to work outdoors. Living on a small island on the edge of the Atlantic we are continually buffeted by extreme weather cycles throughout the year not just in winter. I realised that I needed to work with these cycles to become the vehicle through which I could give them expression. To make visible the elemental qualities of living on the this edge."
"The equipment is quite simple but that is the beauty of it. Living on an island you need to be able to fix things. We have a shed full of bits and pieces for up-cycling and repairing so I just worked away until I found combinations that worked. Although simple they do need adjusting and calibrating to get aesthetic results but every single drawing is different which is part of the charm."
Are there any parts or results from working with the elements that have surprised you?
M: "Every time I lift the lid on my Storm Barrel it is a surprise as I have not idea how the drawing will turn out which is part of the charm but also frustration sometimes. The wind creates such beautiful marks. I have tried to emulate them but it is impossible. My hand is too conscious, it lacks freedom."