Young artists exhibit work inspired by the wildlife, landscapes and people of RSPB Scotland Mersehead

Jenny Tweedie

Thursday 29 September 2016

Two young artists who spent six weeks living at RSPB Scotland Mersehead, will be showcasing work inspired by their time there at an exhibition this Saturday (October 1).

Catherine Weir and Roseanne Watt were taking part in a programme established by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities where PhD students team up with different organisations to develop new work.

The event will also help to celebrate the return of Mersehead's barnacle geese from their breeding grounds in Svalbard to spend the winter along the Solway coast, a journey of over 3000 miles.

Roseanne is a poet and filmmaker from Shetland with a special interest in cultural history and the stories of individuals. She said: "Mersehead is unlike any reserve I've ever been to - partly due to the fact that it's still a working farm. I found this to be a striking point of inspiration for me, and I became fascinated by how the reserve's human stories interacted and crossed over with those of the animals and landscape, as well as the responsibilities of holding such influence over the natural world.

"Mersehead's farmer, Eric Neilsen, was a true well of knowledge on such matters (having worked on the farm for fifty years!) and was kind enough to share some of his memories with me during my stay.

"During those six weeks I watched him and site warden Rowena ploughing the fields and planting seeds for the benefit of the reserve's wildlife. It was a sight I would often return to when thinking about Mersehead and my residency; furrows like lines of poetry, the choices we have in the kinds of marks we leave behind us."

Roseanne will be showing three films at the exhibition, capturing both the wildlife and the people of Mersehead, and the changes the land has undergone.

The second part of the exhibition will focus on the work of Catherine Weir, a digital artist studying at Glasgow School of Art. Catherine's photographs document her time at Mersehead, and are particularly influenced by light and the changing cycles of the moon through a 'lunation'.

The exhibition 'Lunation' and 'Every Field a Memory' takes place at RSPB Scotland Mersehead on Saturday, October 1. It runs from 4.30pm- 7.30pm and includes a goose walk, talks by the artists, refreshments and a viewing. Tickets cost £10. For more information, and to book, contact 01387 780579 or email

The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Topic: Reserves