For The Journey & Return: The Orkney Boat

Artist and stone make a 1,300 mile journey, by sea and on foot

Orkney- Bergen- Oslo- Trondheim- Orkney


I will walk with a newly carved stone, inspired by the ancient footprint stones that were historically used for human expressions of strength and security. Just as people and cultures have always been on the move, where possible with objects that anchor and stabilise them, so I will walk with The Orkney Boat, many hundreds of miles across Orkney and Norway. At a time of so much mass and forced migration in the world, carrying a partof a beloved landscape or homeland takes on an additional and important resonance. As I make my journey, I will invite those I meet to stand in the stone, draw strength from their connection with it and add to its on-going story.

The journey begins and ends in Orkney, home to the best known of all the footprint stones – St Magnus’ Boat.

All who encounter it are invited to stand in The Orkney Boat. The Orkney Boat is a ripple-marked Devonian siltstone (390 million years old) from Marwick Bay, shaped to resemble an Orkney yole, into which I have carved two footprints. It is approximately 900 X 600 mm and weighs 35 kilos.

It is from its journey and its encounters with people that the stone will accumulate its narrative. There are many ways to be part of The Orkney Boat story.

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