3 Stone Circles

photographs Gunnie Moberg.
Inverted copy of Gunnie’s Martello Tower image lines up with markings on the plans for the tower held at the archives.

There is a new show of Gunnie Moberg photographs at the Orkney Library and Archive, the latest in our series of micro exhibitions.

3 STONE CIRCLES. Orkney Library & Archive, Kirkwall 1-31 October 2013

The three exhibited photographs show Gunnie Moberg’s attention to the shape of things. In this case her eye turns to stone built structures, two are photographed from a bird’s eye view and one taken straight on. Aerial photography became a signature in Gunnie Moberg’s art and even on the ground she adopted another way of seeing. Her strength is in her ability to strip things down to their essence, here a contemplation on the circle. All three photographs appear in the book Gunnie Moberg made with George Mackay Brown Orkney Pictures & Poems, published in 1996, and two appear in her 1979 book Stone Built.

To compliment the exhibition we have delved in to the Orkney Archive and looked for documents that hold something in common with the photographs. We did this by using search words in the archive catalogue – just as visitors to the archive can do. This way of working could have taken us in many directions with many possibilities for matches between image and text, art and document.

A group of sheep turn in a stone built raised enclosure while the sea lashes the base of the structure, black and white aerial photograph

Sheep Fort, skerry, south of Ruskholm. Built to provide refuge from the high tides for the native sheep who feed on seaweed.  (from Stone Built)

Blaeu’s 1654 map showing Ruskholm (Rostholm) below Faray (Fara) (Orkney Archive D8/G/2 [G1])

Horse Mill, Stromness. Covered circular tramp course, worked by horses harnessed to wooden levers which turned the gears. (from Stone Built)

Letter to William Watt of Skaill from son Robert dated 1800 suggesting a horse mill for the tannery enterprise. (Orkney Archive D3/270)

Martello Tower, Hackness, built early 1800s. One of two built to protect British trading vessels from American naval harrassment. (from Stone Built)

Plans for the Martello Towers (Orkney Archive D112/Y1/17)

Stone Built published by Stromness Books and Prints in 1979 is available in the Orkney Room at Orkney Library & Archive.

One thought on “3 Stone Circles

  1. Pingback: Between | The Gunnie Moberg Archive

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