Running wild

We were delighted to have around 90 pupils from Dounby Primary School visit the Gunnie Moberg exhibition at Orkney Museum today. The pupils themselves weren’t running wild but hopefully their imaginations were when storyteller Tom Muir, exhibitions officer at the museum, told the pupils about the stories behind the photographs. Like the beautiful Treduana of St Tredwell’s Loch in Papay, she was a real sight for sore eyes. The pupils had their own interpretations of Gunnie’s photographs: Knap o Howar in Papay, known to us as the oldest standing dwelling in Northern Europe, is a pair of giant’s shoes; and the Old Beacon at North Ronaldsay a giant baby bottle.
Black and white aerial photograph of the Knap of Howar, Papa Westray. The images shows the dwellings on the right with the coastline cutting the image in two.

A ball topped stone tower stands in the centre right of this image, around the foot of the tower stone walls spread out like roots. Sea and shore encircle this old lighthouse.

There was a giant though who roamed through the story in Gunnie’s aerial photograph of Cubbie Roo’s Castle in Wyre.
This black and white aerial photograph of the remaining ground floor of a former stronghold, shows the surrounding ditch encircling the curved walls and a dominant black square of a cellar and well central to the site. From above the archaeological site is a sketch in stone.

We asked the Primary 6 group to tell us their favourite photograph in the whole show. Three pupils – Isla, Ava & Kevin- chose the image at the top of the page of ponies in Shetland running wild. William chose the Brough of Birsay.
Outlines of stone buildings, walls overlapping, looking like a stone version of an architect's blueprint.

Daisy chose St Magnus Kirk in Egilsay.
St Magnus Kirk on Egilsay photographed from the sky, a long shadow of the turret cuts across the kite shape creaed by the stone wall.

Lewis’ favourite was the Flotta Flare.
A smoke filled image with a blaze of flame, red and hot against the grey-white smoke, and in the distance the talk firey tip of the Flotta Flare.

Charlie liked St Tredwell’s best.
A loose circle of stone marks the outer edge of penisula, another stone circle inside the first, like multiplying cells.

Ethan chose the Churchill Barrier photograph.
A road shored up with concrete blocks cuts diagonally across the frame, either side is a dark tone of sea. On this causeway a trck appears in the bottom left of the frame. The most noticeable part of the trcuk is the circles of the wheels, their roundness contrasting with the sharp edges of the blocks. The dark shadowy sides of the blocks meet bright sunlit sides, their strong shapes set against the soft texture of a dark sea.

Six pupils – Robbie, Archie, Ross H, Keighley, Emma and Ross D, picked the Midnight Cow.
In a misty field, the heat of the earth meeting the cool night air, stands a cow the last of the light giving her a glowing outline. Buttercups in the field and a tether on her.

But the overall favourite by far was the Sheep fort (now washed away) at Ruskholm off Westray. This was the favourite photograph chosen by ten pupils – Neela, Alfie, Hayden, Caroline, Joseph, Christopher, Eilidh, Charlotte, Millie and Ryan.
In a stone built circle sheep, stranded but safe, are held above the incoming tide.

The exhibition closes on Saturday 31st January and there will be a guided tour of the show that day at 2pm.

Thank you to Dounby School for coming along, P6 we enjoyed the afternoon with you.

And thanks too to P1 and P2 who visited us in the morning.

3 thoughts on “Running wild

  1. Thank you Rebecca and Tom for supporting our visits to the Gunnie Moberg Archive, the children and staff really enjoyed the photographs and your commentaries on them. Very worthwhile educational excursions for our pupils.

  2. Thank you Rebecca and Tom for telling us about Gunnie Moberg’s work. We really enjoyed our afternoon and will encourage our families to come to visit the exhibition. P6 Dounby Community School

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