Mother of Pearl
“…to the south, running parallel to the River Don, are the silver waters of the Dee – the witch!”- Stanley Robertson
The River Dee is classed as a conservation area due to the vast wildlife whose ecology depends on it to survive. The Freshwater Pearl Mussel lives on the riverbed of the Dee. It is an extremely sensitive creature but can live up to 120 years old. Due to their beauty, allure and above all commercial value, the mussels have been fished to the point of near extinction all across Scotland. However, since 1998 they have been protected by law and there are numerous conservation efforts to battle the dwindling number of River Mussels in Scotland. As part of my research, I volunteered to do conservation work at River X. To protect the mussels, the identity of this River must remain hidden. The elusive nature of these molluscs and the value of the pearls within them is a vital part of the work.
Mother of Pearl, is a video and installation piece that explores themes of exploitation and urbanisation by re-imagining the life and rituals of a pearl-fisher in the North East of Scotland.
film stills / Mother of Pearl / 2019
Gray's School of Art / Pre-Degree Show / April 2019
Flora, Fauna & Other Forms / Bonnymuir Green / Aberdeen / November 2019