In collaboration with Lyth Arts Centre in Wick, the MASTS Marine Renewable Energy Forum and POP supported artist Morag Currie through spring and summer 2021 to become the Lyth Arts Environmental Artist in Residence. Using traditional music techniques, Morgan engages public audiences while exploring the topic of marine renewable energy and ‘just transitions’.
Her work titled “Taming Ægir” premiered on the 16th October 2021 at Pulteneytown People’s Project as part of the Lyth Art Centre’ Nothern Lights Festival.
In February 2022, the 11 track album Taming Ægir was released. It can now be streamed on SoundCloud as audio-only album here, it has also been uploaded onto in a YouTube playlist below or access the full video playlist here).
This innovative and experimental collaboration combined culture, community and science, aiming to improve understanding, engagement and conversation around ocean issues and opportunities in local communities. Topics to explore include the coexistence of development and nature, the role of science in our lives and society’s relationship to the ocean and coast.
Morag describing her work:Taming Ægir begins, in times of Norse legend, beneath the Swelkie whirlpool off the island of Stroma. Imprisoned Giant sisters Fenia and Menia begin the cycle of power, grinding all the salt into the sea: as the music fades, the quernstone is replaced by the distant hum of a subsea turbine- the cycle has begun…
Taming Ægir meets those whose lives are shaped by the water: creelman Derek explains that it’s not all about the money; surfer Iona describes the particular qualities of Caithness water, and local teenager Kiera expresses her fears for the future.
We converse with the Selkies and deep dive with the Tysties that inhabit the deep waters of the firth- part of the work of ERI is to closely monitor the potential impact of subsea turbines upon marine life.
MASTS’ Dr Chris Leakey and ERI’s Magnus Davidson express some cause for optimism – is it possible that we could have both a clean, renewable energy source for the planet and a sustainable, high-skill industry desperately needed by local populations in the Far North?
17 tides of the Pentland Firth bring us to the end of our current voyage, but- like the tides- the music will go on..
For more information see Environment Artist in Residence: Morag Currie – Lyth Arts Centre
Chris Leakey, POP Coordinator said “We are delighted to support this creative exploration and expression of marine and offshore energy and the shift towards ‘net zero’ in tackling the climate crisis. The importance of this transition for people and planet cannot be understated. Science and scientists have an important role and are working closely with government and businesses towards this shared goal. However, it is also essential that communities and society at large come on this journey and help determine its path. This project will explore new ways to start and develop that conversation.”
Press coverage in the John O’Groat Journal and Caithness Courier: WATCH: Morag Currie new environment artist in residency at Lyth Arts Centre (johnogroat-journal.co.uk)