During my residency on the Isle of Iona, I began the daily practice of collecting a stone and recreating it in a watercoloured drawing. Each drawing is labeled in Gaelic with the approximate location of where the stone was found.
I am so fascinated with these stones because, for the most part, I find them in the liminal and ever shifting shoreline. As the waterline moves the types of stones change as well. I noticed after large upheavals of the sea, the stones I found seemed to have attachments, creatures and symbiotic relationships with aquatic plant life.
I remember the very first stone I picked up, it reminded me of an Oreo cookie, although not quite as edible. I picked up many stones during that first walk along the beach, but it was this stone which really called out to be held.
On the second day, the stone I chose was almost like an ancient handle of a tool. I walked the full-length of the beach with it comfortably gripped in my right hand. I remember quite distinctly where I collected each of the stones, why I was drawn to them. Sometimes what makes them special comes out in the drawing and less in the picking. Everyone seems to be drawn to a different stone and I wonder what draws people to an individual stone’s aesthetic, I could never pick a favourite.