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Da Lairds Witch

Updated: Sep 27

Kitty was da Lairds Witch. She was his illegitimate daughter. She was his lover's daughter. Kitty and her mother were sent from the sight of the Lairds new wife. She was clever and walked with a limp and once gave three drops of blood to a man to save his dying wife. The man had been her lover. Her blood was given freely. She lived to old age and never married. Her mother gave her the Lairds name 'Bruce.' And he did not contest it. I'd love to know more about her.


"The three drops of blood were freely given..."


Photo below by Daalamist (c) 2021


Wool Week Prize

"Susan Pearson was awarded the Shetland Wool Week Exhibition Prize to highlight her work in knit and concrete sculptures. The SWW committee believe this is a great example of a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Shetland technique.

Susan is studying for a Fine Art Degree at the Shetland College. The idea for the sculptures evolved whilst working on her Spacial Practices module, when she had the opportunity to reconsider the qualities of wool and utilise these qualities as a material to create art.

During her research, Susan was inspired by knitted lace and old photographs in the Museum archives. She wanted to recreate the feeling of the characters and stories she discovered there. Specifically, the Laird’s Witch, Kitty, a true story of an illegitimate child of a Laird of Whalsay. Clever and studious, Kitty made a living practicing witchcraft.

In contrast to the delicate lace, Susan decided to work with concrete. The concrete complemented the structures in and around the Museum; the rock, the slabs, the pedestals. It felt fitting that the concrete reflected the grey of the old photographs studied in the development of the collection.

Central to the work is contradiction; the contrast between the fragile beauty of a knitted hap and the brutal practicality associated with concrete. Susan utilises these associations to hint at the stories of these emotive figures."



Ghostly feel was evident

Got a write up in the Shetland Times for the exhibition, which was lovely. And the comments in the comments book were so interesting to read, thank you to everyone that took the time to come see the exhibition. I'd also like to say thank you to the Whalsay Heritage and Community centre for the help in researching the Lairds Witch.

The whole experience of creating an exhibition was inspiring and such an amazing opportunity. It was a valuable lesson in the creative journey of a work of art: from the initial ideas and thinking of the materials, the stories and the themes I wanted to explore; to experimenting with the materials and developing the sculptures; to the display of the final sculptures in an exhibition.


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