Ackroyd, Norman (10 of 24).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2009-05-25, 2009-06-15, 2009-08-10, 2009-09-14, 2009-12-14, 2010-01-11, 2010-02-08, 2011-05-09, 2011-05-16, 2011-05-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Ackroyd, Norman, 1938- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 10: [57:32] Recent week spent drawing on St Kilda. [2:48] Focus of current work, new mural in Cambridge, Sainsbury Laboratory for Plant Research, images of Galapagos Islands. [3:30] 17 – 21 August 2009, St Kilda visit, details; comparison visit to Galapagos. Only previous visit to St Kilda 1989, reason for return; intends visit 2010. [phone] Boat rides to and from St Kilda 2009, 1989. Department of Genetics, Edinburgh University investigating St Kilda Soay sheep. Army presence on St Kilda. Atlantic ocean. Subsistence on St Kilda. [21:00] Circumnavigating St Kilda; west coast; Island of Soay; early Christian settlements; prehistoric settlements; no St Kilda human population now. East coast, St Kilda; birds; Boreray Island; Galapagos birds. Democratic population in history of St Kilda; Thomas Moore’s Utopia; puffins crucial part of diet; traded tweed and feathers for flour. Further details St Kildans way of life; bird life of island; NA’s deeper understanding of St Kilda due to second visit. NA and vertigo; looking over cliff edges; birds, St Kilda, Galapagos, sea lions, white sharks. [42:37] Degree to which understanding culture of St Kilda seeps into NA’s drawings. Details days of 2009 St Kilda trip. [48:07] Had watercolours, two drawing books, almost filled. Pattern of day, would go out, start two drawings of same thing; would work on the drawings inside. Details what NA painting and drawing. Cambridge project prevents NA going back to St Kilda images, has learnt how to handle this; role of drawing books in keeping atmosphere available. Use of camera on St Kilda. Solitude on St Kilda; book, OUP Twenty Years Agrowing by Maurice O’Sullivan. Contact with warden, Edinburgh academics on St Kilda; NA’s postcard. Soay sheep. Army presence, early radar tracking station. Safety. Caledonian Canal.

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