Unit two

Unit two

Professor Neil Gillespie’s unit has always been interested in understanding a place and its people before an intervention is made.

This of course means an understanding of longitude, latitude, height above sea level and so on, but also important to understand a place in ways that are not so easy to measure. In the past this has seen the unit working with ideas from the Situationists, academics like Peter Davidson and his book ‘The Idea of North’ and naturalists like Richard Mabey and his book ‘The Unofficial Countryside’, all of which invited students to look at their surroundings in different ways.

The global pandemic has limited our ability to physically visit Orkney, a place the unit has been exploring through the work of successive masters students. While the previous years ‘measured’ work has laid the groundwork for new explorations in stage five, the primary focus has moved to an imaginative exploration of the Islands as a mythical place of fertility, a northern land where the Hyperboreans dwell and the goddess Pomona ensures an abundant harvest.