A collaborative project by artists Janette Kerr and Jo Millett, Confusing Shadow with Substance explores Shetland’s once thriving but now elusive haaf (deep sea) fishing stations of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Together Kerr and Millett navigate the traces – tangible and intangible – of Stenness fishing station in Northmavine, Shetland, where hundreds of men worked and lived in makeshift booths and böds for the summer months, yet little is left for the eye to make out today.
Through the new immersive three screen video and sound installation, they unravel the archipelago’s relationship with the sea and the past, fusing together archival materials and the voices of the people of Shetland, with recordings and film made on the beach and on, and under, the sea.
Visitors will also enjoy the added draw of artworks evoking coastal life in working harbours and fishing villages around Scotland drawn from the Scottish Maritime Museum’s new national art collection on show alongside the installation.
Janette Kerr is a successful painter of Shetland seas shown widely in the UK and abroad and who has worked on residencies in the UK, Norway and, more recently, the High Arctic.
Jo Millett is an experienced moving image and sound artist who has shown widely in the UK and beyond and who also completed a PhD relating to moving image and the sea in 2013.
The seven week run at the Scottish Maritime Museum begins the Confusing Shadow with Substance national tour.
The making of Confusing Shadow with Substance and the national tour have been funded by Creative Scotland.