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An Tobar (The Well)

17 Nov 2018

An Tobar (The Well)

A work in stained glass by Erlend Tait, commissioned by Comar in 2018

Based on the Black Isle, Erlend Tait works in various media including stained glass. His imagery draws on the history and mythology of his Scottish and Orcadian heritage and on the landscapes of Scotland.

Erlend's thoughts about the work:
My starting point was to use colours inspired by Mull’s land, sea and sky; yellows and browns of rocks and sand; blues and turquoise of the sky and sea; and rusty ochres of the hillsides.
From my research Mull is an important place for lichens and mosses. The pattern in the left figure is based on Lobaria Amplissima, a lichen/liverwort/lung moss. The shape of the window reminds me of a moth and I believe the Slender Scotch Burnet is unique to the area (specifically Mull, Ulva and Gometra). The pattern on the figure on the right is based on this. It’s a brighter stylised version or reference rather than an anatomically correct one.
The background patterns refer to clouds as well as the geological layers seen along the coastline, some of the glass I’ve used is streaky which compliments this. The first time I visited Mull (1994 I think), I sent Pamela a postcard of the fossil tree cliff, although I’m too scared of heights to go and see it!
The figures are a continuation of my work in our Tales of the North exhibition and An Tobar is such an important place for the community that I wanted to include images of people.
Following the tradition of placing protective objects above the door, the figures keep a protective eye over the entrance and visitors.

Erlend Tait 2018