Coastal residents asked to donate ‘eye-catching’ items found on shoreline

Douglas Barrie, PA Scotland
·2 min read

People living near the Scottish coast are being invited to contribute items from the shoreline to a new exhibition addressing environmental concerns.

Curators hope people living in vulnerable areas such as the Hebrides, the Northern Isles and the firths of Forth and Clyde will donate “eye-catching” items to A People’s Archive Of Sinking And Melting.

The archive, begun by American artist Amy Balkin in 2011, will form part of an exhibition called The Normal – opening at the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery on May 18.

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Among the items already sent in is a section of fired clay brick retrieved by Moray Heggie-Milne from the beach at Whitehills, Banffshire.

It was made at nearby Blackpots Tileworks, which was demolished in 1978 and is now the site of a caravan park.

Christina Riley, from Troon in South Ayrshire, sent a beige pebble – possibly sandstone – with a layer of white quartz running through it, which was found close to her home where she is concerned about the increased likelihood of coastal flooding.

Mike and Bernie Bell, who live in Rendall on Orkney, have donated tags from fish and lobster traps that made their way from Newfoundland in Canada to their nearby Bay of Hinderayre.

Bay of Hinderayre
Canadian fishing tags were found on the Bay of Hinderayre between 2007 and 2020 (Mike and Bernie Bell/PA)

People can send the gallery any object found at a “threatened” location – debris, flotsam or jetsam – by April 30, as long as it weighs less than 225g.

Once the exhibition closes on August 29, the items will be forwarded to Ms Balkin who will add them to the archive which now contains items from six continents.

The gallery will continue to collect objects for the archive in the run-up to the Cop26 UN climate conference being held in Glasgow in November.