There is no ‘island experience’. Only life with its
opportunities and challenges due in part to personality,
choice and family upbringing. The context of an island does
however provide abundant and sometimes painful opportunities
for a ‘new islander’ to grow and learn. Heightened by a
remote, interconnected community, huge physical space and
raw beauty forcing new ways of being.
This collection of images, captured mysteriously in small
glass bowls represent the ordinary experiences of 12 years
living on Tiree. Working for a community organisation,
marriage, setting up a creative business, being a step-mum,
having cancer, learning new skills and navigating
friendships. Other images respond to frequently asked
questions from visitors to the island who meet Frances to
buy her glass and create her living.
The island is a fertile but fragile environment for a
creative soul and is a good place to make a living. Small
numbers of like- minded souls and opportunities for
inspiration from peers and can be a challenge to counter
this. There is a labour shortage, with the community
requiring most of the services that are available on the
mainland, and the number of visitors increasingly
outstripping the resident population, with new expectations,
and a lengthening tourist season.
Tiree Glass is a small island business run by Frances
Woodhead. I aim to create a welcoming and inspiring
destination for visitors to Tiree and to create beautiful
things that people value using 100% recycled materials.
Tiree Glass combines my work experience in environmental
management with my passion for glass. I combine bottle glass
with float glass to create both playful and functional items
within a familiar natural palette. Using recycled glass
provides technical limitations that help to shape and
inspire the work. Other influences are the natural world and
time spent living in the pacific.