Approaching Slains Castle
Approaching Slains Castle is a multi-part project incorporating imagery of Slains Castle, located in the northeast of Scotland. I first visited Slains Castle in 1984 with my husband, his parents, who lived nearby, and our twin babies. Images from that first visit became the basis for the artist’s book Letters, which I began in 1985, whose text is from Rumi’s Masnavi, translated by Zahra Partovi and published by Vincent FitzGerald & Co. in 1986. In 2006 I returned to the images of Slains Castle in a series of drawings; then in 2008 continued with an altered book project, Dracula - local lore tells that Bram Stoker was inspired by Slains Castle when he visited nearby Cruden Bay.
In 2010 my husband and I returned to Scotland and revisited the site. His parents have passed away and the babies are grown up. We could no longer drive up the rutted dirt road to just outside the castle, but had to walk a long distance from a car park. Walking as an activity and as a theme has long interested me, and as I become older I am more aware of each step.
Approaching Slains Castle, though it expresses many levels of meaning and emotion, is also about the physical act of approaching on foot and moving through the space of the ruined structure.
The Approaching Slains Castle series is funded, in part by a grant from Hatchfund (formerly USAProjects).