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A SEASONAL WAY: Winter, Fire and Frost

It isn’t the weather that I find difficult in the Scottish winter, but the dark.

The weather indeed is often wonderful - as I write this it is a clear, crisp, bright blue day, ice has given the puddles scalloped rims, you can taste the freshness as you breathe.

But the dark, the drawing in of the days edges, is relentless.

I left my first proper job because of the dark. I was an art gallery curator, specialising in women printmakers, and I worked in a basement office, down beneath the University Gallery. It was a place of deep, unalloyed ugliness. Ceiling tiles stained at the seams, long yellowed fluorescent lights flickering imperceptibly. There was no natural light, no fresh air, just tall, slowly rolling stacks of print storage, the drone of the air conditioner.

From October to March I would walk to and from work in the dark. Street lights and greasy puddles. I was young and keen and anxious not to be passed over so lunchtimes were spent at my desk or in the University canteen ‘networking’. I began to fragment.

At the end of the seventh spring I left that job. If felt like a surfacing, I had only one goal - to be outside. I retrained in horticulture. The rest is history.

This course is a celebration of the time between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. A time that may see the worst weather of the year but where the darkness begins to withdraw, a few minutes at a time and where everywhere there are signs of Spring.

It is a time when I can relax into the joys of the dark, the fire and the frost, confident that long and lazy days are on their way.

This course is a core part of The Studio Club with monthly activities to take you through the winter.  These include botanical dyeing, night time photography, growing indoor bulbs, making tea lights and others.

The course is free to all members of The Studio Club and £87 for non members.

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