Knotted-Wrack Seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum), Hemp cord, Steel
65 x 8 x 5 cm
Feannagan is a long-standing practice of crofters on the Western Isles where seaweed, including Knotted-wrack is used to fortify the land. The practice involves the layering of seaweed and turf into long narrow beds. In the damp of the turf, seaweed rots and transports its rich nutrients of the sea to the hill-side land for growth of potatoes.
Seaweed flung ashore by storms and the tides are collected for Feannagan. In anticipation of spring planting, February’s spring tides bring the largest quantities ashore. Neckpiece – Feannagan – admires this use of organic available resource, following the crofters to the February strandline where Knotted-wrack bladders are frugally gathered, to be carefully crafted into jewels. Accompanying Knotted-wrack on the body are long narrow strands of patinaed brass. This rich colour and pattern is achieved when brass is sealed in a glass jar with Knotted-wrack dampened in soy sauce.The patina achieved invokes patterns of sprawled Paint Weed (Lithophyllum incrustans): a species that adorns intertidal rocks across coastal Scotland. The brass takes the fragmented form of Coral-weed (Corallina officinalis) – a salient species that suffers the effects of less conscientious human practices. Rising sea levels cause ocean acidification, breaking down Coral-weed’s chalky calcium carbonate skeleton.