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Edwyn Collins

Helmsdale resident and Scottish musician, Edwyn Collins, presents two of his colourful drawings of birds exploring a local and personal relationship between human beings and “more-than-human” beings. While his interest in ornithology and art has always been present, he initially approached drawing birds as a therapeutic exercise to recover after two cerebral haemorrhages and aphasia. In an interview, the artist said: “Drawing was the first skill to come back to me after my brain haemorrhage. In fact, I believe that my real recovery began with my first bird drawing.”

In the initial installation Edwyn presents Brambling(2024), a colourful drawing of a brambling, a Scotland winter visitor coming from Russia and Scandinavia to avoid harsh winters. Typically departing by April for breeding grounds, they often migrate in flocks alongside their closely related species, the chaffinch.

For the July “swirl”, Edwyn showcases Red Kite (2024), depicting this native scavenger bird. Once on the brink of extinction in Scotland during the 19th century due to human persecution, including activities like sporting estates, taxidermy trade, and egg collecting, the species has made a remarkable comeback. Thanks to a reintroduction programme initiated in 1989, the Red Kite has reclaimed its former habitat, with Sutherland being one of the prime locations to observe these majestic creatures.