Friday, 19 July 2013

The Farnes Flock.

So this summer I had an AMAZING opportunity to volunteer and help the illustrator Kate Slater with her exhibition on the Farne Islands.

The Farne Islands are just off the coast of Northumbria and are a safe haven for many birds such as Puffins, Arctic Turns and Shags. It is part of the National Trust and Kate's exhibition is the first ever to be held there in its 16th century chapel.

I had come across Kate's work previously through the Internet and my local print shop in Liverpool (Nook and Cranny), so as you do I followed her on twitter and followed her blog. At about the beginning of May Kate was asking for volunteers to come and help her cut out some birds for this exhibition. I jumped at the chance and replied straight away, Kate emailed me and we got discussing about what was happening.

At the end of May/ Beginning of June I travelled to Kate's Family farm which was adorable with sheep with lambs right outside the house and chickens wondering freely. I was greeted so warmly by both Kate and her family who offered me tea and biscuits after an hours drive. The job was to help but out about 600 birds from fomex, which isn't foamy at all. As we got to work I realised how large of a task it was, however the end result was going to look amazing whatever happened. I was the only volunteer able to come to Kate's farm house as I was completely free with nothing to do. Although on two of the days we went to Sudbury Hall, which was beautiful. There in the back rooms of the house where meetings were usually held a load of volunteers packed in helping to cut out these birds! How wonderful!

Kate's birds are now finished and finally hanging inside the chapel on the island. In the end about 300 went up, suspended in the air as if flying inside. Unfortunately i was unable to visit the Farnes when the exhibition opened but i shall be planning to be going soon! I have since kept in contact with Kate who was recently on Blue Peter! and got a badge... SO JEALOUS!

 I will never forget all the kindness Kate and her family showed me and how they looked after me while I worked. I had such a great time helping out and wish Kate all the best in the future!

If you would like to see the Farnes Flock being put up inside the chapel here is a time lapse video of it all happening! 

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