Sandy Wilkie

Mid-Argyll was the place my ancestors walked through, migrating from Loch Awe to Kintyre in the 18th Century. From sheep farming to surface coal-mining.

The Great Moss has 5,000 years of history in the layers of peat. The River Add trickles around its edge, the Crinan Canal creates a southern boundary.

The Moine Mhòr. 

It’s a place of wildflowers, dragonflies, birds and sheep. A place where the wind paints patterns on the marsh reeds, where the late afternoon sun picks out the moss hummocks.

I walked across 
the Moss, Spring 2011.

This place has a spiritual heart that beats from post-glacial history and early settlement. It offers light, shade and the smell of the sea on the breeze.

A landscape in black & white,
a phalanx of sheep by the road.

My heart beats in resonance. I hear whispered words in the landscape.

They watch me in the cold air.

Creative journey

Around 15 years ago I did some family research to explore the connection from my mother’s family (McArthurs); it turned out they were surface coal miners down near Campbeltown in the 1780s, but before that sheep farmers up near Loch Awe.

In 2011, I spent a day of walking, writing and photography around the Moine Mhor in Mid Argyll. It is a magical landscape. Kilmartin Glen is rich with Neolithic and Bronze Age remains such as Temple Wood.

It’s a location I don’t come from, but belong to. It’s a landscape my ancestors walked through.

Moine Mhor: a genetic memory.

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