Little Mussels in the Water

Mussels and Water

Today, the exhibition I have been involved in curating, has been launched at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Wynd, Inverness IV2 3EB.

 

Transitions – The Journey: A celebration of Highland Travelling

2 July – 22 August , Community Gallery and Room to Discover

 

This exhibition, created in partnership between Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, HUG (Action on Mental Health) and Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, celebrates and reflects on the culture of Highland Travelling People.  Showing and inspired by objects from Inverness and Highland Folk Museum and images from the Highland Photographic Archive, this exhibition includes new art works and creative writing, a specially commissioned film and sound recordings.  The Community Curators have worked with the team at Inverness

Museum and Highland Travellers Essie Stewart and Alec Williamson to research, interpret and share the gifts of Traveller musical and craft making traditions.  The new works have been created with the support of the Highlands own poet John Glenday and artist Eleanor White.  Part of this exhibition is showing in Room to Discover, which is sometimes used for other events and activities.  If you are making a special visit to see the exhibition, please call 01463 237114 to check accessibility and to avoid disappointment.

I helped in the curation of the Pearl fishers’ tin and mussel shell.  I wrote a song in honour of the travellers in Scotland, Pearl Fishers’.

 

The Pearl Fishers

Jane Wallman-Girdlestone

 

Little mussels in the water,

Where’re you hiding your treasure trove?

Shell fishes in the river,

Take some sand and make it grow.

 

Pearl fishers search the river,

Take your can and catch the light,

Swirl the water, lift the mussel,

Holding onto his secret tight.

 

Crack him open, splinter shell edge,

Tickle his flesh, expose his prize,

Find a pearl and kiss the shell’s heart,

We will drink and dance ’til light.

 

Little mussels in the water,

Where’re you hiding your treasure trove?

Shell fishes in the river,

Take some sand and make it grow.

 

Pretty lady, something special,

Catch the brightness in your eyes,

Made by a handsome traveller,

Pretty pearl ring at a price.

 

On your dainty little finger,

Saved from working on the land,

It will show you are a woman,

Of taste, in high demand.

 

Little mussels in the water,

Where’re you hiding your treasure trove?

Shell fishes in the river,

Take some sand and make it grow.

 

Traveller, fish for pearly good luck,

Tinker, dream of finding gold,

Traveller, work your tin and forage,

Make the earth delight and grow.

 

Tinker, bargain for a good price,

Traveller, make your pot and spoon,

Tinker, sell a horse and trinket,

Tell your stories passing through.

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