Busy, busy being creative..!

Monday 23 January 2017

[UK Islands Project] Off to the Isle of Slingers with ya...

This week I’ll be visiting my first Island as part of my UK Islands Project.

My destination? The Isle of Portland

I am excited

I am a bit nervous

I am nervously excited

Are you the same when you are about to embark on something new?

The Isle of Portland is a 'tied' island. It is connected to the mainland by a thin stretch of beach and since 1839, a road. During fierce weather it can still become completely cut-off. I've chosen this island as my interest was piqued after reading about it in 'England My Adventure' by Ethel Mannin (published 1972). A book I’d picked up at the second-hand emporium Bookbarn as I was intrigued by the title. Well, it had the word Adventure in it...

In addition to the chapter in Mannin’s book, I’ve discovered some interesting facts about the Isle so far:
  1. Thomas Hardy’s book The Well Beloved is set on Portland. Although he calls it the 'Isle of Slingers' (hence the title of this post)
  2. There used to be 100 quarries on Portland, now there are three
  3. Portland stone was loved by sculptors Henry Moore & Barbara Hepworth
  4. A seamonster once washed up on chesil beach. Turned out it was a camel…?!
  5. Marie Stopes – the pioneer of family planning - loved Portland and used to live in the lighthouse. Stopes was also friends with Thomas Hardy (see how I’ve linked that fact with the first one? Nice.)
That’s just a tiny snap shot of what I’ve discovered so far…I haven’t even mentioned the Olympics or Broadchurch yet…..or the fact that Portland stone can be found in buildings as far away as New York - it’s used in the UN building. Or that saying the word ‘Rabbit’ on Portland is considered massively bad luck. There's an Aardman 'Fact or Fiction' with regards to their film The Curse of the Ware-Rabbit and Portland that I'm waiting to hear back on from their head archivist... Will let you know...

Seems that there is a lot for me to explore and discover on The Isle of Portland!

If you’d like to be a part of my UK Islands Project, one way is to sponsor a unique art postcard, or if you’d like to support it/me in some other way – drop me a line!

Question for you: Where is your nearest island? Have you ever been there?

Here’s to Creative Island Adventures!