Inspired by elements of geopoetics – space, light, energy – and a commitment to the North, based here in the Scottish Highlands, Northlight is the name I use to communicate my work, services and creative practice:
research & writing
talks & lectures
hosting & chairing
creative production & events
fieldwork & community engagement
If you are interested in working with me or would like to discuss ideas for collaborations, projects or events, please contact me.
I have been an independent creative freelancer for five years, working in Edinburgh before moving to Inverness in 2017. I launched Northlight to encompass my work in 2019.
I have over ten years’ experience teaching, lecturing and tutoring in both academic and non-formal contexts, including The University of Edinburgh, Newbattle Abbey College and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. I have worked for cultural organisations - most recently as a national coordinator for Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS). I am co-director of Local Voices, an ethnological community enterprise; a director of The Shieling Project, a social enterprise leading in heritage and sustainability education bringing the ‘folk school’ approach from Scandinavia to the Scottish Highlands; and assistant director for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics. I am also involved in voluntary cultural and community activism (see bio & cv).
My training in ethnology very much informs my work and creative practice. Ethnology is about understanding the relationship between people and place and how we make sense of the past in the present. A creative ethnology as an engaged praxis looks towards the future, communicating ideas and turning them into action (read more about ethnology here and reflections on my creative practice here).
My interests include Scottish cultural politics, the aesthetics and poetics of traditional arts (music, song & storytelling), intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and working creatively with archives, creative activism, visual culture in Scotland, the work and life of Patrick Geddes, ecological thought, geopoetics, Learning for Sustainability (LfS), land reform, alternative economies and hopeful futures.