Artist of the Week - Ewan Macpherson

Sunday 22 July 2018

Related artist: Ewan Macpherson

It’s been a really enjoyable, surprising and enlightening experience working on the Modern Fairies Project.

I was delighted when Andy Bell asked me to be involved, after he had given me a rough overview of the project I was a little unsure as to the outcomes, but it all seemed really interesting to me.

I was brought up in a remote part of North Wales and spent a lot of time in my formative years running around the woods and hillsides, I could loosely describe myself as a lover of wild and magical things / places.

Either way I enjoy a good story, although I never liked the ‘Fantasy’ moniker, writers such as Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Tolkien are a good way to escape the hum drum sometimes, there is a relevant need for some good escapism for me, especially if it has a touch of comedy and a healthy dose of cynicism! Recently I have been drawn to a good ballad, I think song is a great medium to tell a story and it’s an amazing thing listening to a good singer living out a song / story. Not to mention a good story teller letting loose..

After two days in Oxford talking about Fairies (and discovering a fascinating world of stories plus unexpected ideas relating to them) and how to present them to todays audiences things are slightly less blurry, albeit the boundaries still seem enjoyably wide open, so our minds can still come up with some exciting, whacky ideas for presentation and content.

It was particularly inspiring to be around all the interesting people who were there and all the intense conversations, verbally and musically, we had in seemingly quite a short time.

I felt there were quite a few like-minded people in the room and because of the open and friendly atmosphere created by Fay and her team it felt OK to talk openly about things that perhaps might be laughed at, or looked upon by today’s “enlightened” society as rubbish… old wives tales.. whatever. Funnily enough on this topic it was great to find a story about the township of Tomatin (just up the road from where I live in Carrbridge) where until around a hundred years ago it was almost exactly the opposite, you were looked upon as foolish if you didn’t believe in Fairies!

A few highlights for me:

  • En-route down to Oxford I plucked up the courage to start a conversation with an old lady sitting opposite me on the train about her thoughts on fairies and how her mind ran with the topic and she started giving me lots of thoughts and ideas.

  • Sitting with Marry, Barney and Ben working on one of Marry’s songs inspired by a fisherman who spent a night dancing with the fairies and in turn inspiring Terri and Jackie.

  • The plethora of really interesting conversations and discussions, realising Fairies can also represent the loss of our connection to the natural world and being excited by the possibilities this connection allows within the project.

  • Hanging around in Oxford University quads and pubs getting to know this group of lovely people and getting excited about delving deeper into the ideas we have started working on, everyone has something unique to bring to the table, I think we have only scratched the surface and once things have been bubbling away for a couple of months the next meeting could be very productive!

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