Weaving memories of Doric dialect
Published on 27 May 2021
A celebration of the talents and stories of people in the north-east of Scotland is the focus of one of hundreds of exhibits in the upcoming University of Dundee’s Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2021
A celebration of the talents and stories of people in the north-east of Scotland is the focus of one of hundreds of exhibits in the upcoming University of Dundee’s Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2021.
As part of the final year of her Art & Philosophy degree, Kate Wilson (21) has been exploring the cultural heritage of Aberdeenshire. At the heart of her project is the Doric dialect, a branch of Scots language as spoken in the North-East of the country.
Kate, who is originally from the tiny village of Sauchen, decided to pay homage to the dialect and the people who speak it within her art. Her project ‘Wyvin Wyes’ (Weaving Ways for the non-Doric speakers) incorporates crafts such as knitting, crochet, weaving and embroidery from amateur crafters who are from, or based in, Aberdeenshire.
She has woven the pieces into a large cylindrical loom that emits a body of audio gathered from Doric speakers, which includes a series of poems from the well-known poet and advocate of the Doric language, Sheena Blackhall.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the public cannot visit the installation in-person. However, Kate’s work will be celebrated in the upcoming Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Graduate Showcase 2021.
“Doric heritage has been the basis running through my four years at DJCAD and I wanted it to be the theme of my final degree piece,” said Kate.
“I spent a semester abroad in Canada and when I was over there, I suddenly became conscious that I had an accent different to those around me. I became really interested in my identity as a Scottish person and the idea of having a mother tongue, and carried that interest back home with me.”
Doric is widely used within Aberdeenshire but was relatively unheard-of outside the county until recent years. It was brought to global audiences in 2012 with Pixar’s animated movie Brave, sparking a new interest in the dialect.
By tying the audio in with the woven craft pieces, Kate aims to immerse people in the Doric culture.
“Now that Doric is something that's being celebrated again, I wanted to be a part of promoting our heritage.
“Heritage is also a huge part of crafting, whether you learn your craft sitting on your mam’s knee or are self-taught, the skills have been passed on from somewhere, just like the dialect.
“When you weave or knit something, you’re telling a story. Each craft piece in the installation tells a story about the people who made it, and together with the audio, it is a celebration of the people who speak the language and the traditions that they've grown up with.”
The launch of the Graduate Showcase will be broadcast live online on Friday 11 June to students, staff, families, friends and other visitors.
It celebrates the extensive achievements of the graduating students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and the department of Architecture within the School of Social Sciences.
The work on display will represent the culmination of years of creative development and hard work, with the website featuring expanded information on all students, including extra images and video content.
The Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2021 is available to view from June 11 at www.dundee.ac.uk/graduate-showcase.
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