Friday, June 23, 2017

The Herring Girl

It was raining, my knees had had enough, and I was making my way to the car when a woman caught my eye.  Such a beauty - I had to have a closer look.
We were in Stornoway - our first visit and a fleeting one.  I had noticed a few sculptures around, but it was a sheer delight to encounter this one.  The plaque said that she is a Herring Girl, by Charles Engerbresten and Virginia Hutchison.   I just love the attention to exquisite detail, the basket, the knitwear, the fish.  The makers worked with local craftspeople to recreate them, and the sculpture was cast from life. 

(After we had left the town I discovered that there is another Herring Girl in another car park - something to look forward to seeing on our next visit.)  The herring industry was an important one for Scotland and the women played a vital part.  I had heard of them previously in connection with the North East coast of Scotland, but had never seen any commemoration as beautiful as this. 
In beginning research for the links here I found the ceramic work of Katie Scarlett Howard.
Her researches, and her work, with the impact which the sculpture in Stornoway made on me, have inspired me.


  1. She is very beautiful indeed, and the historical element makes her very special.

    Isn't it always the way though, when you're exhausted, on your knees so to speak, and you encounter something beautiful that needs your attention when all you want is to sit down? Worth it though.

    1. The quality of this work is outstanding, and coming across it in such circumstances was somehow even better. It gave me a joyous second wind.