In The Open | Katy Ewing & Sheila Mullen
Katy Ewing is an artist and writer based in South-West Scotland. She has had poetry, prose and illustration published in various literary magazines and anthologies including House of Three, Southlight, From Glasgow to Saturn, Gutter and New Writing Scotland and has won university prizes for poetry and prose for several years. In November 2015, she presented a paper: ‘Writing about Corncockle’ at Unexpected Encounters with Deep Time: Enchantment by the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network and in August 2016 presented: ‘The Haunting of Landscape’ at the 2016 ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference. She graduated in 2017 with distinction from the University of Glasgow with an MLitt in Environment, Culture and Communication
Sheila Mullen is a Scottish painter who lives and works in South-West Scotland. She attended the Glasgow School of Art from 1960-64 and has exhibited in Edinburgh at the 369, Bourne Fine Art and Phoenix Galleries, in several London Galleries, as well as Paris, Hong Kong and the Scottish Borders. Her work is in many private collections as well as the Bank of Scotland and Leeds Municipal Collection. Exhibitions of her Border Ballad paintings have been held at Bowhill House, Traquair House, Gala House and the Gracefield Art Centre, amongst many others. She currently paints inspired by Border Ballads, bible stories, myth and Scottish poetry. Photographs of some of her huge body of work can be seen at http://www.sheilamullen.co.uk.
These two pamphlets represent a sample of the ongoing collaboration between mother and daughter, painter Sheila Mullen and writer Katy Ewing. Sheila’s painting has included huge, expressionist landscapes of local place, to depictions of myths, ballads and Scottish poetry. Katy’s writing has encompassed topics of childhood, motherhood, place and memory. In their first collaboration, each responded to the work of the other in their respective medium and developed a poetry reading/art talk for which the pamphlet Some Strong Harsh Magic, was produced. Katy then began creating a profoundly multivalent form of place writing, drawing on ideas from Tim Ingold and David Abram, seeing landscape as an expression of the past and present activities of human and non-human actors – of the world constantly becoming – and as necessarily existing as a complex multiplicity. Their second pamphlet, The Haunted Land, resulted from subsequent visits to and discussions of an ancient local ruined kirkyard.