Letters / A beautiful place to live

A recent visit to Da Gadderie left me marvelling at the commanding majesty and breathtaking beauty of one of UK’s national treasures as represented by the artist Chris Rigby.

Yes, this is the place where we have the great fortune to live.

Sometimes we take things for granted and it is left to the talent of people such as Chris Rigby to highlight and remind us of the magnificence of the wilderness that surrounds us here in Shetland.


The paintings are superb, but I’m sure Chris Rigby would be the first to agree that you cannot improve on the real thing. What a tragedy if we are left with just a picture book – no matter how good – to remind us of how Shetland once was.

Mr. Rigby is quoted as saying: “My feelings about wilder places relate to feelings of freedom; it is a world that isn’t trying to sell me something or steal my imagination. It is what it is. It is very much the real world to me.”


What a contrast to the views and philosophy of politicians, businessmen and other soulless creatures who are happy to sell Shetland and our best natural assets down the river for 30 pieces of silver.

The wind is an integral part of our wilderness, not something to be siphoned off to satisfy man’s greed whilst destroying its playground. In nature, the wind and landscape work in harmony. They should be left that way to continue to please as they have done for generations before us.

I do not need to be reminded that decisions have already been made by “men in suits who live in concrete jungles” (Vaila Wishart). It is tempting to say that the damage has been done, but we cannot give up hope. Nature may yet fight back and become itself an insurmountable stumbling block which sends the prospectors scuttling back south with their tails between their legs.

Mike Bennett