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Letters / Wonderful memories

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for the incredible experience I have had here in Shetland during my Booth art residency in Scalloway.

As my nearly one month stay ends, I cannot help but reflect on the warm welcome and wonderful memories I have made here.

One of the highlights of my trip amongst many more was seeing the beautiful landscape surrounding the Unst spaceport area as it aligned with my curiosity about future communication between satellites and our planet and its potential influence on humanity and future communication developments and impact.

But beyond the breathtaking scenery, it is the people and community of Shetland who have truly made this experience unforgettable.

From Joy Duncan, local drumming teacher who felt like an old friend and arranged for me to sing a few songs at Mareel; Alistair Justice, a composer and musical genius and teacher who took me to Yell and Unst to learn more about Scotland’s emerging space sector; amazing musician Arthur Nicholson for my guitar lesson; Heather Miller at the local shop and Terry at the Cornerstone café for their delicious food, friendly service, and the staff and patrons at Scalloway Hotel who welcomed me with open arms and showed me a good time – every encounter has been filled with kindness and support.

It is these moments that make all the difference in traveling experiences, and I know that I will return to this special place again where I felt nothing but peace and tranquillity.

At the heart of all of my adventures or journeys in the world has been interconnection, communication, human relationships, culture, conflict, conformity, and creativity.

The gathering of stories, the lifelong personal friendships, experiences, and genuine love of learning as how we live, breath and survive certain situations has intrigued me forever. To have sat around so many tables, in so many homes or places in the world has been my biggest education.

What a better way than to translate this using music and art to connect. Arts, music and song were most important for the survival of many in particular conflict situations or as we saw in the last few years and so relevant to everyday life.

Thank you to everyone once again.

Sharon McKay
Artist (winner of the Gordon Smith award for new contemporary art Scotland 2019)
Instagram – mckaysharon27

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