Ethical Gift Shop, Duke StPainting
Local painter and musician Rachel Ashton joined us in 2017/18 for Walking without Walls, a digital exchange with May Murad, an artist in Gaza, sharing image and video, paintings, sketches and text of their respective landscapes, culminating in a joint Slow Marathon event both in Huntly and Gaza.
In 2018 we celebrated one hundred years since of the end of WW1, which made us think about other places that were involved in this conflict. The Palestinian territory of Gaza was occupied 1918 by the UK government after the end of WW1, and its history has since been shaped by this event. It is of exact marathon length (26 miles/42k) with walls at each end.
'This painting shows Gaza Port, the boats pretty in the sunshine, a boy swimming in the harbour. The port is the place everyone goes because there are no other nice places to walk which are safe, so it is very busy and noisy. Here I have shown it obscured through a confusion of marks and symbols which is the only way we in Scotland can see Gaza, through the filter of the media and in my case through the eyes of my friend and collaborator, artist, May Murad, shown to me via the videos she sends me digitally. In the bottom left is a transcript of a bit of a digital conversation between us where she tells me about a leaflet that has been dropped by an Israeli war plane, warning her people not to go near the border fence or they will be shot at and includes my hopelessly inadequate response.' (Rachel Ashton)