Leo du Feu is one of 6 artists and photographers staying in the Lowlight at the moment. He wrote this blog post shortly before it turned dark, blew a bit and rained for day. We will be inviting him back next time we have a water shortage.
“I’m almost starting to think that the Isle of May doesn’t have storms. Everyone seems to say it does but this is day four of visit two and I still haven’t seen one.
My first visit was last year with the same group of people and only a week later than this. We had lots of sun. So far this time we’ve had a lot of brightly cloudy and the rest of the time brightly sunny, the most fantastic golden-glow sunset over the north foghorn on our first evening.
I’m an artist and for me bright isn’t very good – paper becomes a glaring white and paint colours difficult to accurately see. Headaches result if I don’t sit in shadow or use an umbrella as a parasol. None of that is complaint though, the Isle of May is absolutely one of the best places to be. Everywhere you’re surrounded by birdlife, at this time of year a lot of it on eggs or caring for young. You can sit on the cliffs only metres from puffins, razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes. You can sit in the new visitor centre only metres from terns (mostly Arctic but look out for a roseate, yesterday I saw my first ever). You could if you wanted sit quiet and still only a metre from an incubating eider and she wouldn’t move an inch.
The stressful part of all this is deciding what to work from, there’s such a huge amount of choice. I’ve been working on landscapes and bird studies and bird studies in landscapes. In between which I go round the ringing traps with Keith, exploit the knowledge and experience of any scientists and staff that I encounter, compare notes with the rest of our nice group of six (all artists and photographers), and watch lots and lots of birds. Here are a few of the works I’ve made so far, some probably finished, some not probably not.”
Leo’s contact details and website are: