In 2016 we decided to try to live a different kind of life; simpler, more sustainable and more creative. We both worked in stressful jobs (Chris as social worker/manager of mental health services, Michaela as a community worker) and we had the usual financial pressures, but a window of opportunity opened up and it felt like now or never. That was the beginning of seatree.
Seatree is an on-going experiment into living creatively. We make things from clay; pots, pictures, sculptures. Much of our work uses original poetry. Michaela does most of the pottery and Chris writes the poetry and works with wood.
Alongside all this we keep chickens and grow as much food as we can. The land our house is built on runs down into an area of ancient woodland and we are fascinated by permacuture and food-forest gardening.
Inspiration for what we make is never far away. We are based on the Cowal peninsula (if you have never been, why ever not?) We are blessed with wild seascapes, mountains, forests and beautiful empty beaches. For us, art is essentially a process of engagement with spirituality (by which we mean the undefinable beautiful beyond) and this area has a rich heritage of others making their own spiritual journeys.
In November 2016, we moved to a new location and established our new workshops- Come and see us if you are passing. We also run classes and workshops for those who want to get their hands on some clay. (Please contact us if you are interested.)
Chris is a long time blogger, writing around themes of spirituality, poetry, theology, ecology, politics and all sorts of other ways to get out of doing actual work. His blog is here. You can find out more about Chris’s writing (with links to books) via our poetry page.
Seatree completed our first solo exhibition (entitled ‘Where the Streams Come from’) in March 2018, which was at the beautiful Tighnabruiach Gallery. We wrote a blog describing the creative journey here. Since then we have participated in a number of other exhibitions and work with galleries up and down the country.
Because we are Scottish (by adoption at very least!) we don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but, if you are interested here are some kind words that other people say about us.
By the way, the name seatree comes from a poem that Chris wrote a few years ago. Here it is;
High on the shore line
Above the storm berm
The winter sea gave out a pilgrim trunk
It was thrown up the beach
Like you or I might flick a pebble
The corpse of the old tree
Has been gnarled and shaped
By encounters with deep reefs
Where it rolled and shoaled with the fish
And bore the barnacles and wracks
Of the deep blue sea
Now it lies here
Like bone of leviathan
It has taken on the colours of the deep-
Red like the eye of a shark
Grey like the dripping tail of a whale
All faded a little by the blown sand
But jewelled instead by salt crystals
Drawn out in the low sun
Who knows where its roots are
Or what of its seed