Orkney Futures: A Handbook is a collaboration between myself and Alistair Peebles of Brae Editions, Orkney. It was inspired by our shared interest in the relationship between the Orkney landscape and its possible futures.
The handbook contains 49 imagined futures for the Orkney islands, Scotland, written by contributors worldwide, from poets such as the late Seamus Heaney and Alec Finlay, to islanders and academics, from Doreen Massey to Tim Ingold.
Publication was supported by HI~Arts, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and the Scottish Arts Council. The book is published by Brae Editions, Orkney, in a limited edition of 1000. Price £7.50. Copies can be purchased from Brae Editions, the publisher.
Introduction by Alistair Pebbles and Laura Watts
The idea for this collection began with our shared interest in the futures that may exist for Orkney, and especially the ways in which the islands’ imagined futures relate to the character of the landscape.
For all their relative stability in appearance and culture, the islands and their landscapes – our views of them and from them – are always evolving. They shift for us as we live in them, and as they allow us to create new possibilities. These possibilities are always of the here and now, but they originate in geology and weather, and in the stories, memories and journeys that millennia of dwelling have created.
Encouraged by the number of responses we received over the past few weeks, and regretful only that we have no room for more, we are delighted to have been able to take this idea into print. We present this gathering of views as an opening into the living landscape of Orkney, and towards its new horizons.
The opportunity to publish this handbook arose from our individual interests. Relocating Innovation, at Lancaster University, is a project concerned with the ways in which place and landscape affect how the future is imagined and made, comparing Orkney, Silicon Valley, and Budapest. Brae Projects is a work in progress. As a development from Porteous Brae Gallery in Stromness, one of its main initiatives currently is in the present imprint, Brae Editions.