THE FINELLA PRINTS
These two large Wood/linocuts stand almost 2590cm high and 760cm wide, and are now in the permanent Collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery. Two unframed copies of these prints are still available. They depict the story of Finella, a tenth century warrior queen, married to The Maermar of the Mearns. She held lands and strongholds all around the area where I live from Fettercairn down to The Den of Finella by the sea. Areas of land still have her name (eg Strathfinella).
Most of the stories and legends about her were passed down through oral tradition and became mingled with mythology. She has been described as “walking through the tops of the trees “ and was said to be a sorceress. She may have been a pagan or followed on in the tradition of the Picts. The only true historical record of her seems to be in a tenth century monkish chronicle (Chronicle of The Kings of Scotland) which describes how she lured Kenneth 11 of Scotland to his death (995 A.D.) using a crossbow device as a trap. He, in his turn, had been responsible for the execution of her only son. The King's men were pursuing her when she met her death (or made her escape) at The Falls of Finella by leaping or falling into the waterfall.
The prints were made by first printing the texture of the sawn planks from the huge slices of tree on to thick japanese paper .Linoleum was cut to match the wooden shapes and the carving was completed on the lino before being printed on to thin japanese tissue which was then collaged on top of the other layer. No printing press was used. I printed them by donning a pair of clean white socks and dancing ! Fine details were hand-burnished.
The Finella prints have been exhibited in the following places:
Woodend Barn, Banchory
Dundee Print Studio Gallery at The Seagate
The Artist’s Lunch
McManus Galleries, Dundee
The Scottish Society of Artists,
The Meffan, Forfar
Museum of Modern Art, Wales.
Price on application.