Bha da chaisteal deug aig Fionn,
Ann an Crom-ghleann dubh nan Clach.
(Twelve castles had Fionn
In the dark bent Glen of the Stones.)
That nameless passing beggar Campbell gave his breeks to, is a pair with Pete – who was Peter, was Hororobin, was Haining, now is alive again as ‘Administrator’ – different names stating different commitments of the self. Back in 2002 I published an essay – in Justified Sinners: an archaeology of Scottish Counter-Culture – in which one of his selves wrote a critical overview of another of his selves. St Avant-garde.
Basho took a new name from the tree at the door of his old hut. That midsummer my old friend, now known as Adminstrator, devotee of the modus peregrini, was camped out in the Black Wood of Rannoch, a few wild miles over the hill. We hoped to coincide at Adamnan’s +, but I was a day early, or was he a day late?
DATA (Daily Action Time Archive) historifies his lives: 3 10-year projects each constructed by a different artist, as the Admin. explained: ‘Peter Haining the last in this triumvirate ceased to create – and indeed draw breath – on 31.12.2009. His presence in the archive was replaced by the administrator who prefers to be an anonymous creative force’. Haining made many artworks during many walks. He brought back the figure of the tramp for PRAM (Pedestrian Rambles Around Myland), walking across Scotland from Dysart, over Shirakawa, to Mallaig; pushing a golden pram that held all his personal and creative needs; a celebration of his Year of Freedom, 1984, contra Orwell’s bleak vision. I think on the courage it will have taken, to hold that identification for days and miles. Saintly in its stern and joyous way.
Ken and I will follow Angus steps through other psychogeographies – Kilmartin, The Quiraing, Calton Hill – places he translated, casting land under darkness, shining in light, dance and song. On this journey I’ve already gained a better sense of how Angus allowed himself to be guided – by Margaret, Hamish, by the old waymarkers that are scattered through the glens – and how his journeys are, like Basho’s, or Pete Haining’s, the heart of the work.
Our thanks to Allan Pollok-Morris for this album of photographs, revisiting Glen Lyon, taking the road further on, geographically and seasonally.
Allan Pollok-Morris was recently interviewed by Sandy Felton. You can read this interview here. From 22nd January - 5th of June 2011, 'Close: A journey in Scotland' will feature an exhibition of 40 of Allan's large format prints and film. (United States Botanic Garden Exhibition, Washington, DC.)