Friday, 30 March 2012

Scottish Lighthouse Museum.

The first time the museum has closed during the winter.  It re-opens on Sunday 1st April.

The front of the building above and the entrance door below.

Inside the museum are some lenses from other lighthouses.

Here is a view of the actual lighthouse which was the first lighthouse built on mainland Scotland in 1787 on top of a 16th century castle, by the Northern Lighthouse Company.


To the front of the picture are the drying poles (fishing net drying).  Most with their knitted jackets which was one of the challenges set by the Friends of the Lighthouse (the Knitting Nancies).  This year you may remember we challenged people to knit a fish.  And ended up with over 600 of the damn things.

This is the staircase inside the lighthouse. Imagine going up and down that a few times a day.


Most important as far as I am concerned is - the cafe.  Imagine sitting in there and looking out over the North Sea.  Magic.

Now a bit of serious stuff.

The museum has two distinct and equally important elements. The most obvious is the attractive stone building designed in the early 1990s specifically to house the lighthouse museum. Here you find the visitor reception, a café with magnificent sea views, and an excellent shop carrying a variety of goods including a good range of books focussing particularly on lighthouses and seafaring more widely across Scotland.
The museum building is also home to a series of galleries telling the story of Scottish lighthouses. It does so in a particularly compelling and engaging way, using sound recordings and, especially, carefully controlled dynamic lighting effects to bring to life the galleries and the exhibits within them.
It is easy to think of lighthouses as (usually) tall (usually) white buildings which (usually) occupy scenic or even spectacular coastal locations: because that is what visitors tend to see when travelling around Scotland. It is all too easy to forget that the buildings are only the means to an end, a way of carrying a mechanism that can transmit beams of light out to sea to warn seafarers of dangerous areas of coastline or simply help them locate their position more effectively. Lighthouses are really all about light. It is therefore highly fitting that the museum is also all about light. From your first encounter with full size lighthouse lenses on the ground floor and through much of the rest of the building, moving beams of light literally illuminate many of the items on view.

Now we come to the scary bit.  The cafe displays pictures from local artists.  I have been asked to bring in some of my work.

I full expect to be told, sorry go away and keep trying.  

Whether my work gets on to a wall there or here, I shall be visiting the Scottish Lighthouse Museum, every Tuesday 10.30. coffee .  This is when we sort out what our next challenge will be.

1 comment:

Annie said...

What an amazing place it is. And I'm sure your paintings will look lovely in the cafe there :D