Space Rock [Practice Research Case Study]
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Schrag, A., (2019) Space rock [Practice Research Case Study]. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Description: My original commission was to explore the legacy of the Highland Clearances in Helmsdale, a small village of 600 people on the Sutherlandshire coast. During the research, I discovered that there had been human habitation in the Strath of Kildonan for over 6000 years, including neolithic settlements, Viking raiders and subsistence farmers. Considering this length of history I wanted to put the Highland Clearances in perspective and instead of looking to the past wanted to look to the future: What would Helmsdale look like in 200 years? In 1000 years? In another 6000?! Would we all be on the moon, or all living in space by then? I then discovered that Astronaut David MacKay was born in the village and, working in a participatory and engaged manner with him, I invited him to take a small rock from the oldest settlement in the valley into space with him on his next Space flight. The aim of this was to use this small rock as a direct link between past and future. In January 2019, David MacKay became the first Scotsman to go into space, and took the small rock with him. That rock then was returned to Timespan, whose mission is to be the link between the Past and the Future. It was returned with a parade, the village choir sang and he delivered a talk to the entire village.