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Published: 27 March 2021

By Andy Ross


Joanne B Kaar is a Scottish artist who is currently Caithness Artist in Residence. 

in the 1940s an airfield in the North of mainland Scotland was the base for defence of the North Atlantic and Skapa Flow shipping fleet. Near to the airfield was the Custer family farm and when the radio aerial was serviced, the personnel would go back to the farmhouse for tea and homebakes. It became a tradition to leave a signature on these visits for the daughter of the household and the writings were then traced onto a white table cloth for embroidering in bright colours. The cloth of 125 signatures is now in the collection of the Castletown Heritage Centre. 

Inspired by this cloth Joanne has created a new project that will record the names of care workers onto a uniform, and the names of people who are feeling isolated because of the pandemic onto a second costume. These two works will go into the collection at Castletown Heritage Centre when they are complete. 

You can read more about the project here and find out how you can take part if you live in the North.