Collette Cowie’s ink & watercolour on paper was also inspired by the collection of specimens in the University Museums. The sea creatures reminded Collette of writer Mark Doty’s work and she credits both as influencing her colourful exhibition piece.

Something So Small by Collette Cowie
Ink and watercolour on paper

“My piece is inspired by D’Arcy Thompson’s specimens. His On Growth & Form is notable for its poetic descriptions of the natural world and its scientific application, reflecting his literary and scientific impulses. The collection of sea creatures reminded me of the writer Mark Doty’s captivation with words. Separated by time and disciplines, both men seem propelled by the same curiosity and power of observation; producing something significant and vibrant, the startling result of a seemingly static activity. My image is inspired by the sea creatures with words from Doty’s work. I kept the writing small to invite the observer to move in; something of magnitude can bloom from something as small as a word. Because the most profound things happen from quiet, sustained, close attention.”

Collette Cowie is interested in images and words. She is a postgraduate Creative Writing student at Dundee University. She is also studying Printmaking at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

River Deep Mountain High was an exhibition in the University’s Lamb Gallery to mark the Year of Coast and Water curated by Archive Services. Artists, designers and creative writers were invited to respond to the University’s rich archive, museum and rare book collections on the themes of rivers, seas, coasts and mountains. Original photographs, journals, plans, models and specimens relating to whaling, the River Tay, the natural world and mountaineering inspired jewellery, artwork, sculpture, poetry and much more.

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