A fisherman’s journey

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Arbroath’s fishing heritage is to feature at the heart of an art exhibition at the Pittenweem Arts Festival.

Avril Cunningham, Monifieth, has captured the journey of survival and the community’s ability to adapt to ever changing circumstances from past to present through box constructions, drifted pieces and traditional painted artwork.

“ I am a mature student and never dreamt at 65 I would ever get a degree,” said Avril. “I wasn’t good at art at school but always had an interest.

“I looked at all sorts of different Scottish festivals such as the Stonehaven Fireball Festival, the Comrie Flambeaux Procession and the Burning of the Clavie at Burghead, most related back to a cleansing of evil spirits and good luck and safe passage for the fishermen.

“Arbroath was the perfect match as it is known around the world for its famous smokies and fishing background.” Avril, who lived in Arbroath ‘many moons ago,’ obtained a BA in Design and Creativity at Robert Gordon University: “I was lucky enough to meet up with Jim Smith who was a fisherman for 43 years since leaving school at 15. He started working on boats at the age of eight. He was a mine of information and fascinating to listen to. Jim now owns two pleasure boats.y work follows the journey of the fishing families who came and started the industry and includes the “Bye Names” (nicknames) the families adopted to differ between fathers, sons and brothers ownership.”

Contact Avril at avril@gmframing.co.uk who will be at venue 40 at the Festival from August 1 - 9.