A new exhibition at The Orkney Museum marks 100 years since the birth of one of Orkney’s most prominent writers, George Mackay Brown.
The summer exhibition ‘Beside the Ocean of Time: The Centenary of George Mackay Brown’ opens at the Orkney Museum, Tankerness House, Kirkwall on 12 June.
Born in Stromness on 17 October 1921, George Mackay Brown would become a leading figure in Scottish poetry. The exhibition follows his life from his humble beginnings and ill health to his days at Newbattle Abbey College, under the tutelage of fellow Orkney poet Edwin Muir, his studies at Edinburgh University and his meeting with the ‘Rose Street Poets’.
His success as a poet and a writer did little to change George’s personality, he remained a highly private person and shunned the limelight.
The exhibition has been written and put together by the Museum’s Engagement and Exhibitions Officer, Tom Muir, who says: “George was a complex character but at the core of his writing is a feeling of belonging to Orkney.
“From an early age his writing embraced the fisher and farming folk of these islands. The theme of salt and soil is a constant in his writing, both in poetry and prose.
“His story here is illustrated with photographs from the Orkney Library and Archive, especially by portraits from the Gunnie Moberg Collection.
“Artefacts relating to George have been loaned by family, friends and the Stromness Museum.
“I hope that people will enjoy the exhibition and feel inspired to look more closely into George’s writing.
“Better still, I hope it inspires people, old and young, to pick up a pen or tablet and to find their own voice in stories and poetry.”
‘Beside the Ocean of Time: The Centenary of George Mackay Brown’ runs from 12 June – 30 October at the Orkney Museum, with the summer exhibition running for longer than usual to take in 17 October – the centenary of his birthday.
The Orkney Museum is currently open from 10:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00 with a restriction on numbers at this time. No booking is required and admission is free.