Rhythms (2010)

Rhythms by Shetland poet Laureen Johnson – one of the poems from White Below – has been carved into the lids of oak barrels. The installation can be found outside the Gutters’ Hut at Lerwick’s North Ness, Shetland. This area of Lerwick was the scene of a myriad herring barrels in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The lettering was designed by Frances Pelly; the construction was by Wilbert Robertson and the lettering by Andrew Tait. The idea came from John Cumming.


On Friday 2nd of September 2010 representatives of Shetland Leasing and Property hosted a reception for poet Laureen Johnson and all those who played a part in the placing of her poem “Rhythms” as an installation at the Gutters’ Hut in North Ness, Shetland. The poem is one of a series she wrote after speaking to former gutters about their lives in the industry. Two former gutters Lena Cumming and Cissie Goodlad, both from Burra, attended, as did Andrew Tait who, along with sculptor Frances Pelly designed and laser-cut the lettering. The project was led by Hansel Cooperative and funded by a grant from Scotland’s Islands.