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In today’s show, I chat to Alexa Fitzgibbon, an amazingly talented photographer, weaver, designer and anthropologist who first came to Shetland 12 years ago from France to study. She has since moved to Shetland, and now calls it home.
In this episode, we chat about her studies on religion in the North Atlantic area and the relationships between the living and the dead. And as we are approaching Halloween, we hear about some of Shetland’s ghostly tales that she uncovered during her research and the burden of Protestant guilt that lives on in the lives of Shetlanders today. We speak about how the fundamental differences between Protestant and Catholic belief systems have contributed to a ghost society in many northern areas.
We chat about Alexa’s great friend, and world-renowned storyteller, Lawrence Tulloch who she spent a lot of time with before he passed away. His book on Shetland Folk Tales which she illustrated is linked in the show notes.
Alexa is a photographer and we speak about her photos and her love of portrait photography and capturing moments with people. With Christmas approaching family photo shoots make a great gift idea and you can book a session with Alexa via her photography page, Odd Poppy Photography, on Facebook.
Alexa also spends several days a week working as a weaver for the Shetland Tweed Company where she produces woven cloths, inspired by Shetland’s landscape and seasons. She explains how she became a weaver and the intricacies of producing bespoke cloths for the Yell-based company. We also consider the role of weaving in Shetland’s textile heritage.
Another of Alexa’s many projects is creating Kokeshi dolls. Kokeshi dolls are Japanese wood-turned dolls that are engraved and painted with bright and colourful designs. Alexa began creating these at home during lockdown and now sells bespoke, one-of-a-kind commissions all over the world. She talks us through the process of creating these incredible pieces of art.
Hear about all this and more in today’s show!
Shetland Folk Tales by Lawrence Tulloch, illustrated by Alexa Fitzgibbon
A blog about my trip to Yell where I encountered a ghostly presence that I discuss with Alexa in the show.
Alexa’s Instagram page @lex_in_the_north_sea
Odd Poppy Photography
Shetland Tweed Company on Facebook and Instagram
Tour recommendations for the Noss experience:
Seabirds and Seals wildlife boat trips
Shetland Seabird Tours
Private charter on the Mousa Boat to Noss
You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
A little about Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my podcast. I hope that you find what you're looking for, whether you are planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.