Another LandscapeEXPLORING SCOTLAND’S WESTERN ISLES WITH CONNOLLY
A PLAID WOOL JACKET AND TROUSERS THREAD THE PALE BLUE OF THE SEA WITH THE DARK GREEN OF MOSS; BEIGE CASHMERE CARDIGANS APPEAR PEBBLE GREY, HERE IN THE DELICATE NORTH LIGHT.
Golden light passes over crags and hills, and heavy grey clouds swell overhead. Underfoot, white lichen and moss-speckled rocks give way to coarse sand crunching beneath boots. Beyond the shelter of low stone walls, the wind snatches at the corners of overcoats and scarves. A cashmere blanket billows in the rush of cold, salty air. Sanda Island rises from the swirling waves of Carskiey Bay, the rhythmic sound of the water steadily building.
Following the coast westward, the rugged hills of the Mull of Kintyre jut out to sea, reaching from the Scottish mainland toward Northern Ireland, through a thin layer of haze. Rocky outcrops, sprayed by the waves, are coated in bright yellow lichen, while further along the coast, pines silhouette against a dim sky.
This landscape is woven into Connolly’s AW 2018 Collection. These pieces are a response to the wild, unspoilt terrain of Scotland’s Western Isles, and much of the cashmere and wool are spun and knitted in Scotland. The earthy tones of the collection’s blankets and sweaters are reminiscent of the wet stones and soil of the Kintyre Peninsula coastline; a plaid wool jacket and trousers thread the pale blue of the sea with the dark green of moss; and beige cashmere cardigans appear pebble grey, here in the delicate north light.
The collection also alludes to landscape of another kind; one partly invented, which hovers at the border of the mind’s recollection. Lucas Arruda, an artist from Sao Paulo, works only from memory. Rather than rendering the specific details of a landscape, his oil paintings arise from intense attention to light and atmospheric conditions. Inspired by the subtle abstraction and colours of these works, Connolly’s series of ombre scarves in cashmere yarn was incrementally dyed, echoing the shifting tones of Arruda’s paintings.
As dusk approaches, shadows gather inside Carskiey House. Oil skin-inspired leather trenches and wool Pardessus coats are left at the door. The wind continues to roll across the Bay, whistling between bare branches. Through the windows of the Edwardian home, the sea is still faintly visible, turning steadily darker as the horizon dissolves, joining sea with sky.