‘The Morrich Project’ – work in progress

It’s so isolated….it’s like being on the moon

The Morrich project from Julia McGhee on Vimeo

Morrich More is an extensive area of strand plain and dune grassland on the South shore of the Dornoch Firth. It is walking distance (at low tide) from Inver and is an area of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation. It is also forms part of RAF Tain, which is the largest MOD live fire aerial weapons range in the UK.

I live in Inver and have begun a process of investigating this fascinating area by exploring it on foot, taking photographs and video, making sound recordings, researching online and talking to my neighbours. During the 1943 evacuation of Inver, the area was used as a secret practice site for the D-Day landings and remnants of anti-aircraft defences and MOD buildings from WWII can still be seen. Access to the Morrich is still restricted today as the RAF use it for manoeuvres: red flags across the area signal training days. The Morrich is both an area of natural beauty and a practice war zone.  I want to reflect on my personal experience of living within walking distance of the ‘Danger Area’ – seeing, hearing and feeling the low flying Typhoons and Chinooks as they pass overhead.

With support from Dance North’s Regional Artist Support programme and The Work Room’s Beyond project, I have begun working with dancer Penny Chivas to develop a response to the Morrich in movement, sound and film.  We’ve also been engaging with the local community to have conversations about the Morrich and about what it means to live in this part of the world.