‘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

Trigger warning: Please be aware the soundtrack for this video contains the sound of fighter aircraft

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, since I moved here in 2016, I’ve been investigating this fascinating area: exploring, 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 safety for wildlife and a practice war zone; it also provides a natural barrier between the village of Inver and the North Sea.

 

In 2019, with support from Dance North’s Regional Artist Support programme and The Work Room’s Beyond project, I began working with dancer Penny Chivas to develop a response to the Morrich in movement, sound and film.  We also engaged with the local community to have conversations about the Morrich and about what it means to live in this part of the world.

In 2021, with support from the Moving Out commission and Dance North’s RAS programme, I will work with Penny again to create an outdoor performance for the community of Inver and receive mentoring support from choreographer Saffy Setohy.  We have been working remotely over the Winter during lockdown to develop ideas for movement and interaction with props.

 

Sand baggage from Julia McGhee on Vimeo

The Morrich Project is funded by Creative Scotland Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development and is supported through the The Work Room, Tramway, Dance North Scotland & Citymoves Moving Out Partnership.