Fank

Fank

Fank is an ongoing art project in a beautiful stone ‘fank’ along the north side of Loch Frisa.  A ‘fank’ is a Scottish word to describe sheep handing pens.  Without a fank you cannot handle sheep so there are working fanks on every farm and croft.   Aluminium or wood fanks are used now.  Our neighbours use the only stone fank still in use on the island.

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Forest walk

It is a beautiful 2.3 mile walk from the road end where you park the car to the site – fairly level and as you can see it is a fairly good forest track – easily bicycled – so about 5 miles round trip.

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Art project

An artist called Emma Herman-Smith worked with An Tobar/Comar – the island arts organisation on initiating the Fank project. Tragically Emma died before it was finished.  Artist Andrea Geile made this sculpture, The Cholorphylls, in 2015.   I loved the first sighting I had of the sculpture as we walked up from the track.   It must have looked even more amazing before the larches lost their needles.

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Well worth the walk

Sun casting shadows across cut relief panels creating non existent lines and spaces through which to look.   I don’t know if it is because we are farmers that we are always moved by old stone fanks – perhaps not – perhaps we all are.  But I was very moved today.  Such a strong sense of history.  All was calm and still.  In sharp contrast to the busy noisy energy of a fank when it is in use.   The bright light and clear air made the silence and non activity of the place stand out.  The rust felt so seasonally appropriate.

It was lovely to go there today, rediscovering a track I hadn’t been down for about 25 years, with its wonderful views across the River Aros, up Glen Aros and along Loch Frisa, and finding this special place along the way.

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