A Gaelic Song

The uncompleted artist talk by Kyna Hodges from the exhibition 'Comfort in the Uncomfortable' check out our previous post for more information



My name is Kyna and I am a visual artist and newly appointed curatorial team member of Blueprint 100


Within my own artistic practice I have made many, many mistakes. Often these mistakes or failures lead to unexpected intrigue and potentially a better outcome than I had aimed for. Failure for me is also the best catalyst for learning leaves room for learning

I want to talk about a more recent ‘fail’ that has become a new avenue of interest and creation. I also want to talk about an older experience that has ended up getting me to where I am in what you could call my ‘artistic career’


This is a Gaelic song that I learned from a wonderful woman while volunteering at Allanton Peace Sanctuary.


“sing song”


It represents my failure to learn Gaelic or any other language fluently for that matter. It also represents my hesitation to share my ‘imperfect’ work, or something I felt uncomfortable or self-conscious about, I failed to connect and share and communicate with others by fault of my own fear of embarrassment.

This is the story that goes with it


While travelling round Morocco my mum, step dad Robbie and myself decided to hike up into the Atlas Mountains. It was a pretty severe and intense walk, up and up and up, beautiful but also shuffling across scree that rolled down to the bottom of the valley and eventually into the river that ran down the centre. The river was also diverted further down to feed the olive trees and the other villages that hung onto the steep faces of the valley. We had heard tale of a village right at the very top of the pass, the village had only just had a road built to it in the last 6 months. The village was rugged and beautiful, there was a gaggle of teenage boys on one side of the village and girls on the other. We came across the girls on our path, we stopped for water and to see the view that meandered back down the steep path and disappeared into other valleys and the mountains. We had simple communication with the berber girls (none of us speaking the same language) we laughed awkwardly and gestured with our hands about the heat and where we were from. In this moment I thought that it would be nice to offer them something, something from our culture and that we all could relate to. I had just learned this gaelic song, I tried to pluck up the courage, but to no avail. I let the moment slide and pass and before I knew it we were walking back down the slippery scree path.

I believe that sharing information and experience in the flesh is such an important human activity, one that in this modern day, especially with the influx of technology is becoming more tenuous. I hope that by sharing this with you I have also in a way, across the airwaves, shared it with those beautiful girls in a remote mountain village one community to the next.


A lot of my own work looks at this relationship between the physical and our ideas about reality. This can take the form of mysticism, technology and how to connect and understand each other while learning about ourselves in the process.

Talking more academically, I failed art. I remember receiving the news, I was in Spain auparing at the time, I cried and cried, I though my future was over and I was set adrift on the tides of uncertainty. I have my mum to thank for the push to apply to art school I never would have don’t it on my own. the ‘I’m not good enough’ voice ringing loud and clear, this voice being backed up by what I thought was academic proof. However my Mum said that it would be good practice just to apply, just to see how the process worked… lo and behold I got into GSA. This experience gave me the drive to fight for what I believed in, including myself.


That is also what I want BP100 to be, for me and for others. An aid and portfolio builder for those who don’t have a creative network or someone to tell them that you are good enough, or to just give it a go. Fail, fail again, fail better is a quote by Samuel Beckett, I want to foster a safe space to try and fail




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