Ràmh Artist Support Kate Clayton, Broken Blue. 2023. Credit Duncan Mclaren (8)

Broken Blue, A Creative Exploration of Ocean Fragility | Kate Clayton

Broken Blue was a multi-media performance which took place during Bute Open Studios in July 2023 and intertwined an installation of broken pottery and Greek mythology to highlight the vulnerability of marine ecosystems.  The project was inspired by a £2 find from a Rothesay charity shop - a rucksack full of broken blue and white crockery, collected by someone, it seems, over a lifetime of walking back and forth along the shore. 

Visitors were encouraged to explore the hidden narratives lurking beneath the surface of the sea, breathing life into forgotten shards and reimagining them as vessels of environmental activism.

With the support of the Ràmh bursary, Clayton brought Broken Blue to fruition, transforming her studio on Bute into a space where the sherds of pottery were presented and introduced to audiences by Sibylla, a Greek prophetess. Kate’s solo work often involves the adoption of artistic personas, with Sibylla developed specifically for Broken Blue, and wearing a costume designed and printed with images of pottery.  Kate often uses costume in her work, but the support from Ràmh enabled her to create a bespoke printed outfit for Sibylla.  During the weekend, Kate undertook several performances, engaging over 140 people, and using Broken Blue as a platform for Clayton to advocate for environmental activism, sparking meaningful conversations about sustainability and the perils facing our oceans.

Looking ahead, Clayton envisions her experiences with Broken Blue as a springboard for future ‘Art as Activism’ endeavours - Broken Blue could readily be re-presented in other coastal venues and events.  Broken Blue stands as a testament to the power of art in creating dialogue to effect shifts in thinking and behaviour. Through broken shards and mythical personas, she invites us to reimagine our relationship with the sea and the world around us, reminding us of the profound impact that art can have in shaping our perceptions and inspiring collective action.