Vanessa Coffey & Ishbel McFarlane

Newhaven Fishwives

We have taken inspiration from Hill and Adamson’s calotype of Annie Linton and Jeanie Wilson, two fishwives, businesswomen and chums.

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were Scottish photographic pioneers in the 1840s, especially in the area of social record. They recorded various communities in the capital, taking early photos of the soldiers at the castle, as well as society portraits. The group that fascinated them most, though, was the fishing community in the small town of Newhaven, west of Leith.

We’d like to thank Stellar Quines, the National Portrait Gallery, Irene and Gordon McFarlane for singing and language help, Joshua Payne for sound, Victoria Beesley, Stasi Schaeffer and Lucy Holmes-Elliott. All excellent chums.

The photograph of Newhaven fishwives Annie Linton and Jeanie Wilson is located in the Out of the Shadow in Gallery Nine exhibition.

Vanessa Coffey

untaught-vanessa-coffeyVanessa is the Artistic Director of physical theatre company Down the Rabbit Hole, based in Glasgow. That company’s work focuses on creating dynamic pieces of theatre that tackle stigma surrounding mental ill-health.  She has devised and performed in several productions, most recently Piece of Mind CCA), Of Two Minds (CCA) and Mirror Mirror (Tramway and The Arches). She also works independently as a dancer, choreographer and dramaturg.

Ishbel McFarlane

untaught-McFarlanceIshbel is an actor, deviser, writer and director based in Glasgow and trained at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (previously the RSAMD). As well as working in Scotland she performed in New York and London’s West End with Ella Hickson’s first play, Eight. Ishbel is currently working with Amy Conway on I-HAPPY-I-GOOD – an immersive, one-to-one show about a deaf-blind woman and her carers – which began at Arches Live 2013 and is about to be performed in association with Sense Scotland. In her previous life as an academic, Ishbel worked in literature and history of art, researching the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay.