James Sinclair exhibition

The ‘James Sinclair: the botanist from the Bu’ exhibition opened on 2 July with a talking walk led by John Crossley, Orkney plant recorder, and an evening of talks and music. The exhibition is supported by the Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme. Joining the walk was artist Laura Drever who will make a new artwork in response to the walk. There will also be an audio recording of the walk available soon.

Find out more about James Sinclair here

It was a busy evening with a packed kirk. The audience enjoyed the talk by Bea Watson, great grand-niece of James Sinclair, who presented her school research project on his life. Her brother Jake joined her on stage to play ‘Jimmy o’ the Bu’s Polka’, a well known Orkney tune written by James Sinclair’s father. His nieces Olive and Jean talked about their early memories of him and Terry, Jean’s husband gave an insight into his eccentricities.

One contributor to the evening had a special connection to James Sinclair, one of her first jobs at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden was to catalogue his herbarium after his death, and one of her last jobs was to talk about that experience. She also has a special connection to the island although she has never been here – her name? Helen Hoy. You couldn’t make it up.

The evening was rounded up with John Crossley placing James Sinclair in the company of Orkney’s great botanists. John explored Hoy’s special plants in a slide show that took us in the footsteps of the botanist from the Bu.

Images for the events here

The exhibition is on in the vestry at Hoy Kirk until the end of September 2011. Open every day.

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