Dalziel + Scullion
Woven tweed cloth, glass, leather
The creation of the tweed is Dalziel + Scullion’s response to the complex land management issues surrounding sporting estates in Scotland. This bag tells the tale of two birds: the Hen Harrier and the Red Grouse who share large stretches of moorland on various hunting estates in Scotland. The Harrier by nature hunts the grouse and in particular kills it’s chicks.
Hunting estates require large and healthy populations of grouse to be available for shooting parties; a crucial part of the economy in these remote communities. Estates also manage the numbers of other predatory species who threaten grouse numbers, such as weasels, stoats, crows and foxes, which are all trapped and culled.
Now however, the Hen Harrier numbers are in decline and it is a protected species; inevitably a conflict exists between gamekeepers and conservationists and this has become a matter of great controversy. A solution of sorts is in place with the introduction of diversionary feeding of the Harrier in the form of make chicks (surplus from the poultry industry) and rats (bred as animal feed).
The Ha.ri.er bag borrows from the traditional design of a hunter’s ghillie bag, but is made from tweed specially commissioned to reflect the colour palate of the Hen Harrier, with it’s bright yellow eyes and feet, as well as the horizontal banding on the tips of its primary feathers. The bag is lined with another rich warm tweed, which echoes the colour of the Red Grouse.
Traditionally tweeds were made in colours and patterns that were specific to individual estate families and estates, and were worn both by employers and by employees. The six footprints of other animals involved in this tale of predator and the prey are present on and in this bag, which symbolises both the conflict and resolution at the heart of this story.
Dalziel and Scullion’s work was part of an Aberdeen University Research programme, commissioned by Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability (ACES) and The Macaulay Institute.
Tweed woven by Breanish Tweed in The Outer Hebrides.