Nucleus latest exhibition launches on the 14th of February 2020 with a talk from Artist Joanne B Karr at 11am. Simultaneously Newfoundland’s exhibition at the Craft Council of Newfound and Labrador Gallery will also launch. Also on display at the Nucleus will be historical documents from the period of the flight and selected drawings from Joanne Karr.
On the 18 May 1919, Australian aviator Harry Hawker and navigator Kenneth Grieve took off from Newfoundland, Canada aiming to be the first to successfully complete a continuous flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Bad weather and an overheating engine however forced them to make a risky landing and hope a passing ship could rescue them. Luckily, they spotted a steamboat and were picked up about 750 miles off the coast of Ireland.
Eight days later Hawker and Grieve arrived at an unlikely place, for the steamer had dropped them off at a small port in the far north of Scotland, Scrabster. The two pioneers encountered a warm welcome from the local residents, who were excited by the story of trans-Atlantic flight. Both were later awarded the Air Force Cross in recognition of their efforts.
The pair’s chance visit to Scrabster formed a link between Newfoundland and Scrabster that has been re-discovered by artist Joanne B. Karr of Dunnet, who learned about the flight from an article in the John O’Groat Journal newspaper. Joanne is a self-employed artist who has worked all over the globe and collaborated on a variety of projects, focussing on culture and heritage. Her recent contribution was forming the idea of pairing up heritage centres and museums in Caithness and Sutherland to ones in Newfoundland and exchanging paper aeroplanes to commemorate the flight and rekindle the century-old trans-Atlantic link. Wick Brownies, Castletown Primary School, Castletown Heritage Society and Wick Heritage Society, among others, have all made planes and many have enclosed messages of goodwill and kindness inside. Reminiscent of the spirit displayed by the crew of the steamer ‘Mary’ that rescued Hawker and Grieve, and the crowed that greeted them in Scrabster Harbour.