Gunnie Moberg

George Mackay Brown with Gypsy (1990)

About this artwork

According to Gunnie Moberg, George Mackay Brown was 'an awkward subject to work with'. Yet, being a close friend, she photographed him on numerous occasions over a twenty-two year period. This was one of Brown's preferred portraits of himself. Gypsy was not his own cat but he was in the habit of taking care of her on behalf of a friend who was often away. His book, 'Letters to Gypsy' came out in 1990. There the poet reassures Gypsy that during her stay with him 'two or three times a day, besides food and sleep' they 'will murmur poems to one another'.

Gunnie Moberg

Gunnie Moberg

Gunnie Moberg was a Swedish photographer, painter and designer, who brilliantly captured life on the Northern Isles of Scotland. Born in Gothenburg, she moved to Edinburgh in 1958 where, three years later, she married American artist Tam McPhail. In 1964 they exchanged Edinburgh for the tranquillity of Argyll and in 1976 the family, which now included four sons, moved to Orkney. There, Moberg photographed the landscapes, seascapes and the islands’ inhabitants. She collaborated with Norwegian writer Liv Kjørsvik Schei to produce ‘The Orkney Story’ (1985) and ‘The Shetland Story’ (1988). But her best-known artistic association was with the Orkney writer and poet George Mackay Brown, with whom she collaborated on a number of books, including ‘Orkney: Pictures and Poems’ (1996).