If mountains could talk, what might they say?
David Kramaric imagines the meeting of Roineabhal in Harris and Ivanscica in Croatia in a playful and lyrical work that probes the creation of mountain narratives through a ‘found’ conversation presented in the manner of an online chat.
The work was recently shown at An Lanntair in Stornoway as part of an Edinburgh College of Art group show.
Snow is slowly covering my body again. I can feel it like a bespoke blanket
weighing me down with comfort, following all my skin lines and hair.
I am surrounded by silence. Night sky turning white and the smell of cold tucking me in.
We ease all my critters to sleep once more. It is so peaceful up here, not even
Everything on pause...
The weather up here is cold as well. We don’t have snow so far, but winds are
I offer you poetry and you give me a weather report, how British.
When you’re as old as I am you’ll realise that prosaic conversation provides
you with more clarity and substance, however, I can offer poetics momentarily.
No, no, I’m joking. But, since we are talking about age, how old are you exactly?
I was born of this world, so I’m as old as this rock. You are as well.
I migrated from a different part of this world and eventually settled here on this
island after a slow transition where my bones were transformed by folding and
grinding, melting and mixing, solidifying and rising to great heights. We formed
in our present bodies, you and I, in similar ways but at separate times. Despite
the geographical distance, our physical appearances bind us more than divide us.
My existence didn’t start with this place where I am, in the here and now, nor
will it end here.
I get it! I was raised and crumbled and raised again. I didn’t travel much, but I
was an island before, just like you are now.
So, you are as old as this rock? You sound like the creator of time.
I feel so young. It is sometimes hard to comprehend time like that.
Ppppppaaaaaasssssstttttt. Present. Ffffffuuuuuuttttttuuuuuurrrrrreeeeee.
I see you are more of a visual type?
We live our lives in cycles? So it’s possible we’ll be transformed again?
I was observing a seabird following my contours. They make it seem so
effortless, battling the wind, but being guided by it at the same time. A
marvelous sight was shortly interrupted when that same bird shat on me,
soiling my body. I was bloody furious but then realised that the birds
shit turns my skin into good soil. Soil that helps other critters grow.
Does this ever happen to you?
It used to happen to me too, but I can’t remember when I last felt a seabird
dropping its load...
Remember, we are shaped by forces from inside and outside too. And there will
be a time when they decide that our present state needs to be altered again. And
it might happen soon. But, there is an even stronger force, humans, out there,
artificially eroding our bodies.
I know that Ro. Can I call you Ro?
I can feel it as well. Piece by piece, taken and put somewhere else.
It’s almost warm again, my cold white blanket will soon turn into a
warm grey blanket. Air filled with microscopic particles of me, floating
in the sky and settling in my veins. And vibrations and noise,
so much noise. How did you stop that force from dismantling you?
All of it, nonhuman and human will become one in the end. We are all part of
this space, dependent on each other and I guess some of the humans realised
So, what you are saying is, although parts of my body are being taken away,
there is still a chance to be rescued? It’s easy for you to say since you are still
I take nothing for granted, especially survival. Dismantling our bodies
for short-lived purposes seems reckless, I know. On the other hand,
we agreed that we are going to change eventually, right? Maybe this human
force will prevail and change us into something new, we can’t tell.
But there is hope! Some of these humans hold us in very high regard.
We shape their culture the way they shape ours…
So, we have the power to motivate and inspire, shelter and teach, encourage and
Yes, my friend.
It is so nice to feel them roaming on my skin, like little ants during food hunt.
And counting heather and talking to rabbits. Any more questions? I’m tired.
No, but I’ll be in touch. Thanks for listening. It started raining here…
Ahhh, a weather report! Glad to be of help.
David Kramaric is a graduate of the School of Landscape Architecture at the University of Zagreb and a postgraduate of the Art, Space and Nature programme at Edinburgh College of Art.