First presented in the exhibition, Botany Bay, at Leeds Art Gallery.
Caledonia recalls a 17th Century expedition to establish a Scottish trading colony in Central America. The voyagers planned to create a lucrative trade route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But the project ended in failure, with considerable loss of life and financial hardship for those who invested in the scheme.
Between November 2004 and June 2006, Roger Palmer carried herbs and spices between Scotland and the Caribbean. Powdered achiote, beetroot, caramel, cloves, mint, paprika, parsley and turmeric were used to stencil the word CALEDONIA on beaches in Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, Scotland and USA. Several of these temporary interventions were executed at sites close to where Scottish ships were lost.
In Caledonia, 32 photographs that document these interventions are projected as a continuously dissolving sequence of images, accompanied by a soundtrack made on the coastal border between Scotland and England. Below are 6 examples.