An Lanntair is a hub for creativity and the arts in the Outer Hebrides. We are a multi arts venue – at one and the same time a contemporary art gallery, a theatre, a cinema, a dance studio, a concert hall, a platform for poetry and literature, a studio – every space stretched to showcase the arts in multiple forms. Our work stretches across a national and international platform, yet our distinctiveness lies in being ‘of the place’, rooted in who we are, and the creativity of Gaelic and the Outer Hebrides takes centre stage.
Our mission is “to connect and inspire people in producing extraordinary, creative programmes, uniquely rooted in the place and reflecting the arts and ideas of our time”.
In October 2005, following a ten year campaign, a magnificent new arts centre on the Stornoway seafront was opened. Our building includes a 220 seat auditorium, gallery space, office space, shop and café bar, and was one of the largest ever arts developments in the Highlands and Islands. Our programme has an enviable reputation and over the years major awards and endorsements have been received from, among others, Arts & Business, Arts and Tourism (Trophy), Art Partners, and in 2007 Traditional Music Venue of the Year reflecting the richness and depth of the music programme.
The new An Lanntair opened in 2005 with a co-commissioned play “I was a Beautiful Day”, in conjunction with Traverse Theatre, and since then nearly every corner of the globe has been represented including The Wiyos (USA), Nablakov Quartet (Bulgaria), The Moscow Ballet, Kakatsitsi (Ghana), Genticorum (Quebec).
The exhibitions programme too has pushed at boundaries: profiling international art while celebrating and promoting local art and artists, at home and abroad. Steve Dilworth’s career retrospective ‘Mortal Remains’ is notable in this respect. Ian Hamilton Finlay’s “Sailing Dinghy” was part of Artist Rooms to mark our 25th Anniversary in 2010 while among the numerous, exceptional shows over the years “Boundaries” by Gwen Hardie – who lives and works in New York – and Helen MacAlister’s “At the Foot of Yon Excilin Brae” showcased the work of established Scottish artists. In 2014 as part of the Pan-Scottish Generation Programme, a major new installation “Tumadh:Immersion” by Dalziel + Scullion was commissioned by An Lanntair to national acclaim.
Our Education and Outreach programme is also of great importance to the local community here. We seek to engage imaginatively through informal and formal education routes and work in partnership to support people with special health or social needs. We also have a strong track record of working in partnership with other arts organisations and practitioners from the mainland and islands, as well as with socially engaged and youth providers. We work extensively outreach throughout the Isles of Lewis and Harris and more widely through our partnerships across the Outer Hebrides.