The exhibition, INCH KENNETH, showing at An Lanntair is a distillation of work developed and toured since 6°WEST’s 2011 residency on the island of Inch Kenneth.
In June 2011, the island of Inch Kenneth and its extraordinary house welcomed 6°WEST for a week long residency. This offered a unique opportunity for the artist’s collective to explore the multiple histories, ecology and geology of this culturally significant island. The 6°WEST artists collective are Anne Devine, David Faithfull, Mhairi Killin, Veronica Slater and curator Alicia Hendrick.
Fundamental to the identity of 6°WEST is the group’s convergence to make art in response to the distinctive landscape and culture of the Inner Hebrides. The name 6°WEST indicates the longitude of the location where the five members meet to generate new ideas, as well as their aim of creating a sixth space for collaboration. This sixth space can be a person, process, place, object or organisation. In the residency Inch kenneth became the sixth member, in this exhibition Shannon Tofts occupies the sixth space. A commissioned essay by Georgina Coburn sets the work of 6°WEST in a contemporary art context.
Inch Kenneth is a culturally significant island with a fascinating history. It is part of a sculptural tradition represented by a collection of medieval stone carvings in its 13th Century chapel. Boswell and Johnson visited its shores in 1773 as part of their tour of the Hebrides and in the 1940s it became the home to the eccentric Mitford Family.
In addition to the gallery pieces there is a portfolio of commissioned prints created by the collective in response to their experience on the island.