The Between Islands project was devised by An Lanntair, its main aim being to collectively promote the wealth of artistic talent which exists between the three Island groups of Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles. This has been undertaken through the development of specific projects which encourage collaboration, and in turn have introduced both emerging and established Island artists to wider audiences.

The project is led on behalf of An Lanntair by Alex Macdonald, Head of Performing Arts & Cultural Projects. alex@lanntair.com

The Year of Young People 2018

As part of this special project, funded by Event Scotland, An Lanntair will be handing over the venue to young people to deliver their very own arts festival called Las! / Ignite! this October.  In addition the Between Islands initiative offered university students from the Western and Northern Isles an inter-island placement, giving them the chance to learn in a different – but not unfamiliar – environment, whilst receiving a week of one to one tuition and advice in their chosen field of study.

The first placement took place in June, with Lewis film students Zoe Macinnes and Kate Macleod travelling to Shetland, where they spent a week making a short film about their experiences. Four textile students from Shetland – Rhea Kay, Rebecca Baxter, Helen Laurenson and Megan Smith – will also travel to Lewis this July, to explore the manufacture, design and marketing success story of the Harris Tweed industry. The work produced by both sets of students will be showcased during the Las!/Ignite! festival.

Zoes blog on her placement can be seen here  https://www.las-ignite-festival.com/single-post/2018/06/18/From-Lewis-to-Shetland

Between Islands Music Project Three

This years musical collaboration takes place on Wednesday 18th July, when it will once again open the Hebridean Celtic Festival  http://www.hebceltfest.com. The concert features music which acknowledges this years First World War commemorations, as well as a general programme representing each Island group. Those taking part are Kathleen Macinnes and Linda Macleod, (Western Isles), Jenny Napier (Shetland) and Saltfishforty (Orkney).

Past Projects

Between Islands Music Project One
Singer/songwriters Willie Campbell (Western Isles), Arthur Nicolson (Shetland) and Kris Drever (Orkney) were the pioneers of the Between Islands project, meeting up in Lewis and Shetland in 2014, and collaborating on the production of twelve new songs. The resulting concert then opened the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway in July 2015 and went on to tour to Orkney and Shetland.

Between Islands Short Story Collection
Authors Kevin MacNeil (Western Isles), Alison Miller (Orkney) and Roseanne Watt (Shetland) were commissioned through An Lanntairs Creative Places Award to write a short story each on a Between Islands theme. The resulting book was published in June 2016 and is available from An Lanntair’s shop. (priced £5)

Between Islands Music Project Two


For the second music project, the focus switched to traditional music, with fiddle players Jane Hepburn (Western Isles), Maggie Adamson (Shetland), and Louise Bichan (Orkney) working together to create a concert which celebrated the varying playing styles and tunes of the individual Islands. It premiered as the opening concert for the 2017 Hebridean Celtic Festival, and a review can be found here:  http://www.hebrideswriter.com/2017/07/20/fiddle-traditions-showcase-is-perfect-start-to-hebcelt

Other Activities

Between Islands short story writer Roseanne Watt produced this wonderful piece of filmpoetry as part of An Lanntair’s Burns Night celebrations in 2016, featuring film of Lewis and Shetland.

It is hoped to release some of the music created through the Between Islands collaborations on CD later this year. To keep up to date on this and all other Between Islands news please follow us on http://facebook https://www.facebook.com/betweenislands/ or on Twitter @between_islands