An Lanntair to Support Six Island Artists with Travel Bursaries

  • Published on: 20th March 2024
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An Lanntair is to support six artists based on the Isle of Lewis with small travel bursaries to help them develop their creative work, it was announced today.

The bursaries are part of An Lanntair’s wider Artist Support programme, currently supported by funding from the Foyle Foundation, and will support the following artists.

Elsie Mitchell, a visual artist, will receive £450 towards the costs of travelling to Berlin in October, to make a new video installation for an exhibition at Essen und Trinken im Museum. Elsie is currently focusing on her own creativity after working for many years in arts education and administration, and community outreach, and the Berlin trip will provide a valuable opportunity for her to exhibit and network internationally.

Sue Envill, a part-time artist and part-time mature Fine Art student at UHI, will receive £300 towards the costs of a trip to Edinburgh to sketch anatomical works at the Surgeon’s Hall Museum, in particular femur, hand, and ankle bones – a resource unavailable to artists on Lewis. The results will form part of a new project exploring ‘the internal self-portrait’.

Gary Ross Jordan, a full-time author who has published over 50 books on his own imprint Carpetless Publishing, will receive £300 towards the costs of attending the 20Books Seville conference in Spain. As the second biggest self-publishing conference in Europe, 20Books will allow Gary to network with, and learn from, self-published authors from across the continent.

Mhairi Law, photographer and curator, will receive £164 towards the costs of travelling to Edinburgh Napier University for an event marking the 40th anniversary of its Photography and Film degree, from which she graduated ten years ago. The event, at which Mhairi has been invited to speak, will allow Mhairi to share her work on a national stage and meet prominent alumni of the course including film director Lynne Ramsay and photographer David Eustace.

Ian Stephen, storyteller and poet, will receive £400 towards the costs of participating in a series of poetry and cross-arts events on the mainland, allowing him to network with other writers at small events that are unable to cover the travel costs of a writer from the Outer Hebrides.

Peter Urpeth, poet and musician, will receive £400 towards the costs of travelling to Essex and east London to revisit places from his childhood for the first time in over 50 years, as he works on a new poetry collection exploring childhood trauma and psychologically evocative places.

The six artists were selected following an open application process and a selection panel consisting of An Lanntair Artist Support Co-ordinator Andrew Eaton-Lewis, An Lanntair’s Education & Outreach Projects Manager Joe Mahony, and An Lanntair CEO Sean Paul O’Hare.

Andrew Eaton-Lewis said: “Travel costs are one of the big challenges facing anyone trying to make a living as an artist on Lewis. While there is an incredibly vibrant creative community on the island, the fact is that there are many opportunities open to visual artists, musicians, film-makers etc living in big cities that just aren’t accessible to people here unless they are able to travel frequently to the mainland. Thanks to the Foyle Foundation, we’ve been able to support a small number of artists to make those trips in ways that will have a clear impact on their creative or career development. We had a lot of interest in this opportunity, and a lot of strong proposals, which suggests there is a definite need for more travel support for island-based artists.”

All six supported artists will document their trips and share their experiences either at An Lanntair’s monthly Artist Gatherings or online at