Cianalas is a Gaelic word which does not have an exact translation into English but is related to belonging, in particular a warm feeling of the Hebrides as home, embracing all of its tangible and intangible culture as well as the place itself.

Cianalas is An Lanntair’s dementia friendly community project, formerly Arora, funded from April 18 to March 20 by Life Changes Trust and BIG Lottery Scotland.

We share the inspirational An Lanntair arts programme and new events with people living with dementia and their carers.  Our current themes are fishing, photography walks/adventures, Barvas Ware, ceilidh culture and Gaelic/English podcasts.  We create resources for the community to share, such as podcasts, films, memory boxes and crafting kits. We offer a regular, seasonal newsletter online and in spoken word format. We have specialist freelance Creative Care Practitioners throughout the islands, Artists in various media with specific skills relating to our work.  Rooted in research, we aim to continue to collaborate as a community including our academic, health, third sector and local authority partners to find ways to resolve issues raised by people living with dementia and care partners and to uphold rights to be included, involved and to make valuable contributions to the community together.

Latest projects

Wall hanging with intelligent textiles with Chris Hammacott at Harris House, featuring ‘dark skies’ themed fishing scene with interactive light and sound features. December 18/Feb 19

A community, intergenerational photography project leading up to Eyes as Big as Plates, preceded by an Intergenerational, community photography project. 2019

An intergenerational exploration of intelligent textiles with Lucy Robertson. starting shortly.

Ceilidh trail across all of the islands in collaboration with Ceolas in South Uist. From Nov 19.

September 18
Awarded DEEP Influencing Grant of £2000 to film local cultural, heritage and arts events, to share with people isolated at home and in care centres. This has given us a new Vimeo channel.

Awarded DEEP Working Together Grant of £7500 to continue our sonic textiles research work with Lucy Robertson, PhD student at Duncan of Jordanstoun and Dementia Friendly East Lothian.

Our dance research project with Louise Davidson, tango champion and dance researcher, and Maggie Smith continues with film making, community sessions and this will lead into our ceilidh trail project, to include local dance, songs, stories and tunes.

Lochs Social Group continues.

August 18
Barvas Ware
 research project with Museum Nan Eilean, Borve Pottery, Western Isles Libraries, Helen Pickles and Highland Folk Museum. Ceramicist Jana Grimm is working with us across the community.

We shared elements of An Lanntair’s Purvai South Asian arts festival across the community in care homes, day centres and hospital including Kathak dance, Tabla drumming and singing some of the chants.

The new Lochs Social Group started for a three month trial.

Ongoing project
Memory Boxes and film tablets in collaboration with Western Isles Libraries and Museum Nan Eilean.

June 18
Memory Tree and Vinyl at the Sanctuary space, Western Isles Hospital

April 18
Cuimhne Symposium event at An Lanntair
Two year’s core funding awarded to  Cianalas by Life Changes Trust and BIG Lottery Scotland

Oct 17 – June 18
#Sonic_Flock project with PhD student Lucy Robertson, through the Scottish Graduate Placement Scheme.

Summer 2017
£10000 awarded from Wm Grant Foundation for our Me Time project work with care partners.

May 17
DEEP funded our Hills of Home vinyl project,personalising care spaces with £2000.

March 2017
Four page feature in British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine for our Quilter in Residence project and exhibition.

March 17
April 16 – March 17 Report by Life Changes Trust

Jan 17 – and continuing
Dance project on Cultural Movement with Maggie Smith and Louise Davidson, which incorporated collaboration work with Scottish Ballet and Uist Quadrilles Group/Ceolas. DEEP funded £2000 for project hours and a film from Uist Film for this project.

2016 into 2017
Woven Communities Project with University of St Andrew’s Report

September 2016
£3900 Funding from Alzheimer Scotland and Remoage to collaboratively support our Creative Care Practitioners in North and South Uist, Benbecula and Barra for 2017/18. We have sustained this work after the funding period was over.

September 2016
Winner of Scottish Dementia Awards best Dementia Friendly Community

March 16
April 15-March 16 Report by Life Changes Trust

January 16
Report on Hand Memory

October 2015
Feature in The Times

April 2015
Life Changes Trust awarded An Lanntair three years worth of core funding for a dementia friendly community project focussing on bilingualism.

Prior to 2015
An Lanntair was working in care centres, in hospital and with older people in the community on projects such as Memory Books, a tea party and tablecloth project (which was exhibited at our Cuimhne Symposium event) and on mapping fishing territories (which was exhibited on the Cafe Bar wall at An Lanntair).

Social Media
TWITTER: @dfclanntair

Project Curator:
General An Lanntair Enquiries: