IOLAIRE CENTENARY 1st January 2019: Presentation on a proposal for a new commemorative sculpture

  • Published on: 6th April 2017
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All are invited to a presentation at An Lanntair on a proposal for a new commemorative sculpture with Will Maclean RSA, Marian Leven RSA, Arthur Watson RSA at 7.30pm Monday 17th April 2017

The anniversary of the Iolaire disaster on 1st January 2019 will be the final formal event in the official, national four-year programme commemorating the Centenary of The Great War.  A time for deep reflection, it is also the appropriate time to create a significant memorial that will give the tragedy the national profile and place in history it merits and create a legacy for the community and for those visiting the island.

An Lanntair, with financial assistance from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, commissioned three of the most senior and respected visual artists in Scotland to prepare a range of designs for a bronze sea or land sculpture located on or near the site where the vessel was wrecked.

It is intended that it will complement the present memorial, encourage deep reflection, symbolise, represent and commemorate survivors, those lost, their families and the survival of the community itself. Because, ultimately, it is not possible to fully understand the history of Lewis in the 20th Century without recognising the scale and impact of the Iolaire disaster.

The designs will be exhibited in the foyer area of An Lanntair in advance of the presentation and over the Easter period. It is the first of our consultations with the community on this important initiative.

All are invited to join us at the event on Easter Monday, where you will have the opportunity to hear about the philosophy and intention behind the proposed designs, to comment on them and to question the artists. Tickets for the event are free, and are available at

If the proposals meet with the approval of the community, An Lanntair will develop a funding strategy, which will invite people to contribute through crowd funding and subscriptions to the development of the sculpture, offering everyone from the community the opportunity to be a part of this landmark project.

An Lanntair, Acair Books and Museum nan Eilean at Lews Castle are working together on a number of projects around the Iolaire centenary.  There will be a new publication, exhibitions, and a wide reaching education programme running throughout 2018 and early 2019.  More information will be announced on these projects and how people can get involved in the next few months.