Island artists shine as Grinneas Nan Eilean and Grinneas na h-Oigridh Critic’s Choice winners announced

  • Published on: 9th December 2019
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The Islands’ Open Exhibition is back bigger and better than ever and An Lanntair is delighted to announce the ‘Critic’s Choice’ award winners.

This year Grinneas Nan Eilean expanded with the introduction of Grinneas na h-Oigridh, showcasing the creativity of those under 18; as well as giving you the opportunity to have your say on best in show – the ‘People’s Choice’ awards.

An Lanntair Head of Visual Art & Literature, Roddy Murray, said: “The range of work this year is vast and the standard as high as anything I have seen at previous Grinneas exhibitions.

“Hanging up to 400 pieces is a challenging, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding process and was completed only 10 minutes before the official Opening!”

It was a tough selection for our ‘Critic’s Choice’ judging panel, comprising of Murdo Macdonald, Art Academic and former lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art; Janis Scott of Morven Gallery, Borve; and Art Teacher Kate Macdonald.

However, congratulations to Grinneas Nan Eilean Critic’s Choice First Place winner Mairi Gillies for Pìobaireachd Crùbaige 1 & 11, as the panel commented: “A fascinating use of delicate natural objects, juxtaposition of textures and materials which demand close attention.”

Second Place was awarded to Jon Macleod’s Oceanic’ which proved ‘atmospheric and subtle with strong shapes and composition’; and Third Place to Kathleen Smith for Alone at Dusk, which the panel felt ‘had a textural quality and intricate detail’.

The judging panel also selected ‘Highly Commended’ to Jane Paton, for ‘her tweed dresses, 60s styling and superb handling of textures’; Laura Maynard for ‘her use of perspective and layers’; Lesley Mckenzie’s Stac Lee, which had ‘a strong sense of place and atmosphere’; Andy Laffan’s ‘dramatic’ gneiss sculpture Cornerstone 1, and Joanna George’s Felt Vases’ which were ‘tactile and intriguing’.

And in Grinneas na h-OirgidhFirst Place Critic’s Choice went to Dulcie MacDonald, who the judges felt had ‘a natural flair for watercolour’ displayed in her work Clouded Vision. In Second Place is Ena Mahony for The Time Traveller, which ‘showed a joyful use of colour’; and Third Place to Caitlin Morrison for her ‘mature use of material’ in work ‘Venom and Eddie’.

Who will win our ‘People’s Choice’ awards? Only you decide!  Call in this Christmas and enjoy the talents of our islands’ artists and artisans and make sure to cast your vote for your favourite.

Grinneas Nan Eilean and Grinneas na h-Oigridh, the Islands’ Open Exhibition 2019, is open until February 2, 2020.

For more on An Lanntair visit – or contact Eilidh Whiteford, Marketing Administrator, at 01851 708480 or