Outer Hebrides Culture Collective projects announced

  • Published on: 13th October 2021
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An Lanntair is excited to announce a new programme of activities and projects devised and delivered by creative practitioners across Lewis and Harris as part of Culture Collective.

A Scotland-wide programme supported by Creative Scotland, Culture Collective explores ways of working together, supporting artists and embedding the arts within community recovery from the effects of Covid-19. Shetland Arts (Shetland), Pier Arts Centre (Orkney), An Lanntair (Lewis and Harris), and Taigh Chearsabhagh (North Uist) are working together to share experiences and ideas, and build connections between creative practitioners and project participants across our islands.

All the projects aim to provide opportunities for people to reconnect with others after periods of isolation and restriction as a result of Covid-19 in relaxed, fun and creative ways.

Catherine Maclean will be working on an intergenerational project with Comainn Eachdraidh and Youth club/School in Lochs. In this multi-artform and heritage project, participants will explore local stories, geography, history and culture, resulting in the creation of new artwork based on this heritage material. A collective intergenerational picture of the community will be captured, detailing what is special to the community about their own area, and highlighting the similarities and differences of the community over time and the generations.

Spoken-word performer Magaidh Smith will be working alongside dancer Louise Davidson and over-6os groups across Lewis and Harris to explore themes of ‘the yarn’, Harris Tweed Mills and weaving and weaving mills as inspiration for stories, song and movement.

An exploration of our understanding and perceptions of colour, both culturally and in wellbeing will be led by artist Jon Macleod. The project would also focus on how colour has been used and utilised in the islands within a cultural, linguistic and historical context, such as how the colours differ in Gaelic and English. Participants will explore a range materials and techniques in workshops, including watercolour, natural plant dyes, chromatography, photoshop colour sampling, cyanotype, screen-printing using light sensitive and hydro-reactive inks. The project will comprise outdoor colour walks, a series of co-designed workshops, a co-curated community exhibition, and a community made publication showcasing the project.

Andrew Eaton-Lewis will be working with dementia activist Ron Coleman to co-write new songs with individuals living with a dementia diagnosis, as part of a project to empower people living with dementia to express themselves creatively through music, film, and movement. Artists, participants and their families will work together to create an original, personal piece of music from words they have chosen themselves. The music will be recorded in partnership with Wee Studio in Stornoway.

Participants on Mark Jones’ project will explore identity and personal creativity and develop photographic skills to improve their mental health and self-esteem. Participants will be able to take charge of their own representation through projects based on the self-portrait. The choice of photographic medium will be determined by each participant and will include both digital and analogue. Options for cyanotypes or pinhole will also be available. Mark will work with participants to develop their work into a booklet or exhibition.

Finally, Freya Macleod will be working with Macaulay College – a centre that provides activities and support to people with additional social and educational requirements – on a place-based project exploring both the specific place of the College and its wider place with the Lewis community. Micro and macro themes would be explored with work imagining visions for the future of Hebridean Public Space produced, displaying people’s hopes and concerns for the future of the island, allowing people greater autonomy to the often bureaucratic urban planning process, and creating a more open dialogue around planning and design. On a micro level, a 1:1 scale experimental social space at Macaulay Farm would be created. This space would focus on individual and collective wellbeing – a space for community, conviviality and conversation, not only in its final form, but through the process of designing and building it.

There will be further updates on activities and the projects throughout the year, including exhibitions and other events to share work, both in-person and digitally. To keep up to date, visit www.lanntair.com