A Bragar Arnol Timeline
Compiled by Anne Campbell
July - early October 2022
Our summer 2022 exhibition looks at the archaeology of our villages using artefacts covering 6000 years of human occupation, combined with research into the history of the area from the time of the Norse occupation to the present day.
Each person’s idea of a timeline is different – we encourage visitors to leave comments on what they would like to see included in a timeline of the area.
‘These townships are very populous and would be difficult to clear, besides there would be no object gained as they are more suitable for small tenants than anything else.’ John Munro Mackenzie, estate factor, 19th February 1851.
Bho Bheul An Eòin.
From the Bird's Mouth
7th May - 2nd July 2022
A language holds its own traditions and treasures. In Scots Gaelic, the word dualchas encompasses the intimate bonds that exist between the natural world, the land and its people - connecting through language, tradition and culture from generation to generation. The Gaelic names of the animals and plants that inhabit that landscape are a part of that tradition and reflect aspects of these relationships.
In recent times, a number of wildlife species have appeared in Scotland as our climate changes, or otherwise helped there by human agency, and some are so new to Scotland they don’t yet have a Gaelic name, which is something this exciting project is beginning to address.
From the Bird’s Mouth, Bho Bheul an Eòin, is naming the new. Through a process of research and consultation, with advice from scientists, researchers and Gaelic writers, the project gives Gaelic names to these colonisers, and tell their story through poetry and prose.
This exciting partnership project features award-winning and highly-acclaimed wildlife artist Derek Robertson, with support from NatureScot (formally Scottish Natural Heritage) and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The project advisors are from a wide variety of agencies and the names created will be submitted to their database archives.
The project will allow Scots Gaelic speakers and learners to give voice to the new nature around them and maintain Gaelic's rich, cultural link with the changing ecology of the landscape in which it is embedded.
More information can be found on the project website at www.fromthebirdsmouth.com
Bigger than us. Rebecca Styles
5th March - 30th April 2022
Passage. Rebecca Styles
‘Bigger than us’ is a celebration in paint of the unstoppable, ever-changing nature of the sea and its almighty power to move us. The beautiful, brute reality of nature untamed in this part of the world, the majesty of the rolling ocean, its powerful winds: all the forces of nature create an environment in constant flux. These paintings define and share the shock, terror and grace, push and pull, that has the strength to move us so forcefully.
Rebecca Styles works from her studio in Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, where unique geology and dramatic vistas are a constant source of inspiration. Her paintings evoke a sense of the elemental and energetic whilst capturing the essence of human nature in its raw and poetic state.
‘My art practice has evolved to become a series of painted love letters between my emotional state and my surroundings. Constantly adapting and evolving. The landscape endlessly braves the onslaught. Surviving and sustaining in order to renew. Nothing wasted, just re-invented.’
insta - rebeccastylesart
Creative Connections 27th January - 26th February 2021
‘Creative Connections’ showcases work made by participants in online creative workshops run for adults over 60 in the Outer Hebrides. The Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions acted as the catalyst for new connections and creativity. Classes included Memory Books; Inspiring Textiles; Introduction to Printmaking; Home is Where the Art Is; Rannsachadh Ealain Lèirsinneach; and Bogsaichean Sgeulachd, and were run by both local artists and creatives and those from further afield. The workshops were run by An Lanntair and funded and supported by Inspiring Scotland’s Creative Communities programme. A series of workshops took place in-person at Grinneabhat later in 2021.
Our corridor exhibition is series of original watercolours depicting historic island sites by Margaret Macleod.
Margaret was brought up in Glasgow from an early age although both parents were from Lewis – her mother from Coll and her father Murdo MacAulay from Bragar. She trained as a primary teacher but in the mid-80s decided on a career change to concentrate on painting full-time. She works mainly in watercolour and oils covering a variety of subjects.
Margaret returned to the island in 2000 and now lives in the village of Back with her husband John. She paints on a regular basis over-and-above being a freelance artist for D.C. Thomson as one of their cover artists.
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PAPER JAM. Jonathan MacDonald September 2021 - January 2022
Our autumn 2021 exhibition is by young local artist Jonathan MacDonald.
'Jonathan is based in Stornoway and has been developing his work as an abstract artist over the last number of years. His work is bright, playful and colourful, with his canvases full of fantastical detailed paths of colour, echoing the abstract work of Plaul Klee, Joan Miró and Jackson Pollock. His work often features shapes and lines that create visual maps that come from working intuitively from his imagination, and sometimes with influences of the environment that surrounds him.’
Follow his work on Instagram @jamartdrawing
Eyes as Big as Plates April - September 2021
The summer 2021 exhibition, and the first in the newly refurbished building, is Eyes as Big as Plates by Finnish-Norwegian artists Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. The exhibition includes portraits from the artists' visit to Bragar and Arnol in 2019, as well as images from Norway, South Korea, Tasmania and Senegal. For more information on the work, visit Riitta and Karoline's website at eyesasbigasplates.com.