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It’s been an incredibly busy Summer so far, with our first series of in person events taking place from June, with Isabel Lewis’ What can we learn about love from lichen? at Braes Village Hall and walks all over Skye, sessions of The School of Plural Futures in Minginish, Broadford, Flodigarry and Dunvegan, CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones being nominated for the Turner Prize, the launch of three new artist residencies, the minor feat of a new ATLAS website (opens in a new tab), AND shortlisting for our Culture Collective project for 2022.

We’re also very excited to be announcing the premiere of Andrew Black’s new film: Dàn Fianais (opens in a new tab), and we hope you can make it along.

The team have been working flat out, and having lots of fun with some brilliant artists and thinkers - thank you to everyone who’s supported us and contributed to all of these projects and conversations so far this year.
 


Join us for: Many Moons / Many More / Many Miles More / To The Mountain

Image by Leo Valenti

(title taken from Malin Lewis's 'Are we?')

This Tuesday, OVER / AT and ATLAS Arts invite you to join Leo and Rufus for a workshop exploring our plural pasts and futures. This score-making and printmaking workshop takes place at Elgol Hall from 1pm-4pm on Tuesday 24th August. Recovering fragments of the gender-diverse musical world of OVER / AT from the landscape and materials around Elgol, this a sociable session with bring together handmade, recycled etching techniques and printmaking. 

What gender-diverse music and sound has lived around Elgol and been forgotten? What can we find, as we are led through the techniques and processes of etching, using materials we can find around Elgol?

We will be discussing score-making (in the broadest sense) and interpreting, and the imaginative background of the OVER / AT world. Leo will then lead us through a hands-on session of DIY image-making. We will all make our own postcard-sized etching prints during the session. 

We welcome trans folks, non-binary folks, otherwise gender-diverse folks, queer folks, and friends and allies. Drop us an email on rufus@ambf.co.uk or admin@atlasarts.co.uk for more information or to RSVP. 

No previous musical or artistic experience necessary — all materials will be provided. If you are able to use one, please bring a mask!

OVER / AT is a trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse music-making world. We want to bring together a trans living tradition of music and stories. In spring, we released the OVER / AT E.P., FOLKS’ SONGS, and this autumn we are presenting a new musical collaboration between Rufus Isabel Elliot and Josie Vallely in Elgol — a mystery play where the characters A/am/ams and E/e/e walk forever and ever down an eternal beach.
 


Film Premiere: Dàn Fianais by Andrew Black

Still from Dàn Fianais, image credit by Andrew Black 2021

Join us on Thursday 9th of September at 7pm, South Skye as we premiere Andrew Black’s new film Dàn Fianais, the result of our year long Plural Futures Community Film project with Skye Climate Action.

Dàn Fianais or Protest Poem is a film-portrait of Skye and Lochalsh and some of its inhabitants - human and otherwise - recorded over several months during a pandemic, a climate crisis, and at a point where the effects of capitalism and imperialism are being reckoned with globally. 

The title is a provocation; exploring how progressive action might be shaped through imaginative emplacement in a specific place and its traditions. Some of the conversations the film is built around reflect on ways of being which are lost from practice but still within the reach of living memory - as well as those that endure - to speculate on multiple possible ways forward. 

Some of the participants in Dàn Fianais are young activists advocating for their culture and their right to carry and shape it, and for an equitable solution to the rapid gentrification of their villages and townships. Some spend their time working on the land and in their communities, in crofting, building and local organising. Others are storytellers, musicians, filmmakers, folklorists and academics who are recording and archiving their place and its culture - as well as remaking it and renewing it.

Collaged with traditional and experimental music and song, these conversations will hopefully open space for contemplation of imaginative and exciting possible futures for Skye and Lochalsh, moving away from leisure-industry narratives of untouched and unpeopled scenery, and paying particular attention to the ways of being that have endured through generations, and have developed and changed in intimate entanglement with the land and its ecological systems. As well as being a portrait of real people in a real place*, the project is intended as an open question, or a provocation to talk about what could be learned from the more communal, collaborative and interconnected forms of society that have not entirely faded from the North-West Highlands, and how the tools for better ways of living together may already be within reach.

Free, ticketed: book here (opens in a new tab).
South Skye : venue to be confirmed nearer the time.

The School of Plural Futures

The School of Plural Futures during the monoprinting workshop at Dunvegan Community Hall - Photo by Jordan Young 2021.
An image of Sara Oussaiden's collection of work 'From Inside' - Photo by Jordan Young 2021.

The School of Plural Futures, led by artist Emmie McLuskey, has met a few times for the fifth and sixth blocks in June and August.

Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich / Two Sides of the Pass: In June, we were joined by Gaelic poet Maoilios Caimbeul who led us on a walk to sites of importance in Flodigarry, reciting some of the poems he has written in relation to these places. We talked about the importance of local literature in our learning, and how an intimate understanding of the place is often fostered and expressed through words. We then transported the Making Public Press to Kilmuir Village Hall where we learned how to use the perfect binder and create our own books of excerpts from Gàidhealtachd Futures, a newly commissioned series of chapbooks.

The following day Mairi McFadyen facilitated a discussion of activism and global degrowth; to seek alternate ways of living, and we explored creative cartography with artist Raghnaid Sandilands to observe and question the world around us. Contributions from each centered around conviviality, and we finished the day by making our own ‘interpretative cartography’; sketching maps made with meaning.

The School of Plural Futures with Iain Mackinnon sat in Talla Bhreacais - Image by Jordan Young 2021.
The School of Plural Futures with Iain Mackinnon at the Faerie Hill - Image by Jordan Young 2021.

Dig Where You Stand: At Dunvegan Community Hall on Saturday, Emmie led a monoprinting workshop suggested by one of the cohort. The monoprints in turn were inspired by photographs, images and pictures of the group’s choosing, and the practical-minded session was a welcome change of pace.

Sara Oussaiden, an artist and member of the cohort, also shared with us her project ‘From Inside’ a collection of artwork, embroidered hats, masks, photography and zine (printed by Isle of Riso) which is rooted in raising an increasing awareness towards mental health, particularly in light of the recent lockdowns.

Agroecologist Dr. Iain MacKinnon, based in Sleat, delivered a talk and invited comment at Talla Bhreacais on Sunday. Iain spoke of local issues regarding land use, indigenous knowledge, histories of colonialism and imperialism, and also the heritage of the Isle during a site visit just outside Broadford.

We are hugely grateful to all of the friends and to the group for the richness of discussion in the school so far.

Artists in Residence

Dal Mor, an image by artist-in-residence Mairi Gillies

Tobar an Dualchais Archive Residency

This month, Gaelic artist Mairi Gillies embarked on the Tobar an Dualchais Archive residency, a partnership between ATLAS Arts and Tobar an Dualchais to explore and create work relating to the oral heritage recordings.

To initiate the residency, Mairi participated in the Tobar an Dualchais Creative Connections course, which was part of the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig short course summer programme. This three-day course ran for two consecutive weeks and saw 18 participants learn more about the recordings on the website, the tradition-bearers and field workers who made them, and why they are of value today.

Mairi commented: “I’m really excited to have been selected for this residency and to be able to spend time delving into recordings from the area of Uig. Although I knew about TAD previously, I had only dipped into it occasionally so it’s a real privilege to research these rich oral accounts. I hope to reconnect some of these wonderful stories, songs and poems back into the community and landscape from which they originate.

As a visual artist who works across a range of media, Mairi is interested in the overlapping layers through time, of peoples, languages, material culture, and their relationships with the environment and how they connect and relate to one another. Mairi will focus on recordings from the Uig area of Lewis for this residency, in particular personal accounts of the use of local sheilings, crofting practices and other local lore. Visit our website to find out more about the Tobar an Dualchais archive residency.


Visit our website to find out more about the Tobar an Dualchais archive residency.

Oban Bay intertidal zone, between high and low tide, with a person sifting through seaweed - image by Naoko Mabon 2021

CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones Residencies

As part of our long-term work with Cooking Sections, in July we launched a new series of On Tidal Zones Residencies in collaboration with We Are CLIMAVORE. Our inaugural researchers-in-residence are curator Naoko Mabon and biologist and artist Hayley Wolcott.

Through a period of practice-led research, Naoko is exploring how we can collaboratively activate the intertidal zone around Oban as a forum for critically thinking about, and taking actions towards, the climate crisis. She is interested in how we approach, understand and share the complex ecology, stories, heritage and challenges around the intertidal zones in an inclusive way. The research involves regular engagement with intertidal zones in different scales and levels: daily personal interactions; occasional open sessions with guests where anyone can join; and a sharing to wider communities on Skye coinciding with CLIMAVORE’s Oyster Table birthday party in October.

If you are interested in joining Naoko’s discussion group, please visit the Facebook page​“Activating Oban Intertidal Zones”
here (opens in a new tab).

Biologist and printmaker Hayley Wolcott, is currently developing a series of creative species ID cards using monoprinting techniques, for kids and adult workshops around the Oyster Table in Portree. We’ll use these for schools workshops and discussions, developing a species search game to be shared during the October CLIMAVORE celebration. 

We’d also like to send huge congratulations to Cooking Sections, who were nominated for the Turner Prize this year for their ongoing work in Skye. Their Turner Prize show will open in Coventry in September.

Nowhere Art Club

In collaboration with SEALL, Molly Danter has been leading the Nowhere Art Club over the course of the summer. Molly is a dancer, artist and storyteller from Edinbane, and the Nowhere Art Club is a series of free-form workshops experimenting with storytelling, writing, dancing and movement, open to all 11-17 year olds in Skye.

There have been a series of workshops held in Portree (with ATLAS) and Armadale (with SEALL) over recent weeks, and there will be another series of sessions planned for Autumn, so keep your eyes peeled if you know of anyone who might be interested.


Visit our website (opens in a new tab) to find out more about current and upcoming residencies and opportunities with ATLAS.

Making Publics Press

The Making Publics Press book making studio has been busy, transported temporarily to Kilmuir Hall to bound some copies of an excerpt from Gàidhealtachd Futures (full book coming soon!) and then used in collaboration with SEALL to print a limited edition run of Maoilios Caimbeul’s dual-language poetry pamphlet ‘Agus Mar Sin Car A’ Mhuiltein / And So Somersault’.

The Making Publics Press is available for use to anyone with an interest in self-publishing. For an induction, or for further information, you can book and find out more
here (opens in a new tab).

Art Night

An image from the opening of the Hosted Occasion at Art Night - photo credit Winifred Brook Young 2021

Our co-commission with Art Night “What can we learn about love from lichen?” took place in Skye from 16-19 June 2021. Choreographed by Isabel Lewis in collaboration with local agents Lucy Cooke, Richy Carey and Nick Hodgetts, “What can we learn about love from lichen?” unfolded across a series of foraging, listening and lichen walks leading to a final hosted occasion.

We would love to thank everyone that joined across Skye to sing, listen, learn and feast after such a long time kept apart from these ways of being together by COVID 19. Thank you also to the wind that (almost) kept the midges away.

Filmmaker and photographer Winifred Brook Young documented the Hosted Occasion. We hope you enjoy watching it, if you couldn't join us, or enjoy revisiting the occasion if you made it it along:

Link to film(s) on our website can be found
here (opens in a new tab).

Opportunities

We’ve collated a series of opportunities that may be of interest to artists and makers in our locale:

  • Join the ATLAS board! Find out more here (opens in a new tab).
  • Deveron Projects opportunities here (opens in a new tab).
  • ENOUGH call for contributions here (opens in a new tab), and open fund for individuals here (opens in a new tab).
  • Online Mentoring with Isabel Rocamora here (opens in a new tab).
  • Taigh Chearsabhagh professional development opportunity here (opens in a new tab).
Take care and keep in touch x
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