This month, in addition to our new Seed Stewardship programme, we're really excited to share news of our new community artist film project with artist Andrew Black;to screen Catherine Weir's new animations as part of her Tobar an Dualchais residency, as we also welcome two new local board members to the ATLAS Arts team.
We're really grateful to everyone who is adding their voice to build solidarity with cultural workers and organisation doing brilliant things despite the trying times, continuing to create work and opportunities for freelancers, responding creativity and critically to this crisis, and working hard to see the value of the arts recognised and protected for the future.
Keep in touch and take care.
Plural Futures Community Film project with artist Andrew Black
A visit to the Portree Archive Centre with Andrew Black in August 2020: a research screening of Springtime in Skye by K S Morphey (1976)
Plural Futures is a long term programme thinking about many different kinds of possible futures and ways of relating to the world – whilst building solidarity and plurality in this imagining. It includes film events, artworks, collective-making, workshops, meals, discussions and processes of work aimed at building plural communities, dispersed decision making and complex island identities.
As part of this, we are working with Skye Climate Action on a Plural Futures community-led film which looks at histories and mythologies of activism, migration, oral history, storytelling, land struggle and colonial wealth on Skye. Beginning with an oral history gathering and series of public events for the first few months, we are working towards the creation of a new community film that listens to these histories and speculates on alternate futures on the island.
Following an open call and shortlisting process with Skye Climate Action's co-coordinators Dorothy Jackson and Trish Rogers, artist Andrew Black was chosen to support the making of the film and public research this winter.
Eternity Knocker, 2019, film still, courtesy Andrew Black
Andrew's experimental videos often look at local ways of being, and queer relationships to place, memory, and the body. Together, we'll be spending the coming months speaking with a range of storytellers and myth-makers from around Skye and Lochalsh, building a picture of Skye's past and what we might bring with us to the future.
We'll be sharing more soon, including the different ways for people to get involved. Meantime, please get in touch if you think you can feed into this research and process. Costs and fees of contributors can be covered by ATLAS where appropriate.
Plural Futures: Tobar an Dualchais Archive residency public sharing
Throughout September 2020, the inaugural Plural Futures Archive Residency artist Catherine Weir undertook a period of research exploring the archives within Tobar an Dualchais collections - working towards a public sharing this month.
Find out more on our website, and read more in this week's West Highland Free Press' Tobar an Dualchais column - where this month Catherine shares her experience of the collection, the way women appear, and the feminist myths that emerge from the tapes.
ha Nàdar Fhèin aig Gach Nì a Dhealbhadh (Everything has it's own nature by design), animation still, Catherine Weir, 2020
About the work and research:
“My approach and response to the archive was for the duration of this residency centred on the natural environment and women’s roles and perspectives. These themes, and the points at which they intersect, have for some time been pretty constant throughout my own practice but between lockdowns spent in tiny city flats and global environmental crises and watching my own body grow another body they have this year taken on an even more special resonance and have felt now more than ever especially deserving of contemplation.
The following animations, little eternally looping moments of symbiotic synchronicity between woman and nature, are what came out of me when I put the songs and stories and reflections of the online resource in. The titles are all stolen or adapted from archive entries.” - Catherine Weir, September 2020
From 28 September – 9 October 10 am – 5 pm Catherine's new animations will be installed at ATLAS Arts (weekdays only) and from 1-8 October it will also be installed in Sabhal Mòr Ostaig's main building (for staff and students only). The four animations will also be available to watch online on the ATLAS website and via the Tobar and Dualchais' instagram.
COVID-safety, contact tracing and physical distancing procedures are in place at ATLAS Arts. We can permit one household at a time in addition to staff.
ATLAS Arts' Seed stewardship programme launch
From 1 October, ATLAS is organising a range of online and offline activities exploring the sharing of stories related to the saving of seeds. Bringing together artists, activists and local experts to share their experiences of the power and magic of seed saving, we'll explore what can be preserved and brought to life politically, socially and in solidarity with other growers and storytellers around the world.
Connecting to Skye Climate Action’s new ‘Grow Skye! Dùisg an talamh!’ project, We want to hear from local growers, crofters and seed savers with stories to share. What seed heritage and bio diversity have we lost on Skye - and how can we reclaim it? Can you help us find out more about the infamous six foot wide Glendale Cabbage?
Wild Relatives, 2018, Film still, courtesy Jumana Manna
Seed Stewardship programme in short:
1 Oct - 30th Nov: Share and borrow seeds and stories through The Skye Zine Library, free, all ages, location map
10 Oct, 2pm: The Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, Online talk and participatory event, free, all ages, Book here
One of The Skye Zine Library boxes, at Edinbane Community Hall.
ATLAS welcomes two new board members
A really warm welcome to Freya Rowe and Catherine MacPhee who joined the ATLAS board at our August board meeting.
Catherine MacPheeis an archivist who grew up on Skye, allowing her to engage with community groups across Skye and Lochalsh while preserving and protecting the culture. She has been an invaluable support to ATLAS, sharing her encyclopedic knowledge of the island with visiting artists and researchers, and helping us understand the complexity of Skye's history. She has a wide range of job experiences while growing up in Skye feeding into this knowledge, including at An Tuireann Arts Centre, in hospitality, and briefly as a financial advisor. She has a strong knowledge of local culture and a deep connection to the place she grew up.
"I explored the option of joining the ATLAS Board so I could support a local organisation who bring engaging and dynamic projects to Skye. Providing support with my skills in heritage and a local voice I am delighted to become a member and have the opportunity to support new developments and positive creative practices for the local area."
Freya Rowe is the managing director of Raasay House Hotel and Outdoor Activities. She lives and works on the Isle of Raasay, a short journey from the small village of Plockton where she grew up. As a dedicated member of her small island community, Freya has enjoyed working with various community groups supporting projects which help sustain this fragile island community and bring benefits to residents and businesses alike. She is a mother of two and loves spending time with her family. In the winter she loves to travel and in the rare moments of free time in the summer, you will find her loch swimming or e-biking around the island:
"I have followed the progression and success of ATLAS over the years and have been extremely impressed by how creatively diverse they are. Routing themselves deep within the community, and with an ethos which taps heavily into sustainability, I regard ATLAS as a unique example for the future of artistic vision. By choosing not to have premises they are free to invest in people, land and sea - collaborating with artists, schools, business, community groups and acting as a fluid bridge of creativity in this new world."
We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Catherine and Freya for their support and input so far.
ATLAS is also currently recruiting for a new Chair of the board, and we are really keen to hear from anyone living locally who might be interested in this role.
Artist and Makers Opportunities
ATLAS is looking for a Graphic Designer based on Skye and Lochalsh to work with us on a freelance ongoing basis. We would love to hear from you if you have experience - especially in book design, poster design and project branding. Please get in touch here for more information or to arrange a chat.
Artist opportunity: Little Pictures a new micro-budget short film commissioning scheme funded by Screen Scotland for people of all ages from 16 years old and over and encourages applications from under-represented backgrounds and welcomes people who have never made a film before. More here.
The Scottish Contemporary Art Networkis looking for an Artist / Policy Officer to work one day a week with their team for six months. "We’ll ask for your input into tasks across our portfolio of work, feeding your knowledge and expertise into our everyday activities. As a key part of your responsibilities, we’ll ask you to help us develop and implement a pilot seed-fund to support grassroots events and activities as the sector rebuilds after the first impacts of the COVID pandemic." For more info visit the SCAN website.
Funding application proofing and support: ATLAS is able to offer support and proofing reading with funding applications for artists living on Skye, Lochalsh and Raasay. Get in touch with email@example.com if you would find this helpful.
An audio version of the newsletter is available here.