By John MacLean, 04/08/2012:
Here’s a link to a short video I made of Scottish artist Gwen Hardie’s exhibition “Boundaries” at An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in August, 2012.
Gwen Hardie’s work engages with figuration and the act of perception. She first gained attention with her large scale tightly cropped portraits of women. Her magnifications of skin lit by natural light resemble light effects in the landscape and micro/macro views of cells/earth. Observing from life, she employs aspects of classical painting and color theory to render a lifelike presence. Intimate and monumental, the body-image shifts back and forth perceptually between an atmospheric illusion and a thing of gravity, real and tangible.
More info on Gwen and her work can be found here.
By John MacLean, 31/05/12:
Some new mounted prints, mainly of the three central standing stone sites, have been added to the stock at Calanais Visitor Centre. More to come soon!
By John MacLean, 19/04/12:
New photos have been added to the database, including images from the Uists, Eriskay & Barra. A visit to the huge chambered cairn at Barpa Langass, North Uist was the archaeological highlight of my recent trip to the Uists and Barra.
Beyond this and other celebrated sites such as the standing stones at Calanais and the broch at Dun Carloway, the Outer Hebrides is rich in history and archaeology: there are hundreds of lesser known sites dotted around the landscape which give us a glimpse back into the early history of the islands.
Among the photographic projects planned for the near future are recording in high resolution some of the many sites of archaeological and historical interest in the Western Isles, including standing stones, chambered cairns, brochs, etc.
By John MacLean, 04/03/12:
A new collection of Gaelic poems and songs by Lewisman Uilleam Aonghas MacMhathain (William Angus Matheson) was launched in Stornoway Library on 2nd March.
Born in Airigh a’ Bhruaich (at which village the book cover image was taken), Uilleam now lives in Point, Isle of Lewis.
This, his first published collection of poems and songs, is also available in electronic format from Amazon, for use with the Kindle eReader.
William Angus Matheson has won many awards at The Royal National Mod for his poetry and songs, and his songs have been recorded by Gaelic singers including Fiona J MacKenzie and Paul MacCallum.
‘Duilleag Beatha’ is a highly accessible and readable book that features bardachd and songs in traditional Gaelic style on subjects including love, longing, war, spirituality and humour.
Peter Urpeth, who manages the Clò Fuigheagan imprint on behalf of HI~Arts, said:
‘Duilleag Beatha’ is the long-overdue first collection of poems and songs by William Angus Matheson. It is a collection that has direct appeal to all Gaelic readers and those who love the language and culture of the Gael. The poems are accessible, memorable and written with a love of the Gaelic language that is palpable.
By John MacLean, 07/11/11:
Two of the exhibition catalogue spreads of Moira MacLean’s exhibition ‘Buisneachd’ at An Lanntair, Stornoway. The rest can be viewed in the downloadable exhibition catalogue at the link below.
(PDF file, 6.6 MB, pages 9 to 24).
By John MacLean, 21/10/11:
New framed photos are on display upstairs at the Woodlands Centre, Stornoway as of today (see below right): large prints of the coastline between Tolsta and Ness (near Diobadail); Upper Coll from the frozen loch on a winter afternoon; plus panoramic prints of Rhenigidale and Loch Maaruig, Harris.
Also several new mounted prints added to the stock downstairs.
By John MacLean, 05/10/11:
Editing lots of images today from Moira MacLean’s exhibition Buisneachd: Witchcraft, Sorcery, Enchantment showing at An Lanntair. Some of my finished photographs can be viewed in the downloadable exhibition catalogue at the link below.
(PDF file, 6.6 MB, pages 9 to 24).
The exhibition runs up to and into the supernaturally-themed Faclan Hebridean Book Festival at the end of October.
The Outer Hebrides are saturated in tradition, custom and folklore, drawing on Irish (Gaelic) culture, Scandinavian (Viking) influence and all parts between. An island, a village, a house can be a crucible for beliefs and practices, where culture grows as on a Petri dish.
Moira Maclean is from Lewis and is an MFA graduate from Grays School of Art, Aberdeen. She has immersed herself in the past by ‘raiding’ the abandoned croft houses of the Islands to explore issues of dereliction, decay, transience and diaspora, notably from a female, domestic perspective.
‘Buisneachd’ focuses and assembles these ideas. It is about the home, the hearth, the earth and the ether. Rescued domestic detritus, mirrors, bibles, maternal paraphernalia, accretions of wallpaper and images of abandoned spaces insinuate unseen forces and malign influences.