About

My work is concerned with place, specifically with my native island of Lewis and the village of Bragar where my family have lived for many generations. I have always been interested in the interaction between the land and the living things which spend their lives here or pass through: the traces left behind, whether on the earth and stones or in the memory and imagination. I have studied this interaction through the disciplines of art, ecology and archaeology.

Over the past few years my work in both art and archaeology has concentrated on the vast blanket bog which forms the interior and centre of Lewis. This great open moorland with its boundless horizons was, above all others, the landscape of imagination for my parents generation who spent their childhood summers on moorland shielings. They had a profound knowledge of both the environment and the dense web of place-names, stories and songs associated with it. Over the past half century this knowledge has been eroded and recently the moorland itself has been under threat from the renewable energy industry. I hope to communicate to a wider audience some of the resonance that this landscape has had, and still has, for the people who live around its margins, and promote awareness of the ecological and cultural value of moorland.

A separate strand of work is paintings made from quick sketches, mainly done outdoors, of birds, animals, land and sea in and around my croft and the adjoining shoreline. This work can be seen at the Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen, the Lochcroistean Coffee Shop, Uig, Isle of Lewis, the Morven Gallery, Barvas, Isle of Lewis, and at my studio in Bragar.

CV

2014
Land and a Cow: the croft in the Outer Hebrides. The Doubtfire Gallery, Edinburgh, from 6th September. Joint exhibition with David Greenall, Ruth O'Dell and Simon Rivett.
Nairn Book and Arts Festival, 30th August-29th September. Work from the 'A-mach an Gleann' and 'Astar' exhibitions.
Tìr mo Rùin: Sexy Peat. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery 8 March-5 April

2013
Joint lead artist (with Jon Macleod) on the Tìr mo Rùin project, celebrating the ecology and heritage of the Lewis peatlands. Shown as part of the 'Sea Change' exhibition, John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, 4 November 2013 to 26th January 2014. Tìr mo Rùin artist diary
Moladh na Mòine: in Praise of Peat, An Lanntair.
Ringed plover on the tideline. An Lanntair bar/cafe.
Window exhibition at the Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen.
Artist's Workshop, Garyvard, Isle of Lewis.

2012
ASTAR/Glen Tolsta: a collaborative project with Ishbel Murray and Mairi Morrison, exploring the concept of journeying through time, retracing the history of the families who settled in the (formerly) remote village of Glen Tolsta: An Lanntair.
ARS NAVIGARE Andromeda Atlantic Art: based on a short residency by seven Scottish and Finnish artists on the uninhabited island of Little Bernera (Kulttuurikeskus Cruselli, Uusikaupunki, Finland).

2008 - 10
University of Edinburgh, MSc with Distinction in Archaeology. My main body of work was an exploration of the Lewis moorland as a cultural landscape, based on a field survey of Bragar from coast to central moorland, concentrating on areas featured in oral history and tradition.

2007 - 08
A-mach an Gleann/a Known Wilderness: a joint project with Jon Macleod, exploring place-names, traditions, terminology and ecology of the Lewis peatlands. Funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and Proiseact nan Ealan. Moorland art workshops in local primary schools. (An Lanntair, Stornoway; Taigh Chearsabhagh, Uist)

1999 - 2009
Exhibited at: the Rendezvous Gallery, Morven Gallery, An Lanntair, Taigh Chearsabhagh, Finsbay Gallery, Frames Gallery.
Art TM Biannual Open – Hurd Rolland Partnership Purchase Prize.

1994 - 99
Open University, BSc (1st Class Honours).

1985
Exhibited at Edinburgh University Staff Club and at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

1979 - 84
Edinburgh College of Art:
BA (1st Class Honours) in Drawing and Painting.
Post-graduate Diploma with Distinction in Painting.
Helen A. Rose Travel Bursary to the Great Blasket Island, Ireland.
Hunting Group Exhibition, London.
Elizabeth Blackadder Prize for watercolour.
Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship to the Aran Islands, Ireland.
Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship to Spain.
Stowells Trophy Exhibition, Royal Academy, London.
Graduates of ECA Exhibition, Munich and Strasbourg.
Ancrum Gallery, Roxburghshire.

Publications

Rathad an Isein: the Bird's Road. A Lewis moorland glossary. A glossary of 192 Gaelic terms connected with the moorland of the Isle of Lewis, with English translations. Available from Amazon.

A-mach an Gleann: a Known Wilderness (with Jon Macleod)

Astar: Glen Tolsta (by Ishbel Murray and Catriona Murray). Available from Amazon.