Atlas Arts




Plural Futures: Tobar an Dualchais archive residency public sharing

ha Nàdar Fhèin aig Gach Nì a Dhealbhadh (Everything has it's own nature by design), animation still, Catherine Weir, 2020

As the inaugural Plural Futures archive residency artist Catherine Weir undertook a period of research throughout September 2020, exploring the Tobar an Dualchais archives and working towards a public sharing.

From 28 September – 9 October Catherine Weir’s animations were installed at both ATLAS Arts space and the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig main building.

About the work and research:

“As a thoroughly lapsed Gael when I first read about the Plural Futures research residency with Tobar an Dualchais and ATLAS it felt like to perfect opportunity to immerse myself in a universe of spoken and sung Gaelic; to begin to rebuild my ear and vocabulary; to re-establish a sense of the language beyond mere words and phrasing and to process it all through a mechanism I feel comfortable with in drawing/animating.

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.”

Read Catherine’s full text in the West Highland Free Press here.

Catherine’s four animations will also be available to watch online via Tobar and Dualchais’ instagram.

Tobar an Dualchais is Scotland’s largest online collection of sound recordings, consisting of up to 50,000 recordings of songs, music, history, poetry, traditions and stories collected from across Scotland from the 1930s onwards.

This residency is part of ATLAS Arts’ Plural Futures programme.