Samhla Opening Weekend

Barrachd: 19 — 26 Iuchar 2024

Làthaireachd shaor an-asgaidh

Duilich, chan eil seo ri fhaighinn ach sa Bheurla an-dràsta.

Opening Weekend 19 & 20 July
Exhibition continues 20 – 26 July
Spanning five sites across North Skye

Come along on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th, July, 2024 for the opening weekend of Samhla; an exhibition of new sculpture and events by Lauren Gault.

Across a range of indoor and outdoor spaces – at Glendale, Romesdal and Staffin – the project brings together objects, texts and materials to be held in the hand, encountered through walking, licked by animals, and expanded through publication and discussion.

Working with many different people whose work tells stories about land – archaeologists, palaeontologists, folklorists, classicists, geologists and soil researchers – the project brings together references that speak about how Skye’s landscape has been controlled, valued, changed or understood across expansive time periods.

Samhla grows from Lauren’s longstanding interest in the stakes of landscape decisions. With issues of how land is accessed and renewed’ of ongoing and huge relevance in Skye, Lauren’s work opens up conversations through materials – using objects as prompts to think about echoes, patterns, and relationships between places, and to tune in to different kinds of voices.

Many of the works explore human-canine histories, with these relationships often being very telling about wider social conditions, and how people connect with the land around them. Exploring records of dogs and wolves in place names, mythology, archival records, and fossil finds – the exhibition includes reworked sheep worrying signs, ghostly images of dogs and owners, locations of wolf pits, and much more.

Opening Weekend

Friday 19 July

If the land could speak”

In Glendale, where 19th Century factors banned dog ownership to manage tenants’ use of the land, Samhla begins with an event at Glendale Community Hall – exploring ways of tuning in to place, time and history. The event includes discussion with specially made objects, analysis of the underlying soil and geology, food, and a walk around nearby Fàsach. We’ll also launch a guiding map which collates thanks, references, images and correspondence from many of the Samhla contributors.

Glendale Community Hall and 11 Fàsach 14:00 – 17.30

Free, all welcome, no booking required.

“If the land could speak”

In Glendale, where 19th Century factors banned dog ownership to manage tenants' use of the land, Samhla begins with an event at Glendale Community Hall - exploring ways of tuning in to place, time and history. The event includes discussion with specially made objects, analysis of the underlying soil and geology, food, and a walk around nearby Fàsach. We’ll also launch a guiding map which collates thanks, references, images and correspondence from many of the Samhla contributors.

14:00 Welcome - ATLAS and Tuath project introductions, refreshments available.

14:30 Project sharing with Lauren Gault, Samhla publication launch with Lesley Sharpe, and an in conversation with Grace Wright, specially made objects, images and sound.

– walk to 11 Fàsach 15 min –

15:45 Onsite at Fàsach - Dr Giacomo Savani on the archaeological assemblage at Fàsach and Dr Katharine Earnshaw on Classical texts and agricultural ethics.

– return to Glendale hall 15 min–

16:30 Dr. Bianca Cavazzin Organic Geochemistry, Skye soil analysis, University of Glasgow, School of Geographical & Earth Sciences

17:00 – 17:30 a chance to share, chat and look ahead to Saturday.

Access: Glendale Community Hall has disabled parking, ramp access and a disabled toilet. There is limited phone signal in the area. We will have the projector and screen to share visuals, and a hearing loop on hand if you need. The walk to 11 Fàsach will take approximately 15 minutes and is on a tarmacked, single track road without a pavement, care should be taken with passing vehicles. 11 Fàsach is off the road, the ground is uneven and in the summertime can be overgrown with bracken, we advise wearing comfortable footwear, bringing clothing suitable for the weather. Care should be taken when near the river's edge.

Saturday 20 July 2024

A full day, including an outdoor sculptural exhibition, walk and talks at Romasdal Common Grazing, moving image, talks and sound work at Staffin Dinosaur Museum, indoor sculpture exhibition at Kilmuir and Stenscholl Church Staffin, finishing the evening at The Hungry Gull.

Romesdal Common Grazing 13:00 – 15:00

*Booking required*

A series of sculptures and text works weave up the hill to the site of a (possible) old wolf pit near Lòn Madragil. Open for a week thereafter, on Saturday the exhibition will open with discussion on the histories of the area, as well as invitations to listen to the land in different ways.

12:30 Bus leaves Portree Camanachd Square

13:00 Journey up Romesdal River, to Madragil Sheepfold, large sculptural installation

Contributions from artist Lauren Gault, Scottish Crofting Federation Yvonne White, archeologist Dr Giacamo Savani, archivist Catherine MacPhee, and palaeontologist Dr Elsa Panciroli.

15:00 return

Access: Romesdal has extremely limited areas to park, we kindly ask you to only attend the scheduled walk if you have booked online for the bus drop off, or visit at another time in smaller groups.

Romesdal is a shared grazing area, and former settlement, used by crofters in Kingsburgh. Throughout the year, it is populated by animals and crofting activity, and so care is encouraged. In line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, please respect the interests of other people there, apply due care for the environment, and take responsibility for your own actions. Please secure gates when passing through and we ask that you do not bring dogs at this time.

Even when on leash they can spook and separate sheep and lambs, and can be dangerous when entering fields with cows and calves.
The walk will take around 70 minutes in total, meandering uphill through fields, on uneven ground. Dress for the weather with solid footwear. If coming alone, tell another person when you expect to be back. Please do not climb on and in trailers.

There are no public toilets nearby. The nearest public toilets are in Uig and Portree.

We will be sharing information and stories through conversation on the hill, and audio recordings through a small speaker. We have a hearing loop and can make recordings available in advance should that be required.

Book the bus here ↗

Staffin Dinosaur Museum 17:00–19:00

17:30 Introduction to the Staffin Dinosaur Museum collection, and Dr Katharine Earnshaw on ‘Echo’

A new moving image work sits alongside the rich catalogue of museum objects, exploring Skye’s palaeontological history and its close links with crofting knowledge and local mythology. Small ‘voided’ replica fossils are also exhibited, made by 3D printing CT scans of rocks to reveal the hidden artefact within - without extracting it from its source. The film comprises shots from the CT scanning process, accompanied by sound made by members of The School of Plural Futures - who worked with Lauren and Classicist Dr Katharine Earnshaw to explore the myth of echo in Gàidhlig and Classical texts.

Access: Parking is available outside the museum. The entrance is a standard single width door. The work will be shared on a monitor screen and speakers. We will have a hearing loop available. The nearest toilets are at the next stop at the church (during exhibition opening hours) and at Staffin Community Hall.

Kilmuir & Stenscholl Church, Staffin 18.30 – 20:00

Free, all welcome, no booking required.

An indoor exhibition brings together sculptures exploring different material histories, including mineral lick bucket sculptures, casts of an infamous Raasay agricultural artefact (an upended turtle sandpit blown over to the island 20 years ago and now used for feeding), printed fossil voids and braided dog leash/ropes.

Access: Kilmuir & Stenscholl Church, Staffin, is located by the Stenscholl River. Heading North it the the junction before the bridge over the river. There is parking at the church which is accessible by standard, single width doorway. There is a toilet inside. From Staffin Community Hall and The Hungry Gull it is a 5 min walk away.

The Hungry Gull 20:00 - 22:00

Late opening, food and drink available to purchase, all welcome.

ACCESS: The Hungry Gull cafe is located at Staffin Community Hall. It is approximately a 5 minute walk from Kilmuir and Stenscholl Church, has an accessible toilet and onsite parking.

More info


The programme spans across five locations in North Skye both indoors and outdoors. Please see each section for specific access information and contact the ATLAS team for additional information, or if we can make it easier to attend.


For helpful information on where to stay if you are traveling from further afield the Visit Scotland website can be found here.

With Thanks

Samhla has come together thanks to a long list of supporters who have contributed towards the research, development and making of this project.

A special thank you to:

Dr Elsa Panciroli, Paleontologist

Dr Giacomo Savani, Archeologist

Dr Katharine Earnshaw, Classicist

James Oliver, Tuath

Dugie Ross, Staffin Dinosaur Museum

Catherine MacPhee, Anne Beaton and Grace Wright at Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Yvonne White, Scottish Crofting Federation

Dr Fernando Alvarez-Borges, Maria Stagno Navarra, Bethany Harding, Ehsan Nazemi, University of Southampton

James Stephenson, crofter

Cheryl McIntyre, crofter

Chrissie Gillies, crofter (Raasay)

Caroline Dear, artist

Steve Taylor, author

Professor Hugh Cheape, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig - UHI

Professor Meg Bateman, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig - UHI

Dr Kate Dobson, University of Strathclyde

Philip Salter, University of Strathclyde

Calum MacPherson

Romesdal Common Grazing Crofters

Katharine MacFarlane

Angus Ross, Staffin Community Trust

Linda Spence, Clan Donald Lands Trust

Ainslie Roddick

Seoras MacPherson, storyteller

Ross Sibbald, Rumenco

Emmie McCluskey and The School of Plural Futures 2024

Richy Carey

Glasgow Sculpture Studios

Dr Stig Walsh, National Museums of Scotland,

Dr Neil Clark, University of Glasgow

Jeanette Pearson, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery

Dr Bianca Cavassin and Heloisa Dickinson, University of Glasgow
Caleb Wilson, Sel Freund and Ciorstaidh Chaimbeul, musicians

Ewan Thomson

Charles Culbertson

In-kind support from Rumenco and the University of Strathclyde

XCT scanning was performed by the National Research Facility for Lab X-ray CT (NXCT) at the µ-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre, University of Southampton, through the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant EP/T02593X/ 1. SEM imaging by Dr. Bianca Cavazzin and PhD student Heloisa Dickinson

Grant support from Henry Moore Foundation and Creative Scotland Open Fund.