Meet the Group

The School of Plural Futures, led by artist Emmie McLuskey, is a cohort of eight co-collaborators. Together they guide, create, discuss and explore its many threads in shaping the school.

Emmie McLuskey

My name is Emmie McLuskey and I live in Glasgow, Scotland.

I work across the roles of artist, producer and facilitator. I see these as completely interlinked and inseparable from each other, these multiple expressions, regardless of form, all come from a desire to communicate and process the nuance and complexity of our world alongside others. I’m interested in embodied forms of knowledge and collaboration is central to the work I do.

I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the school, working alongside the group to explore possible futures, the idea of home, the land, the environment and it's intersections with the systems we are a part of. It is a great privilege to work and learn with the group about where they call home. My main focus at present is on becoming a better ally to the land and in turn to others who live alongside it.

Currently I am artist in residence at Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh working towards new work in print, sound and moving image. Recent exhibitions and events include Collective, Edinburgh, KW, Berlin, Dogo Residenz für Neue Kunst, Switzerland and Sissi Club, Marseille. In 2019 I co-programmed the Artist Moving Image Festival alongside Ima-Abasi Okon and Kimberley O'Neill with LUX Scotland at Tramway Arts. As a producer I have recently worked with Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin and Counterflows, International Festival of Music and Art 2021. Recent writing includes States of Being commissioned by Film Video Umbrella, London for artist Cal Mac and An Ode to Influence on the work of choreographer Janice Parker for the National Galleries of Scotland.

Grace Wright

Hi, I'm Grace! I live just outside Edinbane, where I spent most of my time sewing and reading. I'm currently working on a master's degree in Victorian history and literature, researching land agitation in Skye in the 1880s. I love to make and mend clothing, exploring ways to minimise waste. I'm excited about the School because of its intersections with these interests: the heritage of the island, the sustainability of life here in the future, and the things we can do to promote both.

Isabel Mcleish

I am Isabel McLeish (she/her) based in Balmacara, Lochalsh and a postgraduate student doing my MA in Art and Social Practice with the Centre for Island Creativity at UHI. My practice explores the entanglements of people, objects and place and is informed by personal experiences of immersion in landscapes, the history, language and ecology of the Highlands and the rhythms intrinsic to the planet. I wish to continue to develop my practice in a rural context exploring collaborative processes as a way of responding to the climate crisis and working towards a more sustainable future.

I am delighted to be part of the School of Plural Futures programme as I want to explore creative responses to local issues and the climate crisis alongside other young people in my local area. The group is a great opportunity for sustained engagement with challenging issues and enables space and time for conversations and engagement and I am enjoying the variety of content and themes throughout the project.


Instagram: @isabelmcleishart

Sebastian Taylor

Sebastian was raised in New England by English parents, but they never quite meshed with either country. They studied physics at university and focussed on novel forms of nuclear waste clean-up and maintenance using cosmic-ray showers. They have worked on a number of projects with groups including Inklight Creative Writing Society, Saints LGBT+, NEW Inc, and they are now very excited to be joining ATLAS Arts for the School of Plural Futures.

Sebastian’s work focuses on queering spaces and bodies; and they are now considering new visions of future and shared spaces with other students at the School. They are preparing for an MLitt in Curatorial Practice for Contemporary Art at the Glasgow School of Art in September, and they are grateful for the community ATLAS and the people of Skye have fostered to promote discussion and creative works.

Sara Oussaiden

I’m Sara Oussaiden, a student and artist about to start my first year at DJCAD. I create fine art but am not afraid to mix mediums and include photography and poetry into my work. I’ve completed work in the past with ATLAS arts, Sky Arts and the Scottish Book Trust.

During lockdown we all learnt a lot about what we need to thrive and what injustices need to be addressed (Black Lives Matter movement, the climate crisis, etc.) I’m a major advocate for mental health awareness and think that it should become a priority as we come out of this second lockdown.

Community is crucial, and with the school I hope we can learn more about some of these major issues and find constructive and creative solutions together.

Eilidh Towers

Hi, I’m Eilidh (she/her) and I grew up in Carbost, Skye. I have a science background with a First Class Degree (Hons) in Earth Science from the University of Glasgow. I love the Earth, the rocks, the ocean, and I’m fascinated by all the intricate chemical, physical and biological connections sculpting the vastly different landscapes that this planet cradles. Not forgetting how this planets’ delicate balance of climates allows life to blossom. I am worried about the effect humans are having on the planet and what Earth will look like in 50 years. I ease this worry by using knowledge of past climates to help me understand possible future scenarios. There are so many ways climate change is recorded in history. I started a MSc degree at Uppsala University, Sweden to dive into some of these archives. I really appreciate how the School of Plural Futures has given me the opportunity to approach archives, climate and landscapes in a new way. The stimulating conversations we have had have really inspired hope and I am very grateful to be part of this. When I am not writing my master thesis (topic: North Sea climate change from 1765-1954 recorded by Arctica islandica clam shells) I go out running, exploring Skye and swimming in the sea below my house.

Ailish Culbertson

My name is Ailish and I’m 21 years old.

I grew up on the Isle of Skye and feel extremely proud to be able to call it home, for so many reasons.

After leaving school and studying childcare in Inverness for a year, I realised how much of my heart was in Skye, so I moved home to finish my studies and find a job working in education on the island.

I'm interested in local activism, and am part of Iomairt an Eilein, a campaign and activist group focused on amplifying the voices of young people on Skye - advocating for change around the housing crisis, Gaelic language and culture and opportunities for young people to stay on the island. As a young local, I’ve benefited my whole life from people in my community who’ve shared endless knowledge and skills with me. I would like to continue to share my knowledge and skills with my community to make a lasting change to the place that I call home. Engaging with other young people in a fun and exciting way that makes change possible is an incredibly exciting opportunity.

image credit - Matthew Arthur Williams

Murdo MacGillivray

My name is Murdo MacGillivray and I’m 18 and I live on Skye.
I'm a photographer and filmmaker, and I enjoy sports like cycling and hill walking.
Living on a croft all my life has meant I have always enjoyed being outdoors. I think that the climate crisis is an important issue not just here but globally. It is important to keep campaigning for change in laws regarding climate change and for more investment.
I also believe that more should be done to help locals on Skye on issues including housing, making it easier to get into crofting and more full time jobs that would help keep young people on the island. I am also a Gaelic learner, and am interested in how Gaelic can be more accessible to learn and less of a stigma around speaking it in public.

Two people filming, there are hens and someone sitting on the ground in the distance.

Sarah MacLeod