To coincide with the return of the Silver Chanter to Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in collaboration with ATLAS Arts and Tobar an Dualchais, will host an art exhibition with work by the Gaelic visual artist Mairi Gillies.
Over the course of 6 months in 2021 Mairi was artist in residence with the online resource, Tobar and Dualchais, where she was able to explore fieldwork recordings from prestigious sound archives such as the School of Scottish Studies.
As a starting point, Mairi used the story of a piper from Uig in Lewis, who, following the reformation, would play his pipes in a cave away from the village to avoid their confiscation. She was also inspired by stories of ‘Uamh an Òir’ (The Cave of Gold) and tales about the connection between the MacCrimmons and the Gaelic otherworld.
The result is a beautiful sculpture based on the rhythmic patterns of ‘Cha Till MacCriomain’, a well-known ceòl mòr melody.
As part of the exhibition opening Mairi will give a talk about her creative journey, touching on the different stories that inspired her. Musical examples will be provided by the prestigious Cape Breton and Skye piper Angus Mackenzie.