Tobar an Dualchais Residency 2021

Dal Mòr, Mairi Gillies

Gaelic artist Mairi Gillies has begun an arts residency with ATLAS Arts and Tobar an Dualchais (TAD) to explore and create work relating to the oral heritage recordings available in the collections.

As a visual artist who works across a range of media, Mairi is interested in the overlapping layers through time, of peoples, languages, material culture, and their relationships with the environment and how they connect and relate to one another. Mairi will focus on recordings from the Uig area of Lewis for this residency, in particular personal accounts of the use of local sheilings, crofting practices and other local lore.

Mairi participated in the TAD Creative Connections course which was part of the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig short course summer programme. This three-day course ran on two consecutive weeks and saw 18 participants learn more about the recordings on the website, the tradition-bearers and field workers who made them, and why they are of value today.

I’m really excited to have been selected for this residency and to be able to spend time delving into recordings from the area of Uig. Although I knew about TAD previously, I had only dipped into it occasionally so it’s a real privilege to research these rich oral accounts. I hope to reconnect some of these wonderful stories, songs and poems back into the community and landscape from which they originate.
— Mairi Gillies

Mairi has an Honours degree in sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art, a qualification in horticulture and has just completed her Masters in Learning and teaching Gaelic Arts’ with the Royal Conservatoire Scotland. Her work has been exhibited widely and she was the 2019 Critics Choice’ award winner for her Grinneas nan Eilean exhibition. Originally from Edinburgh, Mairi is a Gaelic speaker who currently lives on the Isle of Lewis where she is in the process of setting up a Gaelic visual arts hub.

Visit Mairi Gillies' website ↗ Visit Tobar an Dualchais ↗