Travelling the Archive was a long-term project with artist Nicky Bird aimed at reimagining a time and place in Kyleakin’s past, for future audiences and current residents. Bird sought to share and make accessible the 1960s heritage of the close community of Kyleakin in the Isle of Skye, through a series of 35mm slide images taken during this period by seasonal visitor Miss Joan Wilcock.
A unique collection of 35mm slides known as the Joan Wilcock Collection, form a portrait of the Kyleakin community before the construction of the Skye bridge and before the famous Skye ferry ceased to operate; events which changed both the geography and the way of life for residents and visitors to the area. The Joan Wilcock Collection (a series of over 400 slides taken between 1959 and 1973) was gifted to the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre upon the death of Miss Wilcock in 1994. These slides, and the portraits captured within them, were the basis for the ‘Travelling the Archive’ project, which used the slides to raise awareness of the heritage of this significantly altered village, historically known as the gateway to Skye.
In early 2016, an outdoor exhibition was displayed around the village showcasing some of the Joan Wilcock Collection in the landscape where the images were initially captured.