Bàta Brèagha // Bonnie Boat | Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich

03 – 10 September 2011

Bàta Brèagha // Bonnie Boat was a large-scale project with an ambitious programme of events combining traditional craft skills, music, pop-up exhibitions, radio broadcasts, walks and workshops.

The centerpiece was Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich’s Celestial Radio: a sailing boat created by the artists covered in over 60,000 mirrored tiles that broadcast audio recordings collected by the artists during their time in Skye.

Sailing into Portree’s picturesque bay in September 2011, the Celeste broadcast songs and stories from out on the water. The artists worked closely with the local community to put the broadcast together, which featured contributions from 130 people from Skye and the surrounding area. Included in the audio output were contributions from poets, musicians and fishermen. Skye-based poet Maoilios Caimbeul produced a script and local musicians Leighton Jones and Hector MacInnes, of Dead Man’s Waltz, created the accompanying soundscape.

The Celeste broadcast throughout the day via local radio station Cuillin FM and members of the public were invited to listen from the shore of Portree harbor on portable radios. The audio feeding through the airwaves encouraged listeners to walk the winding Scorrybreac coastal path, enjoying views of Ben Tianvaig, the Island of Rasaay, The Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin, as they listened to the soundtrack.

Celestial Radio has been made possible with the support of the Year of Scotland’s Island and Creative Scotland.

Images: (1) Murdo MacLeod (2 & 3) Mark Pinder