Henry Castle and Lateral North present ideas for a Crofters’ Memorial for Staffin

From 5 – 10 March 2018, a display was held in Staffin Community Hall showcasing the research and proposals by Henry Castle and Lateral North for a contemporary memorial to acknowledge the nineteenth-century crofters’ land struggle in the Staffin area.

Display in room with two white tables showcasing quern stones and three large photographs on the wall taken of brothers' point with a drone.

Castle and Tom Smith (of Lateral North) spent the past year exploring the history and significance of the crofters’ uprisings which took place across twenty-three townships in the area. From conversations with local crofters, academics, studying archival documents, and visiting sites of significance, both have built on their initial ideas and the display was viewed as an opportunity to invite discussion from members of the community.

Aerial drone footage of Brothers' Point quern stone quarry with circles cut out of the stone, similar size to quern stones. The sea covers them everyday at high tide.

In particular, Henry’s research became focused on the history of Loch Leum nam Bradh (Loch of the Leaping Quern Stones) and the significance of quern stones to the crofters in the area at the time of the uprisings; whilst Tom has utilised mapping and digital technologies to investigate how augmented reality and audio/visual experiences could be used to bring a memorial to life.

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A central aim of these commissions is for the artists to contribute to the awareness and understanding within the local community of the potentially positive impacts and benefits of a commissioned public artwork/contemporary memorial. This week-long display offered those interested in the project an opportunity to see what Henry and Tom have been working on and to talk to them about their work.

Selected visitor comments included:

“The display is inspirational. Relevant to the community and draws on our important heritage.”

“Yes, very positive, very sympathetic and interesting. Could be a great asset to the cultural heritage of the village.”