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Skye arts partnership announce 2015 award winners

A diverse range of artforms are represented in the second round of bursaries that have been awarded to   nine talented artists from Skye & Lochalsh.

This second round of funding has distributed over £19,000 to support and help develop emergent and local talent. In 2014 the initiative partners distributed bursaries to the value of  £12,800.00. An underlying criteria has always been that applicants either have to live here, be born here or have completed their secondary education in the area.

The successful candidates are:

Ishbel Strachan a musician and film maker, who will visit the Swannanoa Gathering, Old time Music & Dance week in North Carolina. She will develop her banjo technique, learn new ways of playing, and learn songs and tunes in the Appalachian region where much of this music originates.

Sandy Gallagher will develop her stained glass technique with a course at Northlands Glass and a month long residency on Iona.

This is the second time a jeweller has been successful and in this round Jennifer Carter Pearson will attend a course at Central Saint Martins, London, to learn the skills and techniques of hand wax carving, which lends itself to the creation of form through a sculptural process.  

Lorraine Nolan Scott is an aspiring community artist who will be developing her skills by delivering creative workshops in Kilmuir and Staffin Primary schools. Frances Yeats a young stone mason has an ambitious

plan for a piece of stone carving which may have the potential of becoming a piece of public art. Caroline Dear and Leighton Jones were also successful. Leighton will build on his professional development as a composer, by undertaking a programme of activity that builds on his conducting studies in Brasov, Romania, which was part of a 2014 award. Caroline’s project will research the historically close connection between specific plants and the techniques used to make items for wearing. She is interested in exploring the ancient traditional techniques, the plants and how they were prepared.  

The awards also give Rody Gorman, the writer and poet, the opportunity to develop new work as a form of professional development and an innovative extension of his creative practice based on the medieval Gaelic romance ‘The Frenzy of Sweeney’. This new work is to consist of a multiform, multilingual and polysemantic series of poems, songs and prose passages in Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and English. He will develop the texts as a play and song sequence for broadcast and live performance.

An exciting opportunity is now available to Liondsaidh Chaimbeul who is going to return to her practice after many years bringing up her family. She will use this award to learn and develop carving techniques, particularly in wood, which will be a new direction for her. She will create and develop a body of new work to exhibit within the Gàidhealtachd (which of course stretches from Portnalong to Patagonia!).

Rosie Somerville the ATLAS Project Coordinator who is managing the initiative for the partners said, “It is very exciting to be able to offer such support and encouragement to local talent. There were fifteen applicants this year and unfortunately we couldn’t fund them all. We are also delighted that we are able to offer some of the 2014 award winners a chance to present their work and experiences at a gathering to be held in Portree on 14 and 15 May.  GATHER | CONNECT | INSPIRE is an event that will celebrate creative thinking. This event is part of Creative Collaborative Communities, a Highlands and Islands Enterprise initiative that ATLAS Arts is currently a part of.

Emma Nicolson ATLAS Director said “ The Talent Development Initiative gives artists, locally, the opportunity to formulate their ideas and present them to us. And even if they don’t go on to be funded, it still means we can start a dialogue with them about their project. In some cases it has led to us acting as mentors to help develop their ideas and certainly our door is open to anyone who wants advice”.

Funded by Creative Scotland this initiative has offered artists bursaries between two and three thousand pounds and a smaller award for mentoring and skills development of up to one thousand pounds each.

The partners; SEALL, Aros, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Fèisean nan Gaidheal and ATLAS Arts are there to support the scheme and the successful applicants. 

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