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Mary Ann Kennedy appointed as Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Creative Futures ‘Musician in Residence’

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Creative Scotland are delighted to announce the  appointment of well-known singer, musician and broadcaster Mary Ann Kennedy, to the post of Musician in Residence at Sabhal Mòr, the National Centre for the Gaelic language, culture and the arts on the Isle of Skye.

Highly regarded, Iona based visual artist, Mhàiri Killin, will also be taking up the post of Visual Artist in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  The residencies are supported through Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures Residency programme. Creative Scotland’s flagship programme supporting the development of Scotland’s creative individuals.

Venu Dhupa, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said:  “Sabhal Mòr Ostaig makes a huge contribution to the arts in Scotland and is an inspiring place for artists and film makers to work.   It’s great news that Mary Ann Kennedy and Mhàiri Killin will be joining the talented Julie Fowlis, to develop their creative practice and share their expertise through the Creative Futures programme.

“Creative Futures is the largest co-ordinated residency programme in Europe, supporting up to 200 individuals every year, developing the skills, talents and potential of Scotland’s creative practitioners.”

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Director of Development, Fundraising and the Arts, Donnie Munro, said today, “We are delighted to have Mary Ann Kennedy join us at Sabhal Mòr as our Musician in Residence, as part of our multi-disciplinary artists’ residency programme which now features visual arts, drama and literature and is jointly promoted through an innovative and productive partnership between Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Creative Scotland under the banner of the Creative Futures Residency Programme”.

Mr Munro added, “Mary Ann brings a tremendous wealth of experience to the post as a highly respected musician, singer, composer, producer and broadcaster along with an extensive breadth and depth of knowledge of Gaelic language, music and tradition. Her musical abilities, nurtured from an early age and formalised through her successful study and graduation from the RSAMD in Glasgow and the Northern College of Music in Manchester, are further informed through a rich family history immersed in the language, culture and songs of the Gàidhealtachd”

Ms Kennedy’s is the latest in a series of artists residencies and partnerships, based at Sabhal Mòr which over time has featured internationally renowned musicians, writers and visual artists.  These include Iain MacDonald, Allan Henderson and, more recently, the celebrated singer and folklorist Maighread Stewart, writers, Aonghas MacNeacail, Angus Peter Campbell, Alasdair a’ Bhocsair,  Rody Gorman, Myles Campbell and Dr Peter MacKay along with visual artists, Francis Walker RSA, Barbara Rae RSA, Marian Leven RSA, Prof Will Maclean RSA, Arthur Watson, RSA, Kate Whiteford RSA, Eòghann Mac Colla, Dr Gill Russell, Dr Norman Shaw, Ross Henriksen, Jessica Ramm and Dr Aileen Stackhouse along with the first Drama Artist in Residence, Artair Donald, a post shared with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The highly regarded, Iona based visual artist, Mhàiri Killin, is also about to take up her residency and she is greatly looking forward to further developing her professional practice working within a multi-disciplinary arts and creative industries environment Gaelic language community.

Ms Killin said “I am very excited about taking up the post of Visual Artist in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig this autumn. The post will allow me to develop my practice against the backdrop of Skye’s landscape, language and culture, within the unique and vibrant learning environment which Sabhal Mòr offers. I hope that during the six months I will be able to share my own experience of living and working as an artist on Iona and make some connections with local artists whose practice also resonates with the experience of island life.”

Mhàiri will be followed in post by Alex Boyd and SMO is about to advertise a further international visual arts residency opportunity supported by the Jon Schueler Foundation in New York.

In addition, and again as part of the wider Creative Futures programme,  the internationally successful musician and singer, Julie Fowlis, herself an alumni of Sabhal Mòr, has also been appointed as an artist in residence attached to the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist O Riches national conservation, sound archiving and digitisation project which is managed through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Mr Munro, who is also Chairman of Tobar an Dualchais, said that to have someone of Julie’s international standing both as a musician, singer and performer not to mention her recent related academic and research work, is of tremendous benefit to the project and will help enormously to bring further attention to the incredible cultural heritage resource which has been created. Julie is joined by the eminent Scots singer, musician and academic researcher, Chris Wright, who will be working, through the same residency programme, to explore and promote the Scots language and song element of the archive.

Mr Munro said that what has been achieved through the Creative Futures Residency Programme has been of immense benefit to the work of Sabhal Mòr as a National Centre and that through the programme, a critical mass of complementary and interdisciplinary activity has been made possible and has further encouraged the development of complementary and strategic partnerships to emerge with other national centres and organisations, such as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dundee University Visual Arts Research Centre, the RSA in Edinburgh, MG Alba, the Scottish Drama Training Network and Fèisean nan Gaidheal along with strategic partners in the local area such as Seall Arts in Sleat and the Àros Centre in Portree.

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