Edge Hebrides is showing at the Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh from 26th Sept. – 9th Oct. 2021, open daily between 11am and 6pm
This inspiring exhibition brings together the work of five contemporary artists, all based and practicing in North Uist – Fergus Granville, Marnie Keltie, Sheenagh Patience, Fiona Pearson and Catherine Yeatman.
Place and time are intertwined in North Uist in ways that are utterly unique. For the ever-growing number of artists in the island, inspired by its people, its heritage, landscape and seascape, there is a sense of being privy to something that exists only here. The sense of place is a sense of time, told by a geology so extraordinary as to defy the imagination. The Grey Gneiss that forms the island is 3 billion years old. Most of the rocks that form the UK mainland are younger than 450 million years old. This is the bedrock of a different dimension, of our planet in its youth. Exquisite mineralogy, twisting bands of quartz, feldspar and hornblende, tell stories of forces beyond our ken. On the edge of time, on the edge of a continent, on the edge of the ocean, North Uist is at a crossroads of planetary elements, an epicentre for all that is sublime.
Little surprise then that a key component of the recent reversal in the island’s long-term population decline has been thanks to the growth of the creative sector. Painters, sculptors, musicians, makers and bards of all kinds are building livelihoods harvesting the elements creatively, just as crofters and fishermen harvest the land and sea. The vitality and depth of their work is a reflection of how the artists themselves are in symbiosis with the forces of geology, of tide and storm, season and moment. Change is a constant and expressing that demands that artists reach the peak of their practice. There is a palpable sense that, to quote North Uist’s renowned violinist Anna-Wendy Stevenson:
“Uist is leading from the edge”