I have worked in the arts for over 20 years, as a festival and events programmer, producer, writer and musician, among other things. I now divide my time between central Scotland, where I work as Arts Lead for the Mental Health Foundation, and Uig on the Isle of Lewis, where I programme the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival as well as working on other projects for An Lanntair.
Uig is a beautiful and inspiring place, with a rich culture and a diverse but closely knit community. The idea behind sruth-mara (‘sea current’ in Gaelic) is to help carry ideas and people back and forth across the Minch in a spirit of mutually respectful exchange, developing innovative, collaborative new arts projects that draw on both the Hebrides’ distinctive culture and ideas from the rest of the world.
Two books in particular have shaped the thinking behind sruth-mara: Soil and Soul by Alastair McIntosh, and Love of Country by Madeleine Bunting, for their rich blend of local and personal history and global perspective, and their observations about the power of dominant cultures to erase other histories, languages, and forms of self-expression.
For the first few months of its life sruth-mara was run from a caravan on a croft in Timsgarry; it is now based at Aras Nam Fir Chlis, a former hotel and restaurant which my wife Laura and I are converting into a space for artist residencies.
For some years now I have made my living from supporting artists in various ways and I am continuing that work with sruth-mara. I would be delighted to hear from artists who are interested in this project; I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read more about my other work here.