Many artists and makers living in the Northern Highlands and Islands consciously interact with what the landscape provides, responding to their rural, often remote context with a a determined self-sufficiency. On Skye, this has led some to experiment with unorthodox techniques, unusual mediums, and re-purposed or salvaged materials.
Following this trail, you will find a menagerie of whimsical animals at Chapel Croft Creatures, made from driftwood and plastic that washes up on the shore. Heather MacDermott’s contemporary jewellery (Aird Old Church Gallery) shares a similar source, utilising the shapes and colours of wind- and wave-shaped objects discarded from the urban environment. The sculptural ceramic pieces by Patricia Shone have gained texture from her clay pressings of the shoreline, driftwood for tea pot handles, and even an iron-oxide stain derived from an algal bloom which grows in a nearby spring on the hill. Caroline Dear of Studio Fanks uses local plants, peat and stones, alongside digital photography, to explore the natural world and our relation to it.
If you fancy A Walk Around Portree then follow J Maizlish Mole’s maps, drawn partly from memory and the result of his intensive study of the island’s rivers, mountains and roads by foot and by car. Elsewhere it’s pedal-power that drives Skye Weavers, who weave woollen products and tweed with their unique, off-grid weaving machinery.