Charts project names team to help Argyll islands

THE Culture, Heritage & Arts (Charts) Assembly has appointed a team to support Argyll & Bute’s 23 inhabited islands.

Caitlin McNeill, who lives and works on her home island of Colonsay, is Charts’ new islands culture officer, and is working with some of the organisation’s 100-plus members to showcase their work.

She is working with two colleagues on “Ràmh”, a year-long islands development project.

Amy Dunnachie, who is based on Jura, is the islands lead artist for Ràmh’s arts-led consultation for the under-30 age group, while Mary Morrison is originally from Harris.

McNeill added: “Ràmh is the Gaelic word for ‘oar’ or ‘paddle’.

“The expression ‘air an aon ràmh’ – meaning ‘all working together’ or ‘from the same oar’ – really sums up the spirit of this project.

“Argyll has had a huge cultural influence on the rest of Scotland, and the artistic output of islanders has always been enormous.

“My aim is to take some of what we are grateful for in the islands here and bring it to a wider audience, as well as to ensure that islanders are getting the same fair opportunities as people in the mainland.

“We’re doing that by supporting island practitioners and organisations in new projects and highlighting their existing successes, as well as helping to protect the incredible heritage that underpins all of our members’ work.”

Kathleen O’Neill, director of Charts, added: “One of our main priorities is to consider how, by further understanding and supporting cultural activities across Argyll’s islands, we can act sensitively to assist year-round socio-economic outcomes for island communities.”

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s culture pages.

Plus, don’t miss author Alexander McCall Smith’s column in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.