She'll soon be off to Cambodia, but for the past four months Deirdre Nelson, one of the UK's foremost textile artists, has been in residence on North Uist, at the Taigh Chearsabhagh museum and arts centre in Lochmaddy, where she's been working with schools and the wider community on a project entitled Elements Environment.
The residency has culminated in an exhibition, running until December, of work created by Ms Nelson during her stay, as well as that of the children and adults involved in the project, all of it inspired by objects in the museum's heritage collections. Originally from Northern Ireland, one of her recent solo exhibitions was "The Dangers of Sewing and Knitting", a brilliant show of textile art inspired by the lives of women in the past.
Cultural access officer Sarah Macintyre says: "For this exhibition, Deirdre also carried out research into Gaelic proverbs and traditional Uist knitting, and created work which puts a modern and sometimes humorous twist on them. For instance, there's a Gaelic saying which translates into 'He who burns his bum must sit on it', and she's embroidered that on a chair cushion."
All pupils from the eight primary schools in the area took part in the project by doing drawings and watercolours of objects in the museum's collections, guided by Deirdre Nelson.
"The children had to guess what the objects were before drawing them and then we revealed what they actually were afterwards," says Ms Macintyre. "An old enamel chamber pot had them stumped, with a lot of pupils guessing that it was a giant tea cup."
Their work also features in the exhibition, as do dozens of fish knitted by Uist adults, which will later be auctioned for the local Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
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