Back in August I was invited by a lovely arts organisation on the Isle of Skye called Atlas Arts to cycle around the island and meet makers and folk who work in or around anything connected to spin. The lead artist is Deidre Nelson who has been working with spinners and crofters and knitting socks and introducing more people to spinning.
My own journey involved a loop around the island starting at the Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland and cycling clockwise around the island (something not unfamiliar to me) reaching into all the peninsulas and finishing in Portree in time for the island's first cycle festival organised by the island's NHS dentist Andy Neison (a lovely bloke who, when the film failed on the first night, started telling the assembled audience some basic oral hygiene information, always useful).
Rosie, one of the Atlas folk, had helped me plan who to meet on my journey, so I met some brilliant makers including, a swordmaker, a ceramicist, scallop divers, a woodturner, a ghillie, a ladies spinning group, a brewer, a wood dyer, a turntable ferry (not a person, I know but a community run project) amongst others (including bumping into the then Scottish First Minister by chance, which led me to ask him about political spin). The makers, doers, and spin-connected folk were all welcoming and as I have found, inspirational people in general.
I was also lucky enough to see the performance at the Skye Bike Fest of the artists Jason Singh and David Littler (sampler-cultureclash). Jason and David had been working with some of the makers, including Deidre leading up to their perfomance of the work. The piece was mind blowing. Beautiful imagery around spin. sampler-cultureclash is an international collective of visual and sonic artists, DJ’s, embroiderers, and electronic machine hackers, who explore connections between textiles and sound.
You can see some samples of the performance here
As is usual, the soundslides that I collected over the journey have taken a while to edit and put together, but they are almost there and the first eight have been despatched north this week, so I'm hoping that they will appear on the Atlas Arts site fairly soon.
It feels such a responsiblity to represent people and their work in the soundslides, so I really want to do them justice.
The photo is on the last evening of my ride into Portree from Uig, a beautiful evening with big shadows dipping over the huge landscape. A totally stunning island, very welcoming and beautiful. Below that is an image of the amazing David and Jason performing on the last night of Skye Bike Fest, with Deidre knitting on stage (of course). What could be better?