When shinty and art col­lide

The Oban Times - - LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT - By Sandy Neil sneil@oban­times.co.uk

The worlds of art, specif­i­cally print­mak­ing, and shinty have come to­gether for a project that cel­e­brates the cul­ture and her­itage of one of Scot­land’s old­est sports.

The Throw Up 20.18 project com­mis­sioned four artists to work with des­ig­nated shinty clubs dur­ing 2017 and into the 2018 sea­son. A se­lec­tion of the fi­nal work will be ex­hib­ited for the first time at the Ca­manachd Cup fi­nal in Oban on Satur­day, Septem­ber 15.

The artists in­volved have cre­ated a se­ries of art­works in­spired by the con­tem­po­rary cul­ture and her­itage of the iconic, indige­nous sport.

Over the past 12 months they have spent time get­ting to know the peo­ple in­volved in the clubs, from play­ers to vol­un­teers and fans, and through them find out more about the sport, the club and its his­tory.

Each artist has worked us­ing a num­ber of dis­ci­plines in­clud­ing; pho­tog­ra­phy, linocut, screen print­ing, pho­togravure and knit­ting as a legacy to the clubs in­volved.

Artist Tom Smith from Lat­eral North has been work­ing with Beauly shinty club to de­velop an in­ter­ac­tive art­work to show­case three sto­ries at a lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level, high­light­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of shinty within the com­mu­nity.

Per­haps the sad­dest story ex­plores Beauly’s team dur­ing the First World War. Re­garded as per­haps the com­mu­nity’s great­est-ever team, Beauly shinty club won the Ca­manachd and Mac­tavish Cups in 1913, the first club to do that dou­ble.

The team was cap­tained by Alas­tair Pater­son and his brother Don­ald played along side him. Shortly af­ter that great vic­tory both brothers would leave for war and never re­turn. The com­mu­nity and club were dev­as­tated by the loss, with 13 men from the vil­lage’s Ferry Road alone never re­turn­ing home.

Artist Roddy Buchanan was in­ter­ested by the in­ter­ac­tion of the play­ers on the field and his work on Fort Wil­liam Shinty Club cap­tures the mo­ments when play­ers lock in bat­tle.

Deirdre Nel­son, who looked at New­ton­more Ca­manachd, works with tex­tiles, in­clud­ing projects based in Fair Isle and Shap­in­say. Deirdre fo­cused on the com­mu­nity and the num­bers in­volved at main­tain­ing the club, both on and off the field. One of her find­ings was that there were more bak­ers than first team play­ers, which she has doc­u­mented in screen print.

The project is or­gan­ised by Highland Print Stu­dio and funded by Highland Cul­ture Strate­gic Board’s ‘Highland Cul­ture: Take Pride, Take Part’ pro­gramme.

John McNaught, left, Deirdre Nel­son, and Steven Macken­zie, vice pres­i­dent of the Ca­manachd As­so­ci­a­tion.

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