When shinty and art collide
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.