ANGUS MCPHEE - Weaver of Grass

ANGUS MCPHEE or MACPHEE was a crofter from Uist who spent almost 50 years in a Highland psychiatric hospital. During this time he chose not to speak - instead he wove a series of incredible costumes out of grass. These he hung on trees in the hospital grounds.

This blog follows the progress of HORSE + BAMBOO THEATRE as they develop and tour a show about Angus....

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A foreign land...

Organising a theatre tour of Scotland is for us, in many ways, the same as organising a tour of a foreign country. The organisations we deal with are often very different to those in England, both those agencies that might help us with the touring logistics and those that could help us with any funding. The Scottish Arts Council has also very recently been superceded by Creative Scotland, so there's a very new organisation to deal with.

Esther and Helen have began looking at all of this. I also wrote to an old friend, Jenny Wilson, who for many years was Director of Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association, and before that Director of the Crawford Arts Centre in St. Andrews. Jenny wrote back with a long list of suggestions, and that helped begin the process. Since then Esther has visited Fife to talk with Joyce Laing, and there's the plan to (very soon) travel to Inverness to meet the people involved with theatre touring in Scotland and, in particular, of the Highlands and Islands

The photographs here are a few more from the recent trip I made with Alison to the Uists, and show the ruined house that Angus was brought up in. The blackhouse is actually perched just above the beach, and literally five steps (and a jump down) will bring you to the high-water line. The close up (above) hints at the textures and woven components that exist even within the fabric of that home; textures that clearly meant so much  to Angus himself. Below is a shot of what's left of the interior.

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