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 December 2010

Decision time

On Friday we had a long meeting, in part to close an eventful year at the theatre (and in our venue - the Boo), but also to decide how we would proceed with the Angus McPhee project. The grant from the Foyle Foundation gives us a firm foundation, and we agreed to use the money for precisely the work it was awarded for - to further research and prepare for a show about Angus, his life and his work, and that a large part will be created in the Uists. Over the next few weeks we'll be in touch with our partners in the project and discuss how we will move things forward in 2011.

Being far from the land that I know
Is what has stirred me in my sadness
Because nostalgia wounds me 
Since there are none around me of the folk I know
I will touch the harp-strings of my voice
To see if I can fashion a little song for me
About green, grassy Uist of the glens
And something of the way of the people who live there

The last glimpse of the sun
After it has circled the whole day
May be seen from my land
Just before it rises again on it.
I must cut short my account for today
Since my time has gone
And even if I lived twelve times as long as a stag
I could not recount all the beauties of Uist.

The translated first and last verses of Moladh Uibhist, "In Praise of Uist", written (in the Gaelic) by the late Roderick MacKay of North Uist. A version by Julie Fowlis closes her second album "Mar a tha mo Chridhe" and hearing it again it can't but remind me of Angus and his, perhaps necessary, long exile from home. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the above translation of Roderick MacKay's work. Roderick was my husbands Great Uncle (mothers grandfathers brother). Regards Glenda Anderson