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....

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The ghosts of young Angus

Working back in time from the mask of the old Angus McPhee isn't easy. The only photographs I have seen of the young Angus are these:

(copyright: Calum Angus MacKay)

Angus at the age of 14 looking rather like, every one seems to think, the young Bob Dylan; and then this ghostly photograph of Angus in the Lovat Scouts, dated 1939 - so at the age of 23. 

A photograph full of mystery this, but a long way from being ideal for modelling a mask from. So in effect I'm inventing what the younger Angus looked like. The two older masks, still in their green undercoated glory, were relatively easy to model as there are several decent photographs of Angus in his 70s:

But going back in time from these two, looking to represent Angus in, say, his thirties, is a more difficult job. I've arrived at this, with the kind of hair I though he might have after his military service:

By the way, there's some very interesting photographs on Joanne B. Kaar's blog of her experiments with creating grass ropes in the manner of Angus for our theatre show. 

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