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, 14 May 2011

Angus's house

At the top, the house in July 2010; below in May 2011. It's noticeable that the old thatch has fallen on the left hand side, exposing more of the roof supports.

Loz and I had a useful day - visiting the museum at Kildonan and discussing the lack of any information about Angus McPhee. The woman at the desk was anxious that they updated their displays to include something - interesting that although she hadn't heard of Angus, a visitor who was sailing round the Western Isles knew a lot about him having bought Joyce Laing's 'Weaver of Grass' book at Taigh Chearsabhagh. 

The museum is very interesting, particularly its collection of photographs of island life. The photo below, of a man making rope from horse-hair is from their archive. It demonstrates the kind of craft work that Angus would have known and clearly informed his activities in Craig Dunain psychiatric hospital. 

Chris, who does the Saturday post round here, was today talking with an island woman who knew Craig Dunain from the time Angus was there. She remembers walking in the grounds of the hospital (apparently footpaths went through) and seeing Angus's work all over the place, hanging from trees, under bushes - even glimpsing him working away at his weaving. She said she never dared touch anything. 

To finish today, the sign I love to see as we cross back to Berneray. In the distance, on the opposite shore, you can just make out Chris's house, where we're staying.

No comments:

Post a Comment