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....

Friday, 13 May 2011

Big Dog and Gloomy Dog

Unfortunately I don't speak Gaelic. I know a few words and I also have the Briathrachan app on my iphone i.e a Gaelic-English dictionary. From these limited sources I've excited myself by working out that the two rocks that welcome you to Lochmaddy harbour (above) are the Big Dog and the Gloomy Dog. Even that Lochmaddy itself - Loch Nam Madadh in Gaelic, means the Loch of the Dogs. Actually, and to be precise, Briathrachand says that madadh can mean any wild animal, but somehow I prefer dog. Perhaps because I'm missing my own two, big dog and gloomy dog. 

To tell the story in sequence, I should have started with this photograph, taken from MV Hebrides as we left Uig bay in Skye:

We arrived at Chris Spears lovely house on Berneray at midday. Had a brew together and I then took Loz on a short tour of the island, checking out the Community Hall (where we'll be working next week) and the wonderful hostel (where Alison, Christina and Jonny will be staying when they arrive in the middle of the week). We then went to Taigh Chearsabhagh, stocked up with Weaver of Grass books (Joyce Laing's very special book about Angus McPhee) and introduced ourselves to the Director, Andy Mackinnon. 

Outside the hostel (above - it's right on the beach), Loz swung straight into action, trying out his new gizmo, a smart new palm size 24-bit recording studio. The lower photograph is Loz recording the sound of the waves on the beach, unfortunately slightly marred by the sound of the wind.

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