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....

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Jalapeno dreams

A combination of eating too many hot jalapeno peppers alongside watching videos of various performances in their r'n'd stage left me tossing and turning all night, my half-asleep brain obsessing about two fragments of an imagined 'Angus' show - one in which we depict the effect of him being away from home, supposedly at war (in the Faroes) and the other the depiction of the autumnal bonfires in which the years' worth of weavings were burned, alongside the fallen leaves, in the garden of Craig Dunain. The silver lining of that awkward night was the ability to leap out of bed and rewrite those parts of the script.

Meanwhile, as I keep reminding myself, others are continuing with their waking research work on our project. Joanne B Kaar reports a two good days in Fife with Joyce Laing, looking at Angus's work first hand, and trying tests of woven grass (and other plants) in 'the Angus style'. Some examples of this in the photograph above. If Angus himself were watching I'm sure there would be some chuckling going on. As if to remind myself as to his sense of humour, I dug out a photograph I took myself at Joyce's Art Extraordinary Collection in Pittenweem, of a cat he made. Apparently Angus befriended a feral cat at Craig Dunain, and made this tribute in his memory.

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