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 April 2012

Representing the Craig Dunain gardens

I finished the three wheeled panels today; painted flats that represent the garden at Craig Dunain Psychiatric Hospital outside Inverness, where Angus spent 50 years of his life and where he began his work of weaving costumes, hats, bags and other paraphernalia from the grass and leaves he found. 

I've been to look at the garden - today it's a slightly scruffy fringe to the renovation work and re-branding of the hospital complex as an up-market housing development. Despite this you can still see that it was a typical garden for such an institution. Rhododendrons, heavy dark shrub foliage, evergreens. beech and other native trees. I decided to represent it as a slightly magical place, a place of release from the austere wards and clinical environment of the interior of the hospital. I think this is how it must have felt to Angus; certainly he appeared to be at his happiest here, and he spent every hour he could working within its embrace.  

No comments:

Post a Comment