New Gaelic Artist Residency with Tobar an Dualchais/ATLAS Arts

Gaelic artist Iseabal Hendry was recently selected for the annual Tobar an Dualchais (TAD)/ATLAS Arts residency to explore and create work relating to the oral heritage recordings available on its website. This is the fourth year that this exciting opportunity has been offered in partnership with ATLAS Arts, the Skye and Lochalsh-based arts organisation.

Born and raised in the Highlands, Iseabal is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art. She lives in Lochcarron and is inspired by traditional craft skills which she grew up with, from basket-weaving to boatbuilding and roof-thatching. Her creative practice is materially-led, inspired by sustainability, zero-waste and her family heritage in leatherwork. Iseabal's work weaves together environmental values and a modern aesthetic based on time-honoured techniques and materials, within the context of a landscape which continually inspires her work.

Working by hand also gives Iseabal a deep understanding of her materials. The organic process of vegetable-tanning leather results in a unique patina which changes over time, dependent on how it’s handled. This ever-changing quality mirrors the Highland landscape which continually transforms with the shifting light.

Two example of Iseabal Hendry's work, entitled 'Las' and 'Cruinnich'. / Calum Douglas

Iseabal commented: “I am thrilled to have received the ATLAS Arts-Tobar an Dualchais residency. My practice is deeply connected to my local heritage, culture and life in the Highlands, so this opportunity feels very meaningful. My hope is that by celebrating stories from the past through a contemporary and sensitive lens, I can help to secure their place in our future.”

TAD Director, Flòraidh Forrest, expressed her delight on Iseabal’s appointment. She said: “Working with creative people in local communities is very important to us and I’m excited to be supporting Iseabal through this residency, in partnership with ATLAS Arts. As part of Iseabal’s time with us she will be attending our ‘Creative Connections’ online course later this month which will be a great opportunity for her to learn more about the precious recordings on the TAD website and to inspire her own creative practice.”

Commenting on the opportunity to work with Iseabal, Ainslie Roddick of ATLAS Arts said: “After the success of the last three years of residencies at Tobar an Dualchais, we are looking forward to working with Iseabal, and to seeing her research and work develop during her residency. At ATLAS Arts we’re keen to create opportunities to explore, learn with, preserve, celebrate and imagine the future of Gaelic with many different people across the Gàidhealtachd. The residency with Tobar an Dualchais is a very positive example of the ways in which we do this.”

Iseabal will be completing the residency on a part-time basis over the coming months and will share her work via blogs and social media posts during that time. You can also keep up to date with Iseabal’s residency by following TAD on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The residency is supported by Creative Scotland’s Targeted Gaelic Arts Development fund. Previous artists who have been awarded the residency are Calum Ferguson (2022), Mairi Gillies (2021) and Catherine Weir (2020).