Meet The Author

The Lochcarron Gallery was transformed into a “literary salon” for a couple of hours on September 2nd when Graeme Macrae Burnet was our guest, reading from his Man Booker long-listed novel His Bloody Project and answering questions from local writer Peter Barr and members of the audience.

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Introducing Graeme at the Gallery’s first “meet-the-author” session, Peter (pictured left) said it was perhaps appropriate that the event was taking place “only a few miles away from the scene of the crime,” in a former butcher’s shop “where much blood has also been spilled through the years.”

Graeme then discussed the book – about a brutal triple murder in an Applecross village in 1869 – and talked about his local connections, including his mother Primrose, who was born in Lochcarron, and his grandfather, Donald “Tramp” Macrae.  He also revealed how one of the “Police Statements” in the novel, written by a local minister called the Reverend James Galbraith, paraphrased the sermons of the Reverend John Mackenzie, the real-life minister of the Parish of Lochcarron in the mid 1880s, describing records of “black and bloody crimes” in the district.

After a lively exchange with the audience, which revealed more unexpected local links including tales of tragic drownings in the area, Graeme signed copies of his book – still available in the Gallery for £8.99.

A film crew from BBC Alba also interviewed Graeme and joined us for the special event – one of the highlights of the Wester Ross Open Studios Week, which ran from August 27 to September 3.

 

 

Crime story with local twist

Since coming to Lochcarron as a child to visit his grandparents, writer Graeme Macrae Burnet has always loved the area, and now he has written a novel inspired by its history, landscape and people – recently long-listed for the UK’s most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker prize, joining Nobel prize winner JM Coetzee and other well-known writers such as Deborah Levy, AL Kennedy and Elizabeth Strout.

Graeme’s novel, His Bloody Project, set in 1869, describes a brutal triple murder in “the remote Wester Ross village of Culduie” which leads to the arrest of a seventeen-year-old crofter called Roderick Macrae. “There is no question of Macrae’s guilt,” writes Graeme, “but it falls to the country’s most eminent legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to his bloody deeds. And ultimately, the young man’s fate hinges on one key question: is he insane?”

his bloody project

The story unfolds through a series of found documents, including police statements; the accused’s prison memoir; the account of a renowned psychiatrist, J. Bruce Thomson; and a report of the trial, compiled from contemporary newspapers.

The Lochcarron Gallery is delighted to have copies of Graeme’s “masterful psychological thriller” for sale on an exclusive basis in the local area, for just £8.99.  So if you want to know why Roderick was driven to murder and if he was truly insane, you know where to come…

REVIEWS:

“A truly ingenious thriller as confusingly multi-layered as an Escher staircase” – Jake Kerridge, Daily Express

“A gripping crime story, a deeply imagined historical novel, and gloriously written – all in one tour-de-force of a book. Stevensonian – that’s the highest praise I can give.” – Chris Dolan, Sunday Herald, Books of the Year

“Psychologically astute and convincingly grounded in its environment, this study of petty persecution and murder is a fine achievement from an ambitious and accomplished writer.” – Richard Strachan, The National

About the writer

Now living in Glasgow and a regular visitor to his family’s house in Lochcarron, Kilmarnock-born Graeme won a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award in 2013, and the following year his debut novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, was published by Saraband Books.  His second book, His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae was published last year, and the screen rights have been acquired by Synchronicity Films. Graeme has appeared at numerous literary festivals, including Bloody Scotland, Winter Words, Belladrum, Death in Grantown and Aye Write, and also holds regular workshops.

Gifts and Art You Can Wear

We’ve been up and running now for a month (how time flies!) and all the time we’re increasing our range of gifts.We are stocking various candles and diffusers from the Isle of Skye Candle Company and also a variety of Skye Meadowsweet’s products including soap, handcream, shampoo and midge lotion.

Under the heading of ‘things to wear’ we have some cute little aprons for children by Sue Colbourne (£7), colourful handwarmers and headbands by our own Mairi (10 – £20), beautiful brooches by Fighe (£12 and £15), and crochet shawls by Ingrid (£49.95-£75). In fact, one of the ranges we stock is ‘Wearable Art’ – handpainted originals made into brooches by Skye-based artist Marion Boddy Evans (£35).  For real luxury – that special gift – we are lucky to have from established artist, Emma Noble, scarves, men’s ties, and pocket squares in silkscreen-printed silk. Truly beautiful unique pieces!

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We also have beautifully handcrafted household objects. In addition to Mairi’s handknitted woollen rugs,  Jenny Hendry’s hot water bottles with crochet covers (£25) have proved popular at this time of year. We have various cushions – Jean Stewart’s amazing chenille cushions (£22.50) and Frances Pearce’s colourful batik cushions (£33 and £35) . A great gift for an artist would be Emma Siedle-Collins’ sketchbook with a stitched textile cover (£30).  And Jenny Hey’s felt iPad cover (£50) is a potential  gift for all ages.

We’re aiming to have a range of quality  gifts to suit all pockets. And of course we have lots of cards. In fact, everything you need for that special gift. Please drop in for a look and a chat.

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Looking like a Gallery

Perhaps you can tell this was a butcher’s shop up until a couple of years ago – the blue and white colours are a bit of a give-away. It lay vacant for 18 months and the three of us were sad to see nothing happening here. But we’re fully up and running now, stocked with lots of art and gifts.  We’ve done this all on a shoestring, re-using second-hand or discarded shop fittings and bits of furniture from our own houses, painting wine racks and shelves as display stands – all part of our sustainability agenda.

Inside the Gallery

We’ve also left a reference to the former use – we’ve still got the cold store with its meat hooks.  So far so good.  And thanks to our first visitors – we think we’re already becoming known as a good stopping point on the North Coast 500 route.

From all over Scotland…

Some of Scotland’s finest artists and makers will be showing their work at the new Lochcarron Gallery.  Taking pride of place will be original paintings by Jonathan Shearer (who lives in Easter Ross), etchings by Cat Outram (Edinburgh), silk windings and silver spoons by Helena Emmans (Skye), paintings by Jenny Hepburn (Inverness), mezzotints by Rona MacLean (who grew up on Loch Lomondside), ceramics by Patricia Shone (Skye) and Hilke MacIntyre (Fife), and one of Edinburgh-based Elaine Allison’s intriguing sculptures.

MacLean, Rona 'Birks' 2013 Mezzotint
Birks by Rona MacLean
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Detail from silk winding by Helena Emmans
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Detail from etching by Cat Outram

 

The art of partnership

TLochcarron Gallery Sampler 2he three local artists running the new Lochcarron Gallery will be highlighting work from all over the country, including Wester Ross, but they will also be displaying a selection of their own paintings, etchings, linocuts, mosaics and hand-made wool rugs.

Aileen Grant Aileen’s work focuses on the landscape and natural forms. She likes to explore the relationship between the built and the natural environment, drawing inspiration particularly from the sea and the hills. She works mostly in charcoal, ink, acrylic and graphite. She is also a printmaker producing linocuts, etchings, aquatints and monoprints. Favourite artists include Cezanne, Matisse and Schiele, the Scottish Colourists and the Canadian Group of Seven. She also loves Japanese art.  She has exhibited in the open exhibitions of the RSA, RSW and VAS.

Shore cottages

Cindie Reiter Cindie’s Little Fish Studio, like Lochcarron Gallery, is on Main Street, and this is where she paints in acrylic and watercolour, and also makes work using mixed media, textiles, paper and paint. Cindie says: “I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and I am constantly inspired by the beauty all around me. Living as I do, right beside the sea, I am captivated by the constant changes of light and colour and I try to capture that in my work. I am also inspired by minutiae, the unexpected little things that might otherwise be unnoticed because of the splendour of the landscape.”

Cottage

Mairi Young Mairi is influenced by the changing light, the changing moods & the changing colours of the landscape.  She makes various media-glass mosaics, silk-painting, watercolours, acrylic paintings & Lino prints.  She also uses Harris Tweed selvedges to make 100% wool hand-knitted rugs.

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Our first exhibition

The opening exhibition at the new Lochcarron Gallery will include paintings, etchings, mezzotints, textile art, ceramics, silverwork, sculpture and craftwork, created by the three gallery partners and special guests.

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Helena Emmans will be showing off her silk windings and spoons, and there will be original paintings by Jonathan Shearer, etchings by Cat Outram, mezzotints by Rona MacLean and one of Elaine Allison’s intriguing sculptures. Ceramicists Patricia Shone from Skye and Hilke MacIntyre from Fife have also promised work as well as Lochcarron’s own Susan Duncan.  Sitting alongside these works will be paintings by local artists (including Michael Stuart Green, Gillian Pattinson, Carol Cocks and Steven Proudfoot) as well as the three resident artists’ own paintings, etchings, linocuts, mosaics and hand-made wool rugs – and Daniel Young’s beautiful pig (above).

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Bowl by Susan Duncan

The gallery will also be selling a selection of hand-made crafts, cards, jewellery, candles, soaps and other small gift items, all made in the Highlands. The three artists also hope it will be a great new addition to the South West Ross Arts and Eats Trail.

Ceramic relief by Hilke MacIntyre

 

 

 

 

Local artists on show

The Lochcarron Gallery is delighted to feature the work of several local artists in its opening show, including (top to bottom) Michael Stuart Green, Gillian Pattinson, Carol Cocks and Steven Proudfoot.

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gillian

carol cocks

steven proudfoot

 

 

 

 

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