Local artists sought for Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival Art Exhibition

24 April 2024

Leugh ann an Ghàidhlig (Read in Gaelic)

Entries are now open to artists wishing to contribute to this year’s Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival Art Exhibition.

The exhibition will take place in An Lanntair, Stornoway, from 1 to 29 June, and will feature the work of local artists inspired by the nature and wildlife of the Outer Hebrides.   

Artists wishing to show their work are invited to express their interest by 15 May, either by using the online form found on the festival’s website or by emailing Mairi, the Festival Coordinator: [email protected]. Applicants must include their name, contact details, and website/social media handles, a picture of the art they wish to submit, the name of the piece, its dimensions, the price (if it is for sale), and some information about the work and how it relates to or is inspired by the nature of the Outer Hebrides.

Submissions for the exhibitions may include drawing, painting, print, and photography relating to nature, wildlife, or environmental issues in the Outer Hebrides. Artworks must be no larger than A3 and must be ready to hang.

Shona MacLellan, an amateur wildlife photographer from South Uist, exhibited work at last year’s Wildlife Festival exhibition. She said: “The exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for local artists and photographers to showcase their work to a wider audience who have been inspired by the wonderful wildlife in the Outer Hebrides. We are very fortunate to live in these islands which has a variety of species from seabirds such as puffins and terns to birds of prey as well as otters, seals and other wildlife the islands are famous for. It provides many with the inspiration to create artworks or to capture on camera our natural spaces.”

The Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival this year will be taking place from 22 – 29 June with a fringe festival running throughout July. It is an annual festival, taking place across the Outer Hebrides islands and featuring a variety of community-led events and activities celebrating the special natural heritage of the islands. Previous festival programmes have featured guided walks and talks, art workshops, boat tours, bumblebee safaris, nature writing workshops, surfing, snorkelling, paddle boarding, film screenings, Gaelic medium talks, walks and workshops and species ID training.

The festival is coordinated by Species on the Edge, a multi-partner conservation programme bringing together expertise and resources from across the conservation sector to secure a future for Scotland’s most rare and vulnerable coastal species. For the duration of the programme, project officers around the country will be working closely with local communities to support and empower them to take action for their local biodiversity.

Fiona Strachan, Programme Manager for Species on the Edge, said: “Scotland’s coasts and islands provide a last refuge for some of the country’s most rare and vulnerable species. Their continued presence on these fringes can in large part be attributed to the continuation of traditional land management practices, such as crofting, which in much of the mainland has been replaced by more intensive practices.

“The Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival provides an opportunity to celebrate these special species by bringing together the communities that make their continued presence here possible. We are delighted to be coordinating this year’s festival art exhibition and we can’t wait to see the amazing array of contributions demonstrating the abundant and diverse ways in which nature can inspire us.”

Applications are also currently open for those interested in hosting an event during the festival. Those wishing to run an event, or who are able to offer a space or venue for use during the festival, are invited to register their interest on the festival website or to get in touch: [email protected].

All enquiries relating to the festival and art exhibition can be submitted via the festival website or sent to: [email protected].

Species on the Edge is a multi-partner species conservation programme dedicated to working with communities across Scotland’s coasts and islands to help them secure a future for their local vulnerable and threatened wildlife. Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the partnership consists of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, NatureScot, Plantlife, and RSPB Scotland. The programme is active across seven landscape-scale areas in Scotland: Argyll and the Inner Hebrides; Outer Hebrides; North Coast; Orkney; Shetland; East Coast; Solway Coast.