The Skye Magazine is an exciting insight into Skye and Raasay, as well as providing information on new up-and-coming businesses, and new ventures on the island. The Skye Magazine in its printed form, appears once a year from May, and thousands are distributed throughout the islands.
And the on-line edition - below - is updated throughout the year with new reports, photographs and information from all across the Islands.
So, just click download, enjoy learning about the beautiful isles of Skye and Raasay, and, if you aren’t here already, make sure to plan a visit sometime soon!
How does a struggling artist transport a four-feet square painting to its destination using just a Mini?
This was the situation Pam Carter found herself in when she had to take an early commission from Maryhill, Glasgow to Lanarkshire.
Unable to afford professional transport, Pam strapped the painting as securely as possible to the roof of her Mini and set off along the motorway. All seemed well until the wind suddenly lifted the painting and hurled it on to the central reservation!
Although disastrous at the time, this experience is a reminder of how much Pam and her work have changed. And change is very much on Pam’s mind this year, as this is her 25th year of exhibiting at An Talla Dearg Gallery, Isle Ornsay on Skye - 25 years of growth, development and artistic adventure.
Pam’s early awakening to landscape art, for which she is now noted, came at around age 10. “It was in Africa, where I spent the first 13 years of my life. I watched a man painting and that made me observe, for the first time, the landscape,” she reveals. “As I watched him paint it, I saw the patchwork fields and the mountains come alive on paper. What he chose to include in his painting just made sense to me.”
After moving to Glasgow, Pam was accepted into the Glasgow School of Art. “We were painting a lot of statues, busts, architecture, still lives and life drawings,” she said. “But it was later, at an outpost in Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, that I discovered the cliffs and the sea. This was my first introduction to painting in the Scottish landscape
and the results were quite grey and misty with flashes of colour!”
Pam’s approach to landscape underwent another transformation when she spent two years in the Seychelles in the early 1980’s.
“I was amazed by the bright light, the wonderful turquoise waters, the creamy beaches, the big shadows of leaves on the sand...” she reminisces.
“It had a completely different feel to what I was used to. When I returned to Scotland to lecture at various art colleges, I wanted to recapture that Seychelles feel in my art but I was confused as to how.” The answer came in the form of one of Pam’s students from the Uists. “I was exhibiting in Skye and I asked her, if I got the ferry over, would she show me around? She took me to secluded beaches and I saw beautiful landscapes with amazing, ever- changing light. I was just blown away. That was my very first introduction to Uist and, from then on, I decided I would go every year to a different Scottish island.”
An island with which Pam was already familiar was Skye, where she had been invited to run her exhibition at An Talla Dearg by the acclaimed sculptor Laurence Broderick and by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig founder, Sir Iain Noble.
Pam describes her very first Skye exhibition, saying: “I was supposed to be at the Gallery itself, but there had been a fire in the offices so my exhibition was moved to the church up the road. It didn’t have very good light and I couldn’t put anything on the walls. I remember piling up a table and chairs onto another table so I could see out of the windows to paint.”
At the same time, Pam also had to advertise her exhibition. “There were no signs up, so I got a bit of cardboard and white paint and tried to write “Exhibition”, but I misjudged it and there was only room for “EXHIB...” and the “...ITION” had to go underneath!” she laughs. “Sometimes I waved it at cars, but the people who came in were mostly hitchhikers and cyclists. If it hadn’t been for the support of Sir Iain Noble and his wife, Lucilla, I may not have returned. Sir Iain was a great patron of the arts and they were very supportive. By the second year, I returned properly armed! The gallery committee at Hotel Eilean Iarmain, who organise the exhibitions, even arranged for a young piper
to pipe in the guests.” Unfortunately, the same piper, Dr Iain MacKinnon, is unavailable for Pam’s
jubilee exhibition, but she will be organising another talented young piper! “I never would have thought I would be fortunate enough to be here and run my exhibition for 25 years,” she says. “This year will be very special and I have a number of exciting things planned.” To find out what you can expect from Pam’s jubilee exhibition, you can visit her website and blog for updates.
Pam is issuing a warm invitation to Skye residents who have not yet attended the exhibition. “I am featuring a number of paintings from the north of Skye, so it would be lovely if islanders would visit from there,” she says. Those who do attend will see the Scottish islands brought to life in Pam’s paintings. Her distinctive style captures skies streaked with dramatic shades of red; rich, golden sands of Hebridean beaches, or charming images of rural life, complete with machair flowers and single track roads.
Pam Carter’s jubilee anniversary commemorates, not just 25 years of exhibiting, but the evolution of a very special artist. It opens with a private viewing on Saturday July 9th at An Talla Dearg, Isle Ornsay, Isle of Skye, IV43 8QR and runs to August 23, being open 10am-6pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more jubilee news, visit Pam’s website.
Skeabost House Hotel, located just outside Portree, now combines local history with contemporary luxury.
Bought last year by Anne Gracie and Ken Gunn, owners of the Sonas Hotel Group, Skeabost boasts lavish decorations, delightful ambience and relaxing comfort - the result of extensive renovations.
Anne has been involved in hospitality services for a number of years, originally running a guest-house, self-catering and ultimately Quality Grading holiday accommodation.
“The grading background gave me excellent training so that I could evaluate quality,” Anne explains. “Ken and I purchased Toravaig House Hotel in the south of Skye and it became the first hotel in our Sonas Hotel Group.
“Ken had been Captain of Hebridean Princess and he is very driven to provide top service for the guests. Later, Duisdale House Hotel, which is just up the road from Toravaig, came on the market and we bought it in 2007.”
After acquiring Skeabost last April, the team immediately started renovating the 146-year-old hotel.
Anne says: “Our most urgent task was to provide comfort and a welcoming ambience, in the first instance, to guests visiting the hotel before quickly embarking on the refurbishing of the whole hotel along with basic maintenance which had been overlooked.
“The Hotel has such happy memories for people over the years and it was disappointing to see it go into decline. It gives us a great deal of satisfaction to restore it back to its former glory.”
One of Skeabost’s main attractions is its golf course, perfect for a relaxed but active holiday. “We are looking to increase the membership and maximise the course,” Anne reveals.
“We are also promoting the salmon fishing on seven miles of the hotel’s own Skeabost river. Permits are available at the hotel reception or from Derek, the Ghillie, at the site office.”
Guests can also enjoy sailing trips on Anne and Ken’s 50 foot luxury yacht, Solus a Chuain (Light Of The Ocean.) based at Armadale. “The perfect gift for any celebration!” says Anne.
Exciting plans are in development, including improvements to the private road to the hotel. “At the moment, we hope to have the road open by the summer. The gardens have also been lovingly tended and, within the next few years, there should be a blaze of colour from the azaleas and ornamental rhododendrons, which have newly been planted around the gardens,” said Anne.
Now that the Old Chapel, which was used as a billiard room, has been transformed into a small wedding venue and private dining room, the next plan is to install a treatment room this season.
“Together with our offering of sailing, fishing and golfing, a treatment room seemed the next obvious offering,” Anne says. “We will always be developing every year – it seems to be what Ken and I thrive on!
“In this industry, you have to look ahead and be aware of emerging trends. We have visitors from all over the world and we want them to enjoy attention to detail and top quality service levels. This philosophy has enabled us to win many awards with our other two hotels in the south of the island, Duisdale and Toravaig House Hotels.”
Whether you are a visitor looking for an exciting holiday or, if you live locally, Duisdale, Toravaig and Skeabost House Hotels are splendid countryside getaways.
The complete renovation of a run-down cottage has led to an exciting new venture in Portree as 1 Bosville Terrace Restaurant opened its doors to visitors and local residents on April 29.
The brainchild of head chef Mairi Lamont, in partnership with Coolin View Guesthouse owner Eddie Tweedie, the transformation of the cottage aims to ensure a place to eat for all – open all day and all year round.
Skye-based architects Dualchas, along with Norwegian partners, have been selected to provide the design master plan for the proposed Ionad Hiort/St Kilda Centre in Uig on the Isle of Lewis.
The appointment, which is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, is another major step towards delivery of a world- class facility which will also act as a global exemplar for “remote access” to UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The selection of Dualchas, based at Duisdale Beag on Sleat, and their partners, Reuilf Ramstad Architects of Oslo, complements the recent announcement that the London-based consultancy firm Metaphor has been given the remit of advising on the contents of the centre. A third consultancy, still to be awarded, will work on the business case.
An expert on minority languages will present a free lecture at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI next month.
Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, (pictured above) Gaelic Research Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands, will explore the local and global challenges faced by minority languages.
He will discuss how features of modern life are threatening the survival of minority language groups and will argue that a new approach is required to address the challenges they face.
Professor Ó Giollagáin explains: “Much of the current debate on minority language diversity is irrelevant and insincere. We need to set out a clear diagnosis of what is happening to Gaelic and to other minority languages as a first step to proposing alternative approaches to our current condition.
"If we are to give communities hope, we need to set out a vision and a strategy that people can believe in.”
Professor Ó Giollagáin’s inaugural professorial lecture ‘Rethinking Our Condition: Language Minorities in Globalised Modernity’ will take place from 5.15pm to 7.15pm on Tuesday 19 April at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI.
The lecture will be presented in a bilingual Gaelic/English format and facilities will be available for those wishing to hear an English interpretation of the Gaelic sections of the lecture.