Cash to rootle in the Kist o’ Riches

A still from Catherine Weir's animation Nighean Mì-Fhortanach.

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Scotland’s cultural digital archive Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o’ Riches is inviting artists to apply for a two-month research residency.

Supported with a £6,500 fee, the selected artist will be invited to undertake a period of public research in the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches (TAD) digital resource.

Open to creative practitioners, including visual and sound artists, with an interest in oral history, archives, sound and/or Gaelic culture and tradition, this residency aims to foster meaningful engagement with Gaelic culture and heritage and build critical and imaginative responses to the complexities of Gaelic history and cultural identity.

TAD is Scotland’s online resource dedicated to the presentation and promotion of audio recordings of Scotland’s cultural heritage. Its principal content is songs, music, history, poetry, traditions and stories recorded from the 1930s onwards.

The recordings cover a range of subjects, such as accounts of traditional craftwork, rhythmic work songs and ancient tales of the warrior Fionn MacCumhail, hero of the Fenian Cycle.

The residency includes a fee waiver for TAD’s Creative Connections Short Course (July 26-28, 2022) delivered through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, which gives an introduction to the many important tradition-bearers whose recordings populate the archives, offering tools to explore the material with greater care and understanding.

Course leaders will help participants explore the potential of the online resource through various lenses, including local creativity, cultural ecology and environmental awareness.

The selected artist is invited to attend this course as part of the residency and to work with ATLAS and TAD to develop an initial public response or sharing thereafter.
Previous artists who have been awarded the residency are Mairi Gillies (2021) and Catherine Weir (2020).

Mairi Gillies, the 2021 awardee, said: ‘It was a joy and a privilege to be given the time and space to focus on recordings from the Tobar an Dualchais website. I was able to listen to voices from the past then bring these into real life by meeting relatives still alive today. The residency has been transformational, and the time I spent listening to the recordings will continue to inform my work for many years to come!’

The deadline for notes of interest should be sent to admin@atlasarts.org.uk by Monday 6 June 2022 at 10am.