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Museum Gallery 1+2 Seall Bhallaigh An Island Revealed

Taobh an Iar Dòmhnall Fearghasdan

1 May - 26 June

CAFE May - Grace Beaton June - B.A. Fine Art Student Exhibition


Summer 2010 Morning Star Boat Trips

around Lochmaddy details tbc.

Taobh an Iar Dòmhnall Fearghasdan

Donald Ferguson - An Appreciation by Rory Macneil of Barra

Donald Ferguson was born in Barra in 1962 and he grew up in Borve, a village on Barra’s west side nestled between Heaval and the central backbone of the island, and the Borve machair, with spectacular views to the Atlantic. Classmates and teachers remember his precocious talent for drawing, his consideration for others, his interest in history, and his fascination with the local flora and fauna.

The 1980’s were split between Barra and Glasgow, where Donald obtained diplomas in Art and Design and Graphic Reproduction. In Barra he worked as an illustrator and photographer and became increasingly involved in painting. In 1991, Donald married Mary Clare Mackinnon, and moved to North Uist where they settled in Hougharry. From 1993 Donald was employed as a graphic artist for the Western Isles Council. He also became a crofter and active member of

the local community, as well as a prominent and prizewinning member of the Hebridean Sheep Society. Inspired by the environment of Hougharry, Donald moved into landscapes, working in oil on canvas. He spoke of a tension between depiction of the scene and a growing desire to move towards abstraction, a tension reflected in the development of his two revered models, Joan Eardley and his fellow Gael William McTaggart. In order to dedicate more time to his painting Donald enrolled in the HNC Art & Design course at Taigh Chearsabhagh, the arts centre in North Uist, and progressed on to the BA in Fine Art. With exposure through events like Art on the Map a market emerged for Donald’s work. In 2006 a solo exhibition Chun an Iar (Into the West). featured Barra land and seascapes.. Significantly, the exhibition opened at Kisimul Castle in Barra and then travelled to

Taigh Chearsabhagh. Donald was greatly encouraged by the commercial and popular success of the exhibition. Every painting sold. Donald’s promising career was cut short by his tragic death in 2008. His contributions to so many were recognised when people from all over Britain came to say goodbye to their friend at the service in the Kilmuir church. This included a large group from Barra; in death as in life Donald had brought together the two communities that moulded him and of which he was a much loved member. This exhibition is a small gesture of thanks to Donald for all he gave to his friends and the communities of which he was a part. We hope it opens the way for his work to be appreciated by others who did not have the privilege of knowing Donald, and for them to reflect on whether Donald does not deserve wider recognition among predecessors like McTaggart and Eardley.

If you are interested in contributing to the Passing Places 10 Years On film either behind the camera, in front of it, or on the soundtrack then Contact Andy Mackinnon on 01876 500240 or email Meet the Taigh Chearsabhagh team who will help you develop your ideas for your film and get some hands on camera and sound training.

Seall Bhallaigh

An Island Revealed

Double-sided bone comb from Foshigarry, dates to around the 6th-8th Centuries AD on loan to Taigh Chearsabhagh from the National Museums of Scotland. The exhibition runs through 2010.


Taobh an Iar Donald Ferguson - An Appreciation by Rory Macneil of Barra Seall Bhallaigh Summer 2010 Morning Star Boat Trips around Lochmaddy...