Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Re-enacting Calum's road

Our current exhibition in Gallery 2, Stories Through the Barrows by Timothy McLeod, sees the artist draw inspiration from his visit to the Isle of Raasay in Scotland and Roger Hutchinson’s book Calum’s Road.

Malcolm (Calum) MacLeod B.E.M. was a resourceful, determined and self-made man of the Hebridean Island of Raasay, Scotland. Out of frustration at the local authorities’ neglect of the task, he spent ten years (1964-1974) constructing a road with little more than simple hand tools and a wheelbarrow. Timothy is a Victorian practitioner with a deep respect and appreciation for wood. The lives of these two men from vastly different times and places will be drawn together in Stories through the Barrows.

Inspired by his own visit to the McLeod has created three handmade wooden wheelbarrows, each with a story relating to the life and work of Calum MacLeod. Ruination, for example, is a wheelbarrow without legs, the barrow lying on its side to symbolise the ruination of Raasay before Calum’s road-building quest provided a means of access to his isolated community.

On three separate occasions, Tim will re-enact the journey taken by Calum MacLeod, from locations that are 1¾ miles (2.8km) from Craft Victoria – the same length as Calum’s road. His re-enactment will be motivated by MacLeod’s weight of duty and determination to achieve his goal.

Tim has currently completed one journey using Ruination, one of the wheelbarrows in the exhibition which does not have any legs - the fact that it must lie on its side symbolises the ruination of Raasay before Calum's road-building quest provided a means of access to his isolated community.

Here are some images from the first trip:

Photography: Ben McGill

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