Gairloch Museum, Gairloch, IV21 2BH

35 Years of West Coast Arts

by West Coast Arts

1st Feb - 29th Feb

Preview Fri 31st Jan 7.30

West Coast Arts was set up in March 1985 to provide a programme of music and theatre in the Gairloch area.  A programme of events, held every 4 to 6 weeks, was planned to commence in September 1985.  The first event was 'The Cry of Spain' by Robin Munro, presented by Winged Horse Touring Productions.  Since then West Coast Arts has continued to promote at least one performance a month with a programme designed to appeal to as broad and diverse an audience as possible. 


West Coast Arts events enhance and strengthen the local community, and broaden the cultural capital of the area.  As well as providing a service for those who lack the means to travel to access the performing arts, they support performing artists by providing an income, platform and audience.  Gairloch Museum is pleased to host this exhibition of posters and memorabilia celebrating 35 years of West Coast Arts.

Memory of Place [a walk in time]

by Sheila Mortlock

7th Mar - 25th Apr

Preview Fri 6th Mar 6.30

Scottish artist in stitched textiles Sheila Mortlock takes inspiration from the land around Altgrishan and Melvaig and the personal memories the area evokes to create the work for this exhibition. Family holidays spent in the area from a young age, and over many years, were all about feeding pet lambs, walking along the foreshore to the beach and playing rounders in the evening amongst the bog cotton. During those formative years Sheila developed a love of the flora and fauna of these areas and the ‘wildness’ of the landscape. The history of crofting and land use around Gairloch has helped inform the development of this new work which reflect Sheila’s creative interests. This body of work is a very personal response to the place and its history.

Sheila Mortlock studied printed textiles and embroidery at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee and  taught art and textiles in Dundee F.E. College and as a self-employed C&G tutor. A member of two prestigious national art textile groups, she has exhibited widely throughout the UK and regularly tutors workshops for textile groups. Colour and texture are the continuous threads running through her work; mark making and the use of interpretive stitch to embellish the surface are features of her work which are all based on personal observation. 

Rubha nan Sasan

by Lucy Barlow

2nd May - 27th June

Lucy Barlow’s work considers the topographical nature of dispersal at Rubha nan Sasan (translated from Gaelic as ‘point of difficulty’), a remote peninsula on Loch Ewe on the north-west coast of Scotland.  A strategic base for the Artic Convoys during WW11, Loch Ewe’s peaty, lichen infested landscape consists of some of the world’s oldest geological formations (formed from Lewisian gneiss and Torridonian sandstone), along with important archaeological evidence of historic human habitation, including many ruined roundhouses. These structures, both natural and made, co-exist spanning large timeframes, and present a unique opportunity to create an interplay of time and scale.

‘Every mark, no matter how tentative, is a thought, a building and layering process. To consider buildings as delicate as drawings; collecting and storing their contents. Their structure maintains and defines a constellation of materials. A condition of thoughtfulness, within a natural landscape left to its own devices. Allowing a layering of special relationships to be formed that span many years’.

Lucy Barlow FRSA studied at Glasgow School of Art BA(Hons) Fine Art Sculpture 1993-1996, and Middlesex University BA(Hons) 3D Design 1991-1993.  In 2019 Lucy was awarded a residency at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, and was also a finalist for the 1st Plinth Award from the Royal Society of Sculptors.  For the past twenty years Lucy has walked, photographed and drawn the landscape of Loch Ewe; from Inverasdale to Camus Mor.

Near and Far

by Sarah Milteer

4th Jul - 22nd Aug

Preview Fri 6th Jul 7.30

In this exhibition, Sarah Milteer uses her collection of historic postcards, vintage photographs, family pictures and her own photographic sources to create paintings that combine personal and family history with her continuing experience exploring the Gairloch area’s distinct landscape.


Sarah Milteer (b.1969) spent her childhood in Badachro and Gairloch and was taught art by Pat Gulliver at Gairloch High School for 12 years. In her last year of secondary school, she spent a year in Edinburgh learning from Mark Cheverton, who founded the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh.  Sarah then attended Glasgow School of Art and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours Degree, specialising in photography. Sarah has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions and her work is in many private collections.  Sarah's acrylic, oil and watercolour paintings relate to her love of Wester Ross landscapes and people. 

Landscape and Memory

by Kittie Jones

29th Aug - 24th Oct

Preview Fri 28th Aug 7.30

This exhibition, by award winning artist Kittie Jones, reflects a number of trips she has made along the West Coast in the past twelve months. The places which have inspired this body of work include St Kilda, the Shiant Islands, Colonsay and the island of Handa.  Kittie’s focus is on the wildlife she encounters whilst out and about in the natural world. The majority of her dynamic, mixed media drawings are made outdoors. She works with expressive marks, using charcoal, pastel, ink and gouache to capture light and movement in the landscapes she encounters.

In the exhibition, Kittie explores ideas around landscape and memory. Work made on location is shown alongside work exploring the experience and physical memory of landscape and the creatures that inhabit it. Part of Kittie’s drive is to document and celebrate the overlooked. She regularly seeks places where she can view the dynamic natural environment without being noticed.

Kittie Jones completed her degree in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University, graduating in 2008. Her practice covers the disciplines of drawing, painting and printmaking.  The ideas in her work derive from time spent outdoors where she aims to capture the intensity of directly experiencing the natural world. Kittie exhibits work throughout the UK and is a professional member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and Visual Arts Scotland. She has taught across the UK, currently she teaches at Bridge House Art in Ullapool and for the National Galleries of Scotland.