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Lower Gallery March & April 2023
The Poolewe Artist: Life & Work of Finlay Mackinnon


Born in 1863 on a croft in Poolewe, Finlay Mackinnon had a passion for art from a young age.  Thanks to his talents and support from local benefactors such as Osgood Mackenzie and John Henry Dixon, he fulfilled his promise and has since become known as ‘The Poolewe Artist’.   


Finlay’s works can be grouped into two distinctive subjects.  The first of these is the landscapes of the Highlands, which clearly inspired him and provided him with a living as an illustrator of natural history publications.  The other notable focus of Finlay’s work was recording, in pencil and watercolour sketches, the experiences of the 4th Seaforth Highlanders, the battalion with which he served in World War I.  Created under treacherous conditions, these remarkable works are unique 

representations of the devastation to the French landscape caused by the battles of the Western Front.   


This exhibition is possible thanks to the generous donation of an album of Finlay’s sketches and watercolours to Gairloch Museum in 2021. These were created whilst he was serving on the front line in France in 1915.  Following conservation efforts to stabilise and digitise the works, Gairloch Museum is pleased to be able to display them for the first time. 

Finlay Mackinnon.jpeg
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