Exhibitions 2017

Finlay Mackinnon - The Poolewe Artist

Monday 3rd April - Saturday 6th May


Finlay Mackinnon was born c.1865 and lived with his mother in a croft house in Mossbank (near where the Episcopal church now stands in Poolewe). John Henry Dixon (Gairloch and Guide to Loch Maree) recalls being introduced to Finlay in 1877.  He report that he was a ‘little bare-legged lad’ but even then intent on ‘the drawing’.  Supported by Dixon and by Mrs Mackenzie of Inverewe, Finlay was able to take a course of instruction and apparently progressed rapidly.  By 1883 he had been invited to London to study and he progressed to study and work in London and to exhibit at the Royal Academy.  He has come to be known as the ‘Poolewe artist’.


Finlay Mackinnon’s main inspiration was the landscapes of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  He painted prolifically on commission for various members of the Scottish gentry and illustrated several books about natural history.  He also illustrated the war-time history of the 4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.  Many of his works remain locally, including in the museum collection.  In this exhibition, we bring together works of Finlay Mackinnon held in private collections, many of which have not been exhibited publically before.  The exhibition tells the story of Mackinnon’s life as an artist and a soldier, and celebrates his work.

Exhibition of Wildlife Photography by Andy Howard

Saturday 13th May – Saturday 24th June

Preview Friday 12th May 7.30pm


Andy has been photographing wildlife since 1988 when he was given his first SLR camera, but it was only with the advent of digital photography and subsequently the purchase in 2011 of his first digital camera, that his passion for wildlife photography was rekindled. In 2015 he became a full-time professional wildlife photographer and now runs a successful wildlife photography business based near Inverness.


Andy’s work has been published widely around the world and has gained critical acclaim with awards in international photography competitions. In the past year Andy has been featured on the BBC's One Show and Countryfile with Ellie Harrison. Andy also runs wildlife photography workshops, tours and acts as a wildlife photography guide.


His main passion is spending time in the high tops of the Cairngorm mountains photographing the specialist species found there, primarily Ptarmigan, Mountain Hare, Dotterel and Black Grouse. He is not a ‘fair weather’ photographer and relishes being out in all conditions! When he’s not in the Cairngorms Andy can be found in Shetland or Mull photographing amongst others puffins and one of his all time favorite species, otters.


This exhibition combines Andy’s deep rooted passion for nature and wildlife with the drive and determination to capture images of his subjects in not only the most interesting light, but also in artistic compositions. A good solid understanding of his subjects, gained through hundreds of hours spent watching and observing their habits, as well as exceptional field craft, helps Andy achieve intimate and detailed images, whilst causing minimal disturbance to the subject.

Untamed by Fiona Mackenzie

Saturday 1st July – Saturday 5th August

Preview Friday 30th June


This exhibition of Fiona’s work is a collection of her drawings and paintings, inspired by the landscape and wildlife around Gairloch.

The artist has drawn from daily observations of her surroundings, and the evocative, metaphysical words from the poem, ' Hallaig ', by Sorley MacLean.  The result is a showcase of untamed, dramatic illustrations depicting the wild environment around us.  Fiona’s artwork harks back to the connections she feels with the land thanks to her family’s crofting past and the inheritance passed down to her through stories and treasured objects.


Fiona Mackenzie was born in Inverness in 1962. She has an MA Hons in the History of Art, from the University of Aberdeen. During that time, she also undertook Celtic studies. Fiona has often looked to poetry as a starting point for painting, using the emotion it inspires. For this exhibition, she is fortunate to have the kind permission to quote from Sorley MacLean's work, from Michael Schmidt, General Editor, Carcanet Press.


No Place to Lay Their Heads by Esther Ward and Paul Acarnley

Saturday 12th August – Saturday 23rd September

Preview Friday 11th August


Studio Inscape’s exhibition, No Place to Lay Their Heads, navigates the fragile links between landscape and peoples.


Paul Acarnley and Esther Ward have spent the last ten years living and working in Wester Ross. Their fascination with the landscape and its interaction with the people who have walked its pathways have led them to deepen their studies in photography and art. They enjoy collaborating together allowing the conversations between the photographic image and the painted and stitched art works to create a lens through which they invite others to gaze

Milk in a Whisky Bottle: Wester Ross Schooldays Remembered

by Gairloch U3A Local History Group

Saturday 30th September – Saturday 31st October


Are schooldays the happiest days of our lives?  Gairloch U3A Local History Group uses oral history recordings, images and objects from Gairloch Heritage Museum’s collection to relate the triumphs and trials of attending school in a rural parish in the pre-war period.  Residents of Gairloch and the surrounding area describe their memories of attending school in the 1930s and 40s. 


Gairloch Heritage Museum :   Achtercairn • Gairloch • Ross-shire • IV21 2BP • UK

Curator : Dr. Karen Buchanan (Thompson)

tel : 01445 712287

email : info@gairlochheritagemuseum.org

Gairloch Heritage Museum is operated by Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd which is run by volunteers and is a registered charity no. SC010249