Co-roinn | Glean

Co-roinn | Glean
Early 20th Century Women Filmmakers and Photographers in Scotland
Museum nan Eilean
Sgoil Lionacleit, Lionacleit, Isle of Benbecula HS7 5PJ

5 October – 9 December 2023, entry by donation

  • Tuesday and Thursday 10am-1pm, 2-4pm;
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm;
  • Friday 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm;
  • Saturday 10am-3.30pm;
  • Sunday & Monday closed

Museum nan Eilean (Lionacleit) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) is pleased to announce ‘Co-roinn | Glean’ (Sharing Glean), an exhibition which is a partnership between The Glasgow School of Art’s Exhibitions Director Jenny Brownrigg (curator) and Vanishing Scotland Archive.

The exhibition builds on ‘Glean: early 20th century women filmmakers and photographers in Scotland’, which took place at City Art Centre, Edinburgh earlier this year. ‘Co-roinn | Glean’ shares the work of seven women, who recorded life in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, between 1905 and 1940.

Violet Banks (1886-1985), MEM Donaldson (1876-1958), Beatrice Garvie (1872-1959), Jenny Gilbertson (1902-1990), Johanna Kissling (1875-1961), Isabell Burton MacKenzie (1872-1958), Margaret Fay Shaw (1903-2004)

The women presented a different narrative of Scotland, one where disappearing ways of traditional life are shown alongside modern day life. Ranging from life in Berneray, Benbecula, South Uist, St Kilda, Orkney and Shetland, themes include landscape and nature, recording communities, school life and working the land.

From rural Scotland, we see a portrait of Shetland from Jenny Gilbertson; Margaret Fay Shaw’s portraits of sisters Màiri and Peigi MacRae and their life in the small village of North Glendale, South Uist; to the wanderings of M.E.M. Donaldson in her walks with her camera across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Rural work, and examples of some cottages in Benbecula by Violet Banks will be part of ‘Co-roinn | Glean‘. Isabell Burton MacKenzie was The Highlands Home Industry travelling organiser from 1911-14. Using a Kodak Vest Pocket camera as an aide memoire, she visited the homes of islanders involved in craft, to encourage them to sell their work directly through exhibitions on the mainland through The Highlands Home Industry initiatives. Dr Beatrice Garvie, the medical doctor for North Ronaldsay, Orkney, for 15 years, recorded the work and signficant community events in the island. Johanna Kissling visited St Kilda in 1905. 

There is a programme of events accompanying ‘Co-roinn | Glean’ at Museum nan Eilean (Lionacleit).

  • Saturday 7th October 2-4pm: Drop in sessions
    Alyne E Jones, Director of Vanishing Scotland, will be available to share stories about The Highland Home Industries and Isabell Burton MacKenzie’s 1912 diary.
  • Saturday 9thDecember 2-4pm:  Book signing with Alyne E Jones of Vanishing Scotland Archive.

    Jenny Brownrigg is Exhibitions Director at The Glasgow School of Art. She is the curator of ‘Glean: early 20th century women filmmakers and photographers in Scotland’, which was the first time their work had been seen together, uncovering a previously untold story within the history of Scottish photography and filmmaking from this period.
    Vanishing Scotland is a small, rural, ethnological archive, in Moniaive, Dumfriesshire, which is the life’s work of its Director Alyne E Jones.  It is a network organisation which promotes the understanding of Scottish Cultural Traditions.  For over 40 years Alyne has been collecting stories, artefacts, songs and written ephemera, recording Scotland’s traditions and a way of life that is fast in decline. 

Supported by: Storas Uibhist, The Glasgow School of Art, Vanishing Scotland Archive, Museum nan Eilean & Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

With thanks to: City Art Centre, Dumfries Museum, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, Shetland Museum & Archive, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, National Library of Scotland