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Black and white photograph of a stones on a beach with the sea to the left and a tidal island in the background.


Poetry and Photography by Steve Ely and Michael Faint

Sound by Juraj Fajnor and Duncan MacLeod 

Orasaigh is a collaboration between poet Steve Ely and photographer Michael Faint, inspired by the landscape around the tidal island of Orasaigh, located on the coast of South Uist at Boisdale.  Ely’s visionary poem, whilst always remaining anchored in the island, roams widely, exploring a range of themes related to Uist and the wider world – sea level rise, the crisis of the ‘sixth extinction’, history, culture, politics, conflict and class.  Faint’s powerful photographs vividly capture the spirit of the place, creating an independent yet complementary subjectivity.  The work of the two artists combines and interacts to produce a uniquely evocative response to a rich and resonant landscape in a work that affirms the vitality and resilience of the human spirit, with the island itself becoming a dual symbol of precarity and hope in the crisis of the Anthropocene.  

Join us for the exhibition’s opening preview at Cnoc Soilleir, Daliburgh, on Friday 11th August, at 7pm.  The exhibition is free and open for all to enjoy, at Cnoc Soilleir, Monday – Thursday, 9am – 4.30pm, until Thursday 28th September.  Orasaigh will then be exhibited at Taigh Chearsabhagh, from 4th November to 26th January, with an opening preview on Friday 3rd November.

A series of workshops in conjunction with Orasaigh, will also be held at Cnoc Soilleir:

The workshops are free, but spaces are limited so booking is highly recommended.

Steve Ely is an award-winning poet and writer based in Yorkshire.  His books include The European Eel (2021), Lectio Violant (2021) and Englaland (2015).  Two further books, Eely and Orasaigh (a collaboration with photographer Michael Faint) are forthcoming in 2024.  He teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Director of the Ted Hughes Network.

Michael Faint is an award-winning photographer who lives in South Uist.  Shortlisted for the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards, his work has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers for over 10 years.  He exhibits regularly throughout the Outer Hebrides with shows this year on the Isle of Harris, North Uist, South Uist and the Isle of Lewis.  He is currently working on the photographs for the book Orasaigh, in collaboration with the poet Steve Ely, which will be published by Broken Sleep books in August 2024.