Ullapool Banner Making Project
Tillidh Mi Dhachaidh (I Will Return Home) is a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the opening of Ullapool High School's new community building, and the 25th anniversary of the upgrading of the school from a two-year to a full six-year secondary.
The project is named after Calum Macdonald's RunRig song which talks of a young person's new life away from the Highlands, and the longing for home which stays with him.
For three weeks in Autumn 2009, former pupils of Ullapool High School who now work professionally in the Creative Arts will exhibit their work throughout the village, and headline concerts in the Village Hall and the Macphail Theatre, featuring musical collaborations with present pupils and community members.
Inspired by the prospect of these celebrations, many local people volunteered to create textile banners to publicise the event. Each was given a panel on which to interpret their meaning of "home". The responses, as can be seen here, are many and varied: landscapes, seascapes, local landmarks, comfort and warmth, memories of family, and the various places which were originally home to many who now live in the Lochbroom and Coigach area. Skilfully planned and constructed by Jan Kilpatrick, the four banners form lasting works of community art which have given many people the opportunity to contribute to Tillidh Mi Dhachaidh.
Valerie Bryan, Tillidh Mi Dhachaidh Project Co-ordinator
When Val asked me if I would like to be involved in the Ullapool community banner-making project I thought she was being charmingly optimistic to think that we would find twenty or so people willing to make a banner to grace the school entrance during the Tillidh Mi Dhachaidh celebrations. However, in the Ullapool area alone, dozens of people came forward to share their skills and to take delight in making three banners which, after the celebrations, will find permanent homes in the public buildings of Ullapool. The "Stitch and Bitch" group in Achiltibuie (a small but dedicated group of crafters) also decided to make a modestly-sized banner, but so many of their friends and neighbours wanted to join in that their banner ended up larger than any of the others!
I enjoyed working alongside everyone, from school pupils to the 'very mature', and found that I was doing as much learning as I was teaching. This has been a project which has needed little prompting from the organisers, for it soon developed a momentum of its own. What a wealth of unrecognised talent is hiding in this community and the Banner-making Project has been a great opportunity for people to come together and practise their art. This book is a record of the stories behind the people who have contributed to these lasting works of art, of which everyone involved can be justly proud!
Each one of the banners - yellow, green, blue and red - have their own page. To view these, return to the Community Textiles Projects page.
Please click on an image to see the full picture.