Artist-Photographer Duo John Kippin and Nicola Neate explore island life with a major new commission in partnership with Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

In this week’s blog, we hear from John Kippin and Nicola Neate about their move to North Uist and the resulting photographic residency project ‘IN this DAY and AGE’.

In February 2019 John Kippin and Nicola Neate journeyed to North Uist in the Outer Hebrides to undertake a Photographic Residency Project, ‘IN this DAY and AGE’ relating to people, places and the community.

John Kippin
Nicola Neate

The ferry from Uig in the far corner of Skye to the Port of Lochmaddy takes around 1 hour and 45minutes. Depending on the roughness of the waters and the stability of one’s ‘sea legs’, the journey to North Uist is always exciting. The fresh sea air on deck is exhilarating, and frequently porpoises and schools of dolphin can be spotted swimming alongside the ship. On arrival to the Island, clearly visible are the Lochmaddy Hotel and Taigh Chearsabhagh (TC) Museum and Arts Centre.

‘IN this DAY and AGE’ is a discussion on some of the effects of the Anthropocene age and reflects the cultural changes that are evolving on Uist due to the in-migration of people. By exploring the relationships between the people and the landscape, within the context of this place, we want to encourage a more inclusive understanding of how global change is affecting the bio-diversity and cultural heritage of places such as this.

In considering the connections that new settlers, together with ‘returners’ and visitors, contribute to this island, we want to add to a debate that re-thinks and sometimes challenges the cultural narratives and nostalgic representations frequently associated with remote rural destinations. By working with the community and photographing the landscape and environment, together with making portraits of a number of the new settlers (mostly people who have chosen to live and work in Uist) we hope to explore a number of assumptions around places, the idea of belonging, cultural hegemony and identity.

Over three years after originally travelling to the island, Nicola and John are currently living and working in North Uist.

A selection of images from ‘IN this DAY and AGE’ can be viewed in Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art Collection space (7 May – 10 July). Photographic prints from the series are also on display in the exhibition ‘Island’, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art’s Main Gallery (21 May – 11 September) and a dedicated blog is available to view online.

Watch below a short teaser trailer for ‘IN this DAY and AGE – The Outer Hebrides’ 

Courtesy of the artists.

This project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England in addition to funding from Leverhulme Trust together with support from Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in North Uist.

All images: John Kippin & Nicola Neate, Untitled from: IN this DAY and AGE, 2022, digital images. Courtesy of the Artists.

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