Caught by the River

Spirit of Beyond: The Shiant Isles

8th August 2021

Alison Dunlop has created a “poem to the Shiant Isles” with a masterwork of drawings, watercolours and photographs.  Two years in the making, her moving paean to these enchanted isles of the Outer Hebrides is collected together in the exhibition Spirit of Beyond: The Shiant Isles, in Scotland’s own UK Museum of the Year 2020, Gairloch Museum.

Alison has also worked with writers, poets, naturalists and Gaelic speakers to bring their perspectives to bear in this celebration of this special place. The exhibition features Gaelic folklore and song inspired by the islands, as well as poems by Brian Hill and an essay by author and geoscientist Annie O’Garra Worsley.

A book, with a foreword by Adam Nicolson, has been produced to accompany the exhibition and comprises the entire collection of work inspired by the Isles – the drawings, watercolours and photographs, only a selection of which can feature in the exhibition.  

The exhibition can be viewed online or in person (pre-booking required). The book can be ordered via email (, or bought in the museum shop.