Suilven is an amazing mountain. Some call it the sugar loaf mountain because of its shape, very much like the similar mountain in Rio de Janerio in Brazil. It’s made from sandstone and topped with quartz and at one time was in demand for creating mill stones. I used to get told off in art class at school for painting it too much. Suilven also featured in my first ever video installation Tilleadh (1990) and in my debut thriller film Graders (2012).
The word Suilven is a mix of Norse and Gaelic , translating as Pillar Mountain, or Grey Pillar. I’ve also heard it translated as Eye Tower. Some paintings depict the Deadgirls; characters inspired by stories from my childhood and from my love of supernatural/horror films.
Quite a few paintings depict people rowing, which had been on my mind lately as my brother Duncan will attempt to row from New York to Lochinver this May. For several years Duncan and I worked together as fishermen. At sea you look for landmarks such as Suilven to help guide you.
Seordag the TV Hen who features in some paintings was inspired by my Great Aunt Seordag Murray who worked in radar during WW2 and taught us children Gaelic for the Mod. The title is not a school but comes from a line in the song “Lochinver” by the late Rodney Mackenzie.
Suilven Towers High is at The Ceilidh Place, 14 West Gyle St, Ullapool, from 11th Mar to 26th April.
This Is Earth, group exhibition 8th Oct -18th Nov 2017
Seordag & The Deadgirls, Cameo Cinema Bar, Apr 24th to 2nd Jun,2017
BBC article on the inspiration of this exhibition.
The world premiere screening of Baobhan Sith was on 29th Jan 2017 at the Horror-On-Sea Film Festival.
All images © David Hutchison