April 2014 Update

April 25th 2014

Ionad Hiort had its AGM recently and it was heartening to see a few new faces at the meeting. Since losing Ann-Marie, our able development worker, we have had to rely entirely on the folk who give their time voluntarily to see this project to fruition. So the more who can contribute their precious time,and become involved, the better.

There has been some intensive activity recently, including a lot of engagement with the local authority and HIE, both of whom have been very supportive. A team from the Institute of Design Innovation at Glasgow School of Art spent four days in Uig and are returning at the end of the month to run workshops relevant to the project.

We have also established very important links with the Scottish Ten Project (part of Historic Scotland); the Centre for Digital Design, Studio Documentation and Visualisation in Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio.

Last week, three members of the Board visited the Digital Design Studio for a demonstration of the remarkable work they do. They have digitally scanned St Kilda (as well as numerous other sites) and with the aid of powerful 3-D glasses you walk along its street, you to feel able to scale Conachair, visit the Church, listen to the sounds and experience the island almost as though you were actually there.

They can add animation and fine detail to the scans, produce interactive stories and simulate the sea and the stars. This is part of what we would like to see in Ionad Hiort, telling the story of the people, the place and its natural life in a powerful and creative way.

Their work can also be seen at Bannockburn where they have produced the 3-D installation of the battle and at Rosslyn Chapel in East Lothian. The Board members also visited, and established important links with ,the Seabird Centre at North Berwick which is very advanced in every aspect of ornithological education and information.

In the next few weeks we hope to install high-powered binoculars and an information board, funded by Uig and Hamnaway Estate, HIE and CNAG at the Geodha Sgoilt site. The site itself was, very kindly, gifted by Uig and Hamnaway Estate. All the legal work involved in the transfer has been funded by the Community Assets team at HIE. We hope the land transfer will be completed in the next few months.

An HIE funded consultation to review progress so far, and to clarify work that still needs to be done before work starts on capital funding, was produced last December. It gives a good account of the concept of Ionad Hiort and is available on-line at www.ionadhiort.org. You can also find links, on the site, to two short promotional films that have been commissioned by Ionad Hiort that may also be of interest.

Finally, there is a requirement to pursue local fund-raising during the current phase to support ongoing costs. The centre-piece of this effort will be a Gala Dinner and auction in the community centre on May 23rd for which local businesses are being invited to buy tables. Anyone interested please contact me at joni.buchanan@hotmail.com.

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