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Press Release | ALCHEMY - Paint & Poetry show, Isle of Lewis | 20 Aug - 17 Sept

Press Release

25 | 05 | 22


An exhibition of paint, poetry & place by Rebecca Styles & Heather Young

Timsgarry Gallery, Baile na Cille Church, Uig, Isle of Lewis, Scotland |20thAug to 17thSept 2022

Artist Rebeca Styles & poet Heather Mackay Young atBaile na Cille Church, Uig,May 2022

This unique collaboration between artist Rebecca Styles and poet Heather Mackay Young brings "paint, poetry and place" together in the extraordinary location of Uig's semi-derelict Baile na Cille Church on the Isle of Lewis.

Rebecca Styles' series of large-scale paintings have been created onsite at Baile na Cille Church over several weeks, in the company of Scottish poet Heather Mackay Young, whose writings respond to the immediate environment and artwork being created there. With the decaying beauty of the ancient church in mind, the generations that have worshiped there over the centuries, and the relentless and unforgiving seasonality of the Western Isles, the work of both these artists reflects the circularity of all things - of life, death and rebirth - through her use of the materials such as flax, bone, ash and earth on linen canvas.

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Aura,pigment and gold on linen | Rebecca Styles

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Artist Rebeca Styles atBaile na Cille Church, Uig,May 2022

As the paintings have evolved, on the floor or hung from the walls of the church, elements of the building's very fabric have made their way into the work.Finally, the addition of gold leaf makes reference to the religious and art historical concept of the Church icon, whilst playing on the sociological opposites of gold against the rawness of earth, ash and bone, or what the artist describes as "all of nature, but not as equals. Would therebe golden icons without stone,lime, horsehair, rust, wood and slate to house them, without thissacred building, pulled out of the ground, like the earth pigments used to make these paintings?"

Heather Mackay Young, in the poetry created alongside these works, describes this collaborative show as "carving a triquetra of paint, poetry and place inside a crumbling church, inviting all who experience this exhibition to dissolve into dust and be transformed by the Seen and Unseen." Her writings, which will hang from the beams of the church, explore the alchemy of this three-way conversation within a unique body of work, and act as a catalyst for the contemplation of our own relationship with the natural world.The show will be accompanied by a book of Heather'sAlchemypoems. All works in the exhibition, both written and painted, will be available to purchase.

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Poet Heather Mackay Young atBaile na Cille Church, Uig,May 2022


Rebecca Styles was born in West Yorkshire.She is a recipient of a Visual Artist and Craft Makers (VACMA) Award, and a Creative Scotland Artist Bursary for her work involving local raw pigments and traditional paint making.She studied at Bradford College of Art, and later Somerset College of Art &Technology and Falmouth College of Art. She has spent several years travelling and painting the landscape in some of the UKs most beautiful locations, including the Isles of Scilly, West Cornwall, Devon, and then, on her narrowboat ‘Puck', the beautiful rural counties of Gloucestershire and Derbyshire. In spring 2019, drawn by memories of her childhood holidays on the Isle of Arran, she began searching for a permanent home in the Outer Hebrides, acquiring a plot on the beautiful Isle of Lewis where she has built her house and studio.


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Rising poet Heather Mackay Young is a graduate ofThe Glasgow School of Art. She livesand writes on Scotland's Isle of Lewis, known in Gaelic as ‘Eilean Fraoch' meaning ‘The Heather Isle'. She is an apprentice to her homeland, a waymaker and pathfinder in a Celtic lineage of people who drew upon the wisdom of water, rock, plants and stories to find meaning, beauty and wonder in the everyday. Her work will shortly be published in editions of Poet Lore and Olney Magazine. 

See Alchemy from20thAugust to 17thSeptember atTimsgarry Gallery, Baile na Cille Church, Timsgarry, Uig, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, open every Saturday between 10am and 5pm, or by request at any other time.Private View August 20thfrom 3pm until late, attendance by arrangement only.For further information see Instagram@alchemy.exhibition.uig ,,heathermackayyoung.comand where you will find a contact form and telephone number for arranging viewings of the exhibition, and to arrange attendance at the Private View.

Photography:  Esther Chlad




Print Ready 300dpi images for press use:

Rebeca Styles & Heather Mackay Young 

Rebecca at work 

Canvas hanging in Baile na Cille Church 

The artists at Baile na Cille Church 

Poet Heather Mackay Young 

AURA pigment and gold on linen 



For further press information or additional images contact Mercedes Smith at Fine Art Communications | Tel 07825 270235 |