The worlds of art and shinty have collaborated to produce a project aimed at celebrating the culture and heritage of one of Scotland’s oldest sports.
The Throw Up 20.18 project has been orchestrated by Highland Print Studio in Inverness and has commissioned four artists to work with designated shinty clubs over the past year.
Each artist has delved deep into their retrospective clubs to establish the culture and heritage of the clubs, immersing themselves with the various aspects, players, volunteers and fans that all come together to make each club unique.
Alison McMenemy, director of Highland Print Studio, said: “This has been a great experience learning more about this unique sport. The level of commitment from shinty communities to running the clubs year on year is remarkable.
“These players play like professionals, to achieve and maintain that level of skill and fitness alongside a day job is truly impressive. These guys are true athletes.”
Glasgow-based artist Roddy Buchanan has been working with Fort William Shinty Club with Deirdre Nelson working with Newtonmore Camanachd and Skye born John McNaught working with his home club.
Perhaps the saddest story of the exhibition has been explored by artist Tom Smith from Lateral North who has been working with Beauly Shinty Club.
In 1913 the club became the first in the history of the game to secure the Camanachd and Mactavish cup double and have been regarded as the communities greatest ever side.
The famed side was captained by Andrew Paterson, with his brother Donald playing alongside him. Shortly after the 1913 success the brothers, alongside 13 other men from Ferry Road in Beauly, would be called to service in the Great War and would never return.
Donald was known to be a great piper and after perishing at the battle of Festubert, his bloodstained pipes and tune were recovered, with his tune named Beauly Shinty Club thought to celebrate the clubs famous 1913 victory.
Mr Paterson’s nephew and renowned piper Duncan Macgillivary has taken on these pipes where, following their restoration, the pipes have been played across the globe.
Steven Mackenzie, of the Camanachd Association and Beauly Shinty Club’s secretary, said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the artwork all in one place. I know the teams involved have enjoyed working with the artists and sharing stories of the clubs past.
“From a Beauly perspective working with Tom, who is a former Lovat player, has been a pleasure and we hope he has a better understanding and new found respect for his traditional rivals.”
An exhibition is to take place at the Camanachd Cup final in Oban next Saturday, where some of the artwork will be on show for keen shinty followers.