The Shona Projects Pilot Weekend took place on Eilean Shona during Friday 20 – Monday 23 November, 2015.

The weekend included a programme of talks, workshops, performance and intervention that explored ideas around sensory experience, exaggerated by the island’s complexities, natural qualities and physical remoteness. 

To view, watch and listen to responses from contributors and participants, visit the Shona Projects Blog. To see documentation of the weekend, visit the Archive.

Participants in the Pilot Weekend were:
> Erin Busswood recently graduated from the MFA programme at Glasgow School of Art. Previous to that she studied Sociology at Simon Fraser University and Photography at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Erin’s practice explores the dynamics and locations that enable people to present and perform versions of their ‘selves’, whilst searching to connect with one another and the natural world.
> Ceylan Hay is a musician/composer/sound artist currently studying Music and Social Anthropology at University of Edinburgh. Ceylan is the founding member of sound/visuals group Sonically Depicting and explores natural and urban landscapes through field recording within her practice. She has collaborated on projects with dancers, performance artists, poets, musicians and artists and recently performed as part of Maria Fusco’s ‘Master Rock’, produced by Artangel and BBC Radio 4.
> Jo Hodges is an artist and curator with a background in community development and Human Ecology. Jo has a diverse research led practice that explores new ways of thinking around art, society, technology and science. Jo co-curates Sanctuary, an annual 24-hour public art event in the Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park.
> Joanna Helfer is an artist working across a range of disciplines including performance, printmaking, photography and installation. Jo uses walking and journeys as an undercurrent to all of her practice, and is interested in a range of themes such as the strengths and limitations of the human body, comparing urban and rural contexts, the role of art within community and the politics of safety and gender.
> Frank McElhinney is an artist whose current project involves visiting and photographing sites of abandoned crofts throughout the highlands and islands, flying a kite to gain an aerial perspective. He is interested in how remote living influences our perception of life and the world around us and how our history is written into the landscape.
> Bryony McIntyre is a member of Arika which is an organisation and programme of events that celebrate and investigate the aesthetic registers of sociality and ways in which political desires and struggles are embodied and manifested in every day life as people create and produce their lives and worlds together. Which is a way of saying that she is interested in ways we dance, listen, speak, look, be seen, feel and be felt.
Fay Stevens is an archaeologist, curator and artist (performance and visual) who is engaged with sensory experience of landscape. Fay specialises in the philosophical school of phenomenology as a critical, creative and practical lens through which she works. As an archaeologist, Fay researches and publishes on a phenomenology of landscape. Elemental interplay, perception, memory, in situ practice and the haptic qualities of objects are subjects she has published on.
> Nicola White is an Irish writer and producer based on the Rosneath Peninsula on the Firth of Clyde. Her first novel In The Rosary Garden (Cargo) won the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize and was shortlisted for The Deanston Prize. Her short stories and critical writing have been widely published in journals and anthologies and broadcast on radio. She has recently completed a collaborative audio project with artist Mark Vernon and musician Bill Wells, entitled ‘Songs for Someone New’, which takes the form of a ‘radio ballad’ and is inspired by the ability of children in the womb to hear music and recognise individual voices.

Invited contributors to the programme were:
Lights Out Listening Group is a unique listening event that takes place in almost complete darkness. It is a bi-monthly event organisaed by Monica Brown, a radio producer and reporter who also works in prison radio and Mark Vernon, a sound artist working primarily in the fields of radio, performance and works for fixed media. Lights Out Listening Group hope to form a community of sound makers through putting people in touch so that they can get advice, support and feedback on their work and possibly find new audiences and new people to work with.
Urara Tsuchiya is an artist who works with performance, video and installation to explore environments where the viewer is challenged to negotiate their own personal and physical boundaries.
> Paul Kindersley is an artist, makeup enthusiast, pervert and video broadcaster. He is a long time collaborator with Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, and has collaborated with Urara Tsuchiya for several projects.
> Dr Pratika Dayal is the Addison Wheeler Fellow in Cosmology at Durham University.
> Gavin Parsons is a lecturer for the University of the Highlands and Islands and teaches a module on the Island Studies programme called ‘From Muckle Flugga to Pladda’. He is based at Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye which is Scotland’s only college of further and higher education providing courses taught through the medium of Scottish Gaelic.