ATLAS is an art organisation working across the Isle of Skye. We don’t have a gallery space or a venue, which gives us the freedom to flex, move and collaborate without being fixed to one space. Our projects are built slowly with a range of local residents and always focused on building and imagining alternatives for the future. Our projects respond to the culture and history of Skye – its crofting and fishing heritage, histories of land struggle, and the wealth of knowledge and skills on the island in relation to sustenance farming, stewardship of the land and sustainable aquacultures.
Our new long term programme is called Plural Futures. This programme is about thinking about many different kinds of possible futures and ways of relating to the world – whilst building solidarity and plurality in this imagining. It includes film events, artworks, collective-making, workshops, meals, discussions and long term processes of work aimed at building plural communities, dispersed curatorial decision making and complex island identities. In 2021 our plan is to co-create the Plural Futures Academy – an alternative deschool led by young people on Skye who will work with an artist over 2 years on a curriculum centering social justice.
We are also working with Skye Climate Action on a Plural Futures community-led film which looks at Skye’s histories of activism, migration, land struggle and colonial wealth as it impacts today’s climate in/action – an oral history gathering that will inform a new collectively made film that listens to these histories and speculates on an alternate future for the island.
A new swap library will open in 2021, which aims to build a map and conversation around local surpluses, deficits and alternate forms of exchange that are specific to Skye – with artists and residents working together to build new communities around these concerns in the years ahead.
CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones is a project initiated by ATLAS and artists Cooking Sections in 2017 which looks at forms of eating that address environmental regeneration through the promotion of ingredients that proactively respond to the new ecological challenges of Scottish waters. CLIMAVORE continues in 2021 with a new project specifically exploring cyclical economies of Skye (in relation to food waste and food use). The CLIMAVORE Oyster Table – an installation set on the intertidal zone in Portree – will continue to host events as an underwater multispecies oyster table inhabited by filter feeder bivalves and seaweeds at high tide and a dining table for humans when the tide is low.
Our everyday work is to create access to alternative resources and media such as libraries, independent publishing, film, performance, archives and food culture. In recent years our programme has involved community filmmaking, Gaelic learning collaborations, walks, screenings, meals, local apprenticeship programmes, environmental research projects, exhibitions and a Skye wide-zine library.