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Open call for artists, musicians, poets and performers with an interest in Highland culture.

As part of her internship with Circus Artspace, Sadie Stoddart, has been developing a project looking at Highland culture. Sadie has been investigating a space that she feel embodies much of our local folklore, Tomnahurich cemetery, otherwise known as the fairy hill. The esker that towers over Inverness became a cemetery in the 19th century but has had stories of fairies and seers for far longer. These stories stretch over many spectrums of the creative industries and look at topics such as life and death, nature and folklore and religion and politics. 

While paying homage to the past and respect to the present Sadie wants this project to look to the future and interpret the history and folklore of the site in a new way. With this in mind she is creating a platform that resembles the hill itself and would like to invite other emerging artists, musicians, poets, storytellers and performers to interpret these stories, rebrand our culture and showcase their talent. 

Deadline for submission EXTENDED: 20th September 2019

Suggested stories for interpretation:

  • Thomas the Rhymer – these stories are somewhat mixed with stories of him as a rhymer, magician and seer. 

  • Fingal the warrior giant and his band of men are believed to lie on their elbows waiting within the hill for the day they are called upon to rise again and save Scotland.  

  • There are many stories of fairies living within Tomnahurich hill including the fiddlers and the fairies – 2 fiddlers were enticed into the hill and made to perform at a banquet for the fairy queen. Upon leaving the hill, after what they thought was a few hours, was in fact many years and the two had become old men.

  • The Brahan Seer made a number of prophecies about the hill, including its future as a cemetery and the building of the Caledonian Canal which runs alongside the hill. 

  • The witch of Inverness. 

  • The hill itself is described as both a natural phenomenon due to being created by glaciers and a work of art in its own right. 


We are open to hearing different interpretations of these stories and any others related to the hill. The event will take place outdoors on Friday 13th September (weather dependant) and within a public space so requires work that can be received by everyone.  

If you would like to get involved or find out more about the project please contact Sadie via:

Images: courtesy of Sadie Stoddart, 2019

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