Mhairi Killin


I work with drawing, sculpture and installation in an exploration of the landscapes that surround and are my home. I use walking and collecting as a conceptual framework to understand place from a specific perspective; one of inquiry into how belief structures, religious and political, inspire creativity and how this creativity has shaped the physical and metaphysical landscapes I journey through.

Residencies on several of the neighbouring islands to my home on Iona have developed my perception of island environments “as historical and mythological sites of convergence between elemental forces of nature, human life and the divine”.1 Journeying, and deep connection to land are recurrent themes within my work. Through a digging down into the cultural history of place, my practice explores a consideration of the known world and the unknown world; one world viewed from a socio-historical perspective, and the other seen fleetingly through the wilderness, from a mythopoeic perspective. I am curious as to how a connectedness between these worlds leads to an experiential interpretation of deep time within landscape and how this experience might help in our understanding of how we experience time, its passing and its influence on contemporary events and cultural memory.

Recent work has explored the iconoclasm of the Reformation and its impact on the auditory landscapes of the islands of Lewis and Iona, whilst current work continues to explore representations of political and religious belief in landscape through an inquiry into the proximity of God and warfare in the contemporary landscapes of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Continued learning of Gaelic allows another dimension of understanding of the landscapes I explore and I view this learning as an intrinsic part of my practice.

1. Coburn, G. (2013) Geopoetics Journal, Stravaig #2. Retrieved from