A new St Kilda-focused exhibition has commenced at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in Lochmaddy, North Uist.
The exhibition tells the story of St Kilda, from its volcanic origins to the evacuation and life today and including the unique flora and fauna, the establishment of the military and marine life.
Among the highlights are a virtual 3D reconstruction focussed on the village around 1880 - 1920.
Created by the University of St Andrews, the reconstruction will include modelling of the landscape, buildings and culture of St Kilda.
This uses historical sources to model the 19th century village and interweaves this with sound, including conversation with a genuine St Kildan, as well as recordings of songs and stories produced by the pupils of Carinish and Lochmaddy North Uist schools.
Norman Macleod Operations Manager from Taigh Chearsabhagh said: “We are very excited to be able to show this stunning exhibition Sgeulachd Hoirt St Kilda Story through to the end of this year.
“The Virtual St Kilda Exhibition which will run till the end of July will bring a new dimension to life on St Kilda which everyone visiting Taigh Chearsabhagh can experience.”
Alan Miller, of the University of St Andrews’ Computer Science department said: “It has been a joy working with NTS, schools, musicians and archaeologists to create this digital vision of life 19th Century live on St Kilda.
“We hope that, by using emergent technologies to articulate St Kildan voices, young and old will gain fresh perspectives on St Kilda.
“An online version will be available via Openvirtualworlds.org”
The Trust’s St Kilda Property Manager Susan Bain said:
“For those that can’t make the journey to St Kilda this exhibition details what life is like today and the human and natural history of these unique islands, allowing people to see the special nature of St Kilda without setting a foot on the island.
“The virtual tour of the 19th century village allows us all to be time travellers and is a fascinating journey through time and space.”
St Kilda is the UK’s only natural and cultural World Heritage Site and is the remotest outpost of the British Isles lying 41 miles (66 km) west of Benbecula.
Marking the end of thousands of years of human occupation, St Kilda’s remaining population was famously evacuated to the mainland at their own request in 1930.
The archipelago was allocated World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1986 in recognition of its natural heritage, exceptional natural beauty and for the significant natural habitats that it supports. In July 2004 this was extended to include the surrounding marine environment and in 2005, recognition was also given to St Kilda’s unique cultural landscape.
The exhibition runs at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre until December 31st.
For more information about the exhibition and opening times for the museum, visit http://www.taigh-chearsabhagh.org/.