Local artists’ work goes on display for the reopening of An Lanntair’s Cafe Bar

An Lanntair is set to enter its second phase of reopening as Tuesday, September 29, sees the art centre’s first floor Café Bar area once again open.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 25th September 2020, 7:00 am
Painted directly on to the walls of the mezzanine walkway is The Guiding Lighthouse by Bronwyn MacKenzie.
Painted directly on to the walls of the mezzanine walkway is The Guiding Lighthouse by Bronwyn MacKenzie.

Complete with new catering partners Elior and new furnishings, the Café Bar offers a new exhibition by artist Molly Fitch, and some spectacular new commissioned artworks created by four Western Isles artists.

During the Covid-19 lockdown period, An Lanntair offered artist commissions to decorate various areas of the arts centre – and the results are stunning with works by local artists Alice Macmillan, Mhairi Law, Jonathon Macdonald and Bronwyn MacKenzie now in place to greet returning visitors.

In the Harbour Room café area, artist and printmaker Alice Macmillan transports visitors to the wilds of St Kilda as, in the shadow of the sea stacks, gannets plunge to fish in the waters below.

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An Lanntair’s Round Room area has been transformed with works directly drawn on to the walls by artist Jonathan Macdonald.

Alice expanded: “When I visited St Kilda last year, I was completely blown away by the spectacular landscapes, the history, and the abundance of wildlife in the remote archipelago.

“I was totally captivated by the immense sea stacks – Stac an Armin and Stac Lee. They loom out of the mist, towering above the Atlantic and teem with seabirds.

“The energy of the place is palpable as you watch young gannets darting in and out of the water alongside dolphins jumping out of the waves.

“It really is like another world. I wanted to create some of that energy in my linocuts, capturing a snapshot of the chaotic natural world.”

Capturing attention in the Bar area is the dramatic triptych photographic work, The Edge of Blue, by photographer Mhairi Law, of Island Darkroom.

Above Mhairi’s works – and painted directly on to the walls of the mezzanine walkway – is The Guiding Lighthouse, a gloriously textural and luminously colourful original work by Bronwyn MacKenzie.

Bronwyn said: “This was such an exciting and wonderful opportunity for me as a 21-year-old local artist.”

An Lanntair’s Round Room area has also been transformed with works directly drawn on to the walls by artist Jonathan Macdonald, who has brought the space to life with his unique, intricately beautiful and colourful vision of chaotic order.

Jonathan’s work is complimented by new soft amphitheatre-style seating in the Round Room, and indeed all the artwork commissions are wonderfully off-set by a new-look An Lanntair with new furnishings and tables now in place throughout the Café Bar.

Bith ann am Breathan: Life in Layers, by artist Molly Fitch, is the first exhibition to be shown in the re-opened Café Bar, presenting a series of exciting and playful hand-cut pictures, inspired by the Hebrides.

Molly said: “I’ve found my home on these islands in the warmth and kindness of community, the ingenuity and the resilience.”

Also finding a new home on the islands at An Lanntair is new catering operators Elior. Thrilled and delighted to be working in partnership with An Lanntair, Elior offers a new cake range, baked treats, and freshly brewed barista coffee; and the Elior chefs have crafted and curated new food and drink offers, packed full of locally sourced, great tasting dishes to entice and encourage all back to An Lanntair.

To book your table, email manager Lillian at [email protected] with your name, phone number, email, number of people in your party and the date and time you would like to book. Your reservation will then be confirmed via email.

An Lanntair will be ensuring Scottish Government Covid-19 safety guidelines are followed throughout the arts centre. You can find full details of its Covid-19 safety Visitor Information on its website

An Lanntair reopening times are Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am to 5pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10am to late.