Former Buzzcocks star beats the drum for island art exhibition

Television Set, Scalpay, 2012 is one of the images presented in the Leaving Home exhibition.
Television Set, Scalpay, 2012 is one of the images presented in the Leaving Home exhibition.

The former drummer with 1970s punk band Buzzcocks is striking a new beat with the launch of a dramatic photographic exhibition capturing traditional life in the Western Isles.

‘A’ Fàgail na Dachaigh: Leaving Home’ is an exhibition of photographic works by John Maher, who was one of the founding members of Buzzcocks, and Ian Paterson, a practicing veterinary surgeon in Fife.

Maher, now a Harris based photographer, is best known for his evocative night time images of Lewis and Harris.

In this new exhibition,’Leaving Home’, Maher and Paterson turn their eyes on documenting and reflecting on the abandonment of croft houses throughout the Western Isles in the second half of the last century.

The exhibition also aims to capture the social history of the period.

Many of the images will be accompanied by text passages (in Gaelic and English), detailing the memories of those who either grew up in the houses, or who remember them when they were still homes.

The duo hope to bring the exhibition to other parts of Scotland, including Glasgow, and have turned to crowd funding website Kickstarter to help fund their plans to take the show on the road.

In return for financial pledges of support, backers will receive signed fine art prints and the chance to spend time on location at one of the abandoned crofts with John Maher.

There will also be an opportunity to attend a private viewing of the exhibition with the artists.

“Our aim is to create an exhibition that can be easily transported and put on show again at other locations, giving people in other parts of Scotland an opportunity to observe an as yet unrecorded aspect of Scotland’s social history,” said John.

Ian added: “Using Kickstarter allows us to promote the exhibition to a global audience and give art lovers across the world an opportunity to share a stake in this unique showcase of traditional life in the Western Isles, a life that for many people was harsh and challenging.”

‘Leaving Home’ will run from Saturday 9th November until Friday 6th December at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

For more information, or to pledge support for the exhibition through Kickstarter, visit