The Project Group


The Changing Landscapes project saw pupils from Oban High School come together for a second year with Musician and Composer Donald Shaw, Writer Jan Sutch Pickard, Gaelic PhD Student Eleanor MacDougall and National Trust for Scotland Ranger Emily Wilkins.  The group met in Oban where they started their journey together learning about the environment and history of the island of Iona.  Working hard during their three day visit to the island they have created a performance of music and words to share with others. 

The National Trust for Scotland looks after Iona on behalf of the nation, and the focus is on conserving and interpreting the wider countryside including traditional crofting, wildlife and archaeology. Iona is well known for its special ambience, the quality of light here, fertility and colours of the landscape, sense of peace and tranquillity.  An holistic approach is taken to preserve these less tangible aspects along with providing practical support to a flourishing local community who have been stewards of this place for generations.

Emily Wilkins
The person on the ground responsible for looking after the National Trust for Scotland properties Iona, Staffa & Burg. As part of Mull & Iona Ranger Service she enjoys engaging with locals and visitors about the wonderful landscapes that she lives and works in.

Jan Sutch Pickard
A writer and storyteller living on Mull, and one of Ross of Mull Poets. A Member of the dispersed Iona Community, she worked on the island for six years, latterly as Warden of the Abbey. Her work is published by Wild Goose.

Oban High School
The school has a long history of encouraging pupils to perform and enjoy traditional music. Led by Sileas Sinclair and Morven McKerrell the pupils have developed a great spirit of working together and meeting new challenges with a level of professionalism beyond their years.

Donald Shaw
A past pupil of Oban High School was involved in all styles of music from an early age. Originally taught the accordion by his father, at 16 he won the All-Britain accordion championship performing ‘Paganiniana’, Hans Brehme’s renowned adaptation of Paganini’s ‘Theme and Variations’. A year later, whilst still at Oban High School, returning to his love of roots music he co-founded Capercaillie, with whom he still writes, produces and performs.

Eleanor MacDougall
A silversmith who has lived and worked on Mull for over thirty years. She is also a part-time PhD student at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, studying 19th century paintings of the Gàidhealtachd. She has a particular interest in the role played by the Iona landscape in changing perceptions of the region as a whole.