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Over the years Strathnaver Museum has staged many well received local history exhibitions which help to tell the story of Mackay Country and its people. To ensure all of the hard work put in by our volunteer staff and other members of the community continues to be accessible we are working to create an online record of these exhibitions as a permanent record.

Current & upcoming exhibitions:

The Alan Joyce Young Environmentalist Competition

22 April to 26 August: Strathnaver Museum Annex

Artwork created by Melvich, Farr, Tongue, Durness and Scourie Primary Schools as part of the UK wide Art Fund project The Wild Escape in the Annex.

History of the Highland Landscape by Jane Cooper

1 May to 21 September: Upper Gallery in Strathnaver Museum

Jane Cooper explores the socio-historical context of ‘place’ in relation to the Scottish Highlands and considers the themes of history, memory, and the landscape.  Working in collaboration with historians and curators, she creates mixed media work that visually narrates historical events that occurred during the infamous ‘Highland Clearances’.

In this exhibition Cooper has used existing imagery of the Highlands and through appropriation has created paintings that reflect the true story of the landscape and its people. The images appear aged and distressed like the narratives they tell, long ago hidden from view for many years.

Betrayal and Loss by Barry Smith

1 to 30 September: Strathnaver Museum Annex

Working in reclaimed materials, Australian maker and re-maker, Barry Smith will be staging a very special exhibition during September in Strathnaver Museum’s annex.
Inspired by his visits to Mackay Country, Barry’s work is based on Letter XI in Donald MacLeod’s Gloomy Memories:
“The coast was, as I said, extremely boisterous and destructive to their boats, tackle, &c. They had no harbours where they could land and secure their boats in safety, and little or no capital to procure sound boats, or replace those which were lost. In one year on the coast, between Portskerra and Rabbit Island (about 30 miles) upwards of one hundred boats had either totally destroyed or materially injured, so as to render them serviceable; and many of their crews had found a watery grave!”

The Pictish Story: uncovering the story beneath our feet

23 September to 31 October: Upper Gallery in Strathnaver Museum

In January 2021 AOC Archaeology undertook an archaeological survey of the land on which Strathnaver Museum’s annex now stands. Over the course of that summer, they discovered evidence of past occupation on the site from the late Iron Age (2,800 years ago) to the Early Historic (600 years ago) period.

A fascinating array of objects were discovered from worked bone, bronze and iron working, midden material, and a beautifully preserved pin. A special exhibition in our upper gallery will display images of some of the objects found, consider what they may be able to tell us about those who came before us, and share the next steps in our quest to discover what may be a site that has significant potential to enhance our understanding of the Pictish world.

Past exhibitions:

2019 Rob Donn Mackay – explore 18th Century Mackay Country through a contemporary artistic interpretation of this renowned Gaelic bard

2015 Pibrochs and Poppies – exploring WWI through music

2014 A Mackay Journey – Bicentenary of the Strathnaver Clearances. Due to its popularity this exhibition has been extended and can be viewed in the Mackay Room.

2012 Moving Times and Museum Tales – an exciting collaboration with Mackay Country Trust exploring a range of topics including hostelling, schooling, migration, ceilidh culture and much more.

2010 Burr’s of Tongue – Discover the story of Burr’s and the services they delivered to the people of Mackay Country and beyond.