Work by Brenda Burkitt :: Poem by Gerda Stevenson

textile art

Mairi Anndra Gives Thanks to Margaret Fay Shaw

Margaret Fay Shaw, born Pennsylvania, USA, 1903, died Isle of Canna, 2004; folklorist, musician and collector of The Folklore and Folksongs of South Uist (1955), a significant book in its field; she learned Gaelic, living for almost five years with two native speakers – crofting sisters Mairi Anndra and Peigi MacRae – in South Uist.

From Quines by Gerda Stevenson

Artist’s statement

Title of work: Another Time – Another Place

The remoteness of the Outer Hebrides forms the basis of my work ‘Another Time – Another Place’

It is inspired by a poem in Quines written as a tribute to Margaret Fay Shaw, an American folklorist, musician and writer, who arrived in South Uist in the 1920’s to learn about its people and its culture. She then put all her learning into a book which is a world classic in its field. She spent five years collecting material for The Folklore and Folksongs of South Uist.

The poem Mairi Anndra Gives Thanks to Margaret Fay Shaw is an imaginary tribute to Margaret Fay Shaw through the words of Mairi Anndra MacRae, one of two crofting sisters who provided accommodation  and support to enable Margaret to learn about island life during her five-year stay with them.