Timothy Neat at Seventy

Photographs, Art, Screenprints, Books, Song & Films.

28 September – 9 November 2013

Opening 27 September, 6 – 8pm. All welcome. With performances by Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre.

Peacock Visual Arts are proud to be hosting a major Retrospective of Neat’s life’s work, STANDS SCOTLAND WHERE SHE DID? from 28 September – 9 November 2013.

A stunning collection of photographs capturing experiences and relationships over a long life will be on show. Neat is a champion of the marginalized – Scottish Travelling People, Gaelic bards, salmon-netters, crofters, bee-keepers, horse breeders, Andalucian villagers, poets and artists.

Neat has worked closely with many leading Scottish figures – MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, Hamish Henderson, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Margaret Gardiner (Pier Arts Centre, Orkney) and the Fife singer Jean Redpath. Also, Robert Burns and Charles Rennie Mackintosh!

Six of Neat’s films will be screened at The Belmont Picturehouse including:

‘Play me Something’ (1988), winner of the Europa Prize, Barcelona 1989. This 35mm feature film shot on the Isle of Barra and Venice, features John Berger, Tilda Swinton, Hamish Henderson and Liz Lochhead;

‘Journey to a Kingdom – Hamish Henderson returns to the North East of Scotland’ (1992).

STANDS SCOTLAND WHERE SHE DID? will be a major exhibition, featuring a new suite of screen-prints by Neat and original works by many of the major artists with whom he has collaborated over 50 years; years during which Scottish culture and politics have changed dramatically.

To coincide with this Retrospective, Polygon (Edinburgh) has published a major book, ‘These Faces; photographs and drawings by Timothy Neat’, with an important introduction by John Berger.


Friday 27 September, 6 – 8pm

Performances by Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre.


Sunday 29 September, from 6pm:

‘Journey to a Kingdom’, 1992, (52mins)

Hamish Henderson returns to the North East of Scotland

Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) was with the 51st Highland Division in North Africa and Italy and became a legendary figure amongst the Gordon Highlanders. This film documents Henderson’s work as a folklorist in the North East, while also acting as a mini-biography.

The documentary was originally made for Grampian Television and features Hamish Henderson, Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Jane Turriff, Martin Bennett, Robert Lovie, Maud Mart, Pipie Tom Smith of Turriff, and the Royal Company of Archers.

Timothy Neat’s two volume biography of Henderson will be available after the film screening.

‘The Tree of Liberty’ 1986, (73mins)

The Songs of Robert Burns sung by Jean Redpath, researched and arranged by Serge Hovey

Arguably the best film ever made about Robert Burns, ‘The Tree of Liberty’ concentrates on the songs of Burns and describes American composer, Serge Hovey’s heroic attempt to bring them to the front of contemporary consciousness. Despite suffering from Lateral Sclerosis, with the help of Fife singer Jean Redpath and Hamish Henderson, the film thrillingly documents Hovey’s success.

‘The Tree of Liberty’ conjoins 18th and 20th Century Scotland, modern America and eternal ideas, ecstatic music and human passion.

The film was winner of best documentary at the 1987 Celtic International Film and Television Festival, and received Special Commendation in Philadelphia, 1987.

Sunday 13 October, from 6pm:

‘Time is a Country’, 1987, (52mins)

The Friends and Memories of Margaret Gardiner

Margaret Gardiner (1904-2005) made a major on-going cultural contribution to Orkney by founding the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness. A friend of D.H. Lawrence, Louis MacNiece, W.H. Auden, Barbara Hepworth, and Ben Nicholson, Gardiner lived an exemplary life of political engagement and enlightened patronage.

‘Time is Country’ documents Gardiner’s life and provides an insightful introduction to the Modern Art Movement in Britain.

Neat was invited as ‘World Guest’ at the Short Film and Video Festival of Canada in 1988 where he received a special Golden Grain Award. The documentary was originally broadcast on Christmas Day, 1988.

‘Hallaig’, 1984, (64mins)

The Poetry and Landscape of Sorley Maclean

Sorley Maclean (1911-1995) is widely regarded as the greatest poet of Gaelic Scotland. Born on the Isle of Raasay, Maclean was educated on Skye and in Edinburgh. A friend of Hugh MacDiarmid, Maclean’s work is, at once, powerfully contemporary and druidic, lyrical and highly intellectual.

Presented by Seamus Heaney and Iain Crichton Smith, Neat’s film has been described as ‘startlingly beautiful’ and ‘a masterpiece that has to be seen to be believed.’

‘Hallaig’ won the Pascoe MacFarlane Award for best documentary by a new UK director in 1985, and the Silver Award for Cinematography in Philadelphia.

The film was originally broadcast on Channel 4 on Christmas Day 1985, and a separate Gaelic version of the film was later made for BBC Scotland.

Sunday 27 October, from 6pm:

‘Rathad nan Ceard’, 1994, (30mins)

‘Rathad Nan Caird’ is a documentary about the Highland Travelling People in Scottish Gaelic, with sub-titles. The film retraces the journey Hamish Henderson made with renowned Gaelic comedian, writer and piper, Norman Maclean, to meet the Stewarts of Remarstaig (the Summer Walkers), the last Gaelic speaking nomads of Scotland.

The film features Essie Stewart, Granddaughter of the great blind storyteller Ailidh Dall, and Alec John Williamson of Edderton and Eddie Davis, the last of the Highland Pearl-fishers.

‘Rathad Nan Caird was the last film Neat was ever funded to make.

‘Play me Something’, 1988, (72mins)

‘Play Me Something’ is a 35mm feature film shot on the Isle of Barra and Venice, featuring John Berger, Tilda Swinton, Hamish Henderson and Liz Lochhead. It is the product of a collaboration between Neat and long term friend and distinguished writer, John Berger, about storytelling, imagination, art and the oral tradition.

Set in the waiting room of the tidal airport on Barra, the story transports viewers, and listeners, to a tale of passion in Venice between a secretary and a singing peasant. The film originally premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1988, and won the Europa Prize for Best Film at the Barcelona International Film Festival in 1989.

Music is by Jim Sutherland of Thurso.


Friday 8 November, 7pm

Performances by Kirsty Potts and Alasdair Roberts.