The Blash o God is a collaboration by French based artist John Campbell Henderson and Penpont poet Hugh McMillan inspired by the Buchanites. This collaboration, involving art, film and performance, has been at multiple venues across France and Scotland during 2019, culminating at the Scottish Poetry Library. At this launch event, there will be some readings and an opportunity for a Q&A with Hugh McMillan.
The project is a creative interpretation of a Utopian 18th Century cult led by a charismatic woman, Elspeth Buchan, who became convinced that she had a central role to play in the Second coming, specifically that she and a minister from Troon were embodiments of certain key figures in the Book of Revelations. She had calculated when the cult was to be ‘transported’ to heaven and set about founding a community to prepare for this.
The project is fascinating in that the Buchanites’ beliefs flew in the face of contemporary convention and in that the central role role was played by a hugely able, resilient and talented working class woman, roughly contemporaneous with, but not connected to, similar women prophets in England.
Robert Campbell Henderson lives and works in Marseillan. Following an MA in Photography, he set up art galleries “Gables Yard” and “Dark Mirror” in Pulham Market and Norwich Norfolk. The galleries showcased work by photographers, painters, sculptors and printmakers from throughout the world including George Krause USA and Andy Goldsworthy . In 2016 he spent some time at the Ecole de Beaux Arts Séte where he made the work Dark Mirror and then experimented in a lot of work, initially in photography, especially Polaroid, but now incorporating all types of printmaking and a bit of sculpture. He has exhibited widely in the UK and France.
Hugh McMillan lives in Penpont in Dumfries and Galloway. He is a well published, award winning poet and writer. His latest book, ‘The Conversation of Sheep,’ a collaboration with a local shepherd, Michael Robertson, was published by Luath Press in 2018. Other books published by Luath include ‘Not Actually Being in Dumfries’, ‘McMillan’s Galloway’ and ‘Heliopolis’. He was the writer in residence in 2017 at the Harvard Summer School.
Edinburgh, EH8 8DT