Orasaigh is a collaboration between poet Steve Ely and photographer Michael Faint, inspired by the landscape around the tidal island of Orasaigh, located on the coast of South Uist at Boisdale. Ely’s visionary poem, whilst always remaining anchored in the island, roams widely, exploring a range of themes related to Uist and the wider world – sea level rise, the crisis of the ‘sixth extinction’, history, culture, politics, conflict and class. Faint’s powerful photographs vividly capture the spirit of the place, creating an independent yet complementary subjectivity. The work of the two artists combines and interacts to produce a uniquely evocative response to a rich and resonant landscape in a work that affirms the vitality and resilience of the human spirit, with the island itself becoming a dual symbol of precarity and hope in the crisis of the Anthropocene.
Steve Ely is an award-winning poet and writer based in Yorkshire. His books include The European Eel (2021), Lectio Violant (2021) and Englaland (2015). Two further books, Eely and Orasaigh (a collaboration with photographer Michael Faint) are forthcoming in 2024. He teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Director of the Ted Hughes Network.
Michael Faint is a photographer based on the Isle of South Uist whose work concentrates on the landscapes of the Outer Hebrides. Shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards, his work can be seen in exhibitions throughout the Outer Hebrides and beyond while his images are published nationally and internationally. 2024 will bring the publication of the groundbreaking collaboration Orasaigh with the poet Steve Ely.
Daliburgh, Isle of South Uist HS8 5SS, UK