Field of Poppies

poppyGreat news! Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath have been successful in gaining funding from Museums Galleries Scotland to take part in their ‘Festival of Museums’ which will run on the weekend beginning Friday 15th May in museums across Scotland. This festival is a three-day celebration of Scotland’s museums and galleries with events during the day and night.

Our event will be the launch of the Interactive Field of Poppies map, which is the next stage of our collaboration with the Open Virtual Worlds group based in the School of Computer Sciences at St Andrews University, under the direction of Dr Alan Miller. This group specialises in the application of emergent and novel technologies to Cultural Heritage interpretation and presentation.

Poppies found on the map of Grimsay, North Uist and Berneray will mark local WW1 deaths and will be connected to relevant, bi-lingual, multi-media material providing personal histories, research into the Gaelic language, patronymics, poetry and songs. Individual family trees will be constructed, allowing children in school, or diasporic visitors to trace their relatives who fought in the war. In this way, personal histories will be linked to the wider geopolitical context and some aspects of gaming technologies could be developed as online resources within the Curriculum for Excellence.

The launch event will run over two days and will be the culmination of a six-day residency of the St Andrews team, in order to film the materials CEUT have gathered for the installation. On the morning of 15th May we will hold a celebratory event for the local schools involved, in order for them to demonstrate their bilingual research, role-play, storytelling and music – they, their teachers, and parents will be the first to explore and enjoy the Virtual Field of Poppies. In the evening CEUT will host a sparkling launch party with a presentation by St Andrews followed by a musical ceilidh to which members of CEUT and the wider community will be invited. On Saturday 16th there will be a well-promoted Open Day for visitors to explore ‘The Poppy Map Experience’ hosted by St Andrews staff, who will be on hand to demonstrate and explain the technologies.

This installation will be integrated within the Museum Exhibition, which is itself a collaborative venture shared between CEUT’s WW1 Heritage Lottery funded ‘An Fheadhainn tha Laighe Sàmhach’, ‘They Lie Silent and Still’ and Proiseact nan Ealan’s larger exhibition, ‘Gairm nan Gàidheal’, ‘The Call of the Gael’, opening 6th March.