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Blog for the Alumni 2021

Deborah MacVicar Balivanich, Benbecula. Age 57.

I have been a painter all of my life, but lacked self confidence. When I decided to go back to school to get higher exams, my sons were in the same secondary school that I attended. I was 40 when I started the degree course and wanted to become a teacher and inspire other people. It took me 10 years in all, as the courses were not available until we pestered the tutors to make it happen for us.

When I graduated in 2011, I had made lifelong relationships and the whole process was life changing. I can recommend UHI, but with a proviso that you will never be the same person as when you started, and to realise that it’s a lot of hard work. I work as a carer, and I have a studio in east camp, Balivanich in Benbecula, in the bunker, where most of my free the time is spent with my first love: expressive painting. I also have another room where I make candles and design gemstone jewellery. All of these things are therapeutic and help me to cope with chronic pain. Yet my performance art is on a whole other level, and comes from another place in my head. They are usually private performances but filmed.

My work in the Alumni show 2021 is one of a series of 4 oil paintings on paper of the tidal reflections at dusk on Culla bay, (my place.)

Also included is one of 3 photographs of one of my performances in the landscape (also done on Culla bay). The photograph was taken by Kippen and Neate, and is called “Goodbye”. The performance has also been filmed. These pictures show The other 3 painting in my series of 4 oil on paper

“reflections at dusk”


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