The Epic Awards are all about showcasing the very best in amateur art and craft activity across the UK and Republic of Ireland. This year, one of 4 awards was made to the Barra Bunting Project – who asked anyone who had ever set foot on the Isle of Barra to create a piece of bunting, resulting in contributions from around the globe.
It was during a committee meeting that the organisers of Barra and Vatersay Island Produce Show first hit upon a new way to decorate their annual event.
“One of our committee members was an avid fan of Kirstie’s Handmade Britain,” explains one of the Show’s organisers, Sarah MacLean, “and they thought it would be nice to make an effort to decorate the community hall for the day of the Show.”
Together, they came up with an idea that would “connect people to people and to the Islands”, and so the Barra Bunting Project was born.
People and organisations were invited to make a bunting flag and send it to the committee. The only qualifier was that to submit a flag, you had to have set foot on Barra and/or Vatersay.
The group ran many local workshops to help people make their flags and demonstrate what the project was all about. Apart from some sizing guidelines, there were no restrictions as to how the flags were made, or what materials were used. As a result, each flag is unique to the person who made it, and many of the flags have arrived with lovely stories and memories attached.
“People from Barra and relatives/descendants are spread around the globe due to island clearances and Barra also has very strong links to shipping and the merchant navy,” explains Sarah. “Many people visit from all over the world and feel a strong connection for the place. This project allows people who live further afield to have connections and contribute to the community.”
To date, 180 flags have been received from all over the world including Australia, the US and Europe. More are continuing to come through the post and the group’s eventual target is 400!
To read more about the project, go to www.barrabunting.net