Orkney jewellery designers and creators Aurora have their Thurso shop window under wraps this week as international designer Simon Costin prepares a display to mark the Royal National Mod.
The world-class art director arrives in Caithness on Wednesday (6 October), fresh from Milan Fashion Week, to dress the window. His work will be unveiled on Thursday evening in Aurora's High Street window and will be on display until Friday 22nd October. It has been designed to celebrate the Mod's first visit to Caithness and aims to showcase various aspects of local and Gaelic culture.
Simon, who gave his time for free on this project, has worked extensively with world wide designers creating highly creative and imaginative art sets for photo shoots and catwalk shows. He has a personal interest in British heritage and folklore; his personal ambition is to create a Museum of British Folklore.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is sponsoring An Comunn Gaidhealach with up to £50,000 to support the 107th Mod, which attracts competitors from Gaelic communities throughout the UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Canada and the USA and is considered the biggest event of the Gaelic calendar. Charles Findlay, of HIE, said the programme offers a fascinating range of events.
"HIE is delighted to see the Mod come to Caithness. As a festival it is renowned for its top class performances, attracting Gaels and non Gaels alike," he said.
"As well as providing an international platform for promotion of the Gaelic language and culture, the Mod also highlights the benefits that Gaelic brings both culturally to its speaking population and economically to the Scottish business community. It offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the area to the many visitors the event attracts."
HIE is also holding an afternoon of events for North businesses on Thursday 7 October in Caithness Horizons, looking at how to maximise economic and cultural benefits from creative events and ideas. Caithness Horizons will be showcasing a range of local products during Mod week.
Steven Cooper, of Aurora, which has shops in Kirkwall and Thurso, commented: "We are delighted that the Mod is coming to Caithness. Given Simon's international reputation and as we have such a key location in the High Street we are really excited to be hosting the work where lots of people can see it. We are also thrilled to be marking the festival itself with a limited edition kilt pin and pendant, commissioned by the local Mod Committee."