Anthony Schrag 2013

While Artist-in-Residence at Timespan, Anthony explored the Kildonan Riots that had occured exactly 200 years previously. In a humorous and lively way, his work questioned and repositioned history, assessing and reassessing beliefs, traditions and customs of the Strath of Kildonan in Sutherland that relate to these historic events. Crucially, his project considered how we are currently (re)writing history and the methods we employ.

Throughout his residency, Anthony organised a number of events and made a number of performative interventions in and around Helmsdale:

Let’s Have A Riot

A series of discussions based around a creative re-imagining of the Highland Clearances that featured presentations, special speakers and panels, as well as open-debates in Timespan’s Cafe.

  • 22 January, 4pm How Are The Clearances Still Happening? with an artist’s talk by Anthony Schrag
  • 26 January, 11am What If The Clearances Had Never Happened? with a historic overview by Jacquie Aitken
  • 29 January, 6pm What Is The Future Of The Clearances? with a panel of locals to discuss the importance of the Clearances now and in the future of Helmsdale. The panel included: Lorna Jappy, Podi Plass, Findlay and Chrisben.

Vote on badge

Anthony made badges for the village. There were two designs; one said ‘the clearances are over’ and the other ‘the clearances are still happening’. People were encouraged to select and wear the badge that represented their view and discuss their choice with others.

Anniversary of the Kildonan Riot 1813

On Feb 10th, 1813 a small group of men and women from Kildonan and the surrounding areas rose up in a brief but unsuccessful resistance against the Improvements implemented by the Countess and Marquis of Sutherland.

On Feb 10th 2013 the Riot Act was read again and Anthony led a march in solidarity to the people of Kildonan and wider area. Participants visited sites of historical relevance in the Strath of Kildonan and took part in a multi-sided tug of war before finishing the day with some good food and discussion.  More info:

Videos made during the residency

Wrestling the Duke of Sutherland and all his conflicting influence on the lands of Sutherland and the Highland Clearances. History won. from Anthony Schrag

Teaching sheep about the Highland Clearances. They weren’t so interested in history. from Anthony Schrag

What if the Highland Clearances Had Never Happened? from Anthony Schrag


Visit Anthony’s Blog here