Meeting Diana Mackie for the first time, we felt immediately connected and inspired. A lot of her paintings centre on the dramatic effects the light and weather can have on the spectacular Skye landscape surrounding us. Diana’s approach to interior design is to create a strong connection between the inside of buildings and the exterior setting in the landscape. As with her paintings, she is ‘taking the outside to the inside.’
We were delighted when we were offered the opportunity to work with Diana on the design of three different tweeds for a wall decoration in the Three Chimneys restaurant. With its scenic location on the seafront and the extensive moorlands of MacLeod’s Tables just behind, the Three Chimneys is an ideal place to explore the connection between interior spaces and the landscape.
In keeping with the restaurants past as a croft house, we decided on colours one would encounter when working the land.
At a time before barbed wire fences became commonplace, stone walls were used to demarcate the boundaries of crofts, townships and common grazings. Miles of stone walls can leave one in awe of the energy and craftsmanship of people working here.
The extensive peat lands with their acidic soil are the perfect environment for Sphagnum moss. The brushed texture and colours of the tweed are reminiscent of the individual branch clusters of the moss.
Air purity is a contributing factor to making lichens feel at home on Skye. Lichens are a combination of fungi and algae, who live together in a symbiotic relationship. There is a huge variety of lichens and identification is often only possible by chemical analysis. In the meantime they are an absolute joy to look at in close detail.
The idea for the finished tweed was to display it in a way that would give the viewer a sense of ‘cloaks’ that have been hung up casually by the wearer entering the restaurant space. This was put into practice by Elly Knight of the Red Roof Cafe and designer of WildLight Interiors.
Elly is an artist and sculptor, who has been working with textiles, mixed media painting, collage, oils and lino prints. Her latest venture is WildLight Interiors, where she works with deer antlers creating a variety of lighting products. For the wall piece in the Three Chimneys restaurant Elly made an antler coat hanger on which the tweeds are displayed now.
So when you treat yourself to a meal at the world-renowned Three Chimneys, have a look for our tweeds along the wall. Bon appétit!