9th-11th  November: Margaret Tait celebrations


Margaret Tait courtesy of the Estate of Margaret Tait

In November 2018 the GMB Fellowship will share in a nationwide series of events to commemorate the centenary of birth of Orkney film-maker, director, writer and poet Margaret Tait who was born in Kirkwall on 11 November 1918.

An independent and innovative artist, Margaret Tait created a large number of short films, many of which she described as ‘film poems’. In 1992 she directed and filmed a feature film, Blue Black Permanent for which she had also written the screenplay. She published three collections of poems and two of short stories, and wrote a novel (unpublished), diaries and articles.

The following events are being held as part of the celebrations. Both events are free of charge but donations to the GMB Fellowship are welcome at the door.


Gerda Stevenson Poetry Reading & Writing Competition Prizewinners

9th November 7.30pm Warehouse Buildings, Stromness

On Friday 9 November actor, director and writer Gerda Stevenson (who won a BAFA for her role as Gerda in Blue Black Permanent) will give a poetry reading, including work from her recently published second collection, Quines, poems celebrating Scottish women and their achievement. Among these are two inspired by Margaret Tait and Gunnie Moberg. This event will include the announcement of the prizewinners in this year’s George Mackay Brown Fellowship Writing Competition in which entrants had to write either a story or screenplay in response to their choice of quotation from the poems of Margaret Tait.


Gerda Stevenson


Gerda Stevenson: Quiet Defiance (GMB Memorial Lecture)

10th  November 5.30-6.30pm, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness.

On Saturday 10 November Gerda Stevenson will give the annual George Mackay Brown Memorial Lecture, Quiet Defiance, reflecting on her work with Margaret Tait on Blue Black Permanent and on Tait’s influence on artists working today.





Additional events 

As well as the events organised by the GMB Fellowship, three further events will take place as part of the Margaret Tait 100 celebration.

Dr Sarah Neely



Blue Black Permanent Screening

11th November, 2pm Gable End Theatre, Hoy 

Actor, director and writer Gerda Stevenson will introduce a showing of Margaret Tait’s feature film Blue Black Permanent at the Gable End Theatre, Lyness, Hoy.


Margaret Tait Centenary Screening

11th November 7.30pm Pier Arts Centre, Stromness

The Margaret Tait 100 Centenary Screening will include a selection of films curated by film maker and friend of Margaret Tait, Peter Todd.


Margaret Tait: Programme of Shorts Screening

Tuesday 13th November, 2pm Gable End Theatre in Hoy.

As part of Film Focus, Dr Sarah Neely (University of Stirling), author of Between Categories: The Films of Margaret Tait will introduce a programme of shorts by Margaret Tait at the Gable End Theatre, Lyness, Hoy.