Art on Eilean Shona

Art on Eilean Shona

The arts are an integral part of Eilean Shona. The house and cottages showcase Vanessa’s bright and bold aesthetic through her eclectic collection of paintings, sculptures and murals. Many works were specially commissioned for the main house, including the flotsam sculpture of Tinkerbelle by Beezy Bailey which hangs over the living room mantelpiece and has been reproduced on the label of our signature whisky. The dining room walls were painted by Fred Pollock, the Scottish abstract artist whose paintings can be seen in nearly every cottage on the island. Vanessa showed Pollock’s work in her London gallery in the 1980s and their relationship remains close to this day. The four poster bed in Lorimer was commissioned by Precious McBain and was made with driftwood from the shores of Eilean Shona. Other artwork on the island include a Paul Kindersley mural in Shepherd’s Cottage, charcoal drawings by William Kentridge, woodcut prints by Grayson Perry, a painting by Dame Paula Rego and sculptures by Margaret Hunter.

The island also has a rich cultural programme of workshops and residencies. Artists and writers taking part have included Polly Morgan, Ben Rivers, Ayan Farah, Paul Kindersly, Laura Lancaster, Pep Duran Esteva, Carmen Galofre, and many more.

Shona Writing Workshops & Retreats

Our writing workshops, led by experienced teachers, will focus on exploring creativity in this truly unique island setting. Cut off from the world and all its stresses, you will be immersed in nature and surrounded by wildlife. The focus of these workshops is to develop your work with in-depth support from your tutor. Writing workshops have been led by Polly Devlin, Amy Liptrot, Hilary Boyd, Freya North, Raffaella Barker and Louisa Young.

Our writing retreats are an opportunity to give your writing the time and space it deserves. Escape from the world and experience the peace and deep concentration that Eilean Shona instils as you work alongside an established author and a number of other writers. Delicious meals are prepared and served by our chef. You are free to be as productive or as contemplative as you wish. Our next workshop and retreat dates are 28 September to 11 October 2023 and the retreat will be run by the esteemed author John Walsh.

SCHOLARSHIPS : We are also committed to help nurture young emerging writers and offer a scholarship place on our workshops each year. The next writing workshop applications will be open from the 1st May 2024.

More detailed information on Shona Writing Workshops and Retreats

Shona Artists Residency Programme

The island has long been an inspiration for artists and writers, and to further build on this legacy we have joined with the Royal Society of Sculptors to offer a members-only residency. This month-long residency on Eilean Shona is for one member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. During the residency the artist will have access to an abundant source of wood from the island’s fallen trees and will be encouraged to reflect upon and respond to the natural environment for the full one-month period.

More detailed information and upcoming dates on Shona Artists Residency Programme

Shona Projects

Between 2015 and 2017, we hosted Shona Projects, curated by Emma McIntyre & Matilda Strang.

More information on Shona Projects


30+ photos
1 title Beezy Bailey 2020 ESH sitting room fireplace AMB 7548 copyimageoptim
Beezy Bailey
2 title Omar Victor Diop ESH int inner hall painting detail A Baxter copy
Omar Victor Diop
3 title Fred Pollack dining room 2020 ESH dining room fireplace and wall A Baxter copy
Fred Pollock
4 title William Kentridge ESH int sitting room Kentridge art A Baxter copy
William Kentridge
5 title Chantelle Joffe ESH int sitting room art A Baxter copyimageoptim
Chantelle Joffe
6 title Florian Meisenbergh SH int sitting room sofa and art A B Axter copy
Florian Meisenbergh
7 title Margaret Hunter ESH int art scultpureimageoptim
Margaret Hunter
8 title Pep Duran Esteva bed am we eileanshona 11 copyimageoptim
Pep Duran Esteva
9 title Precious Mc Bain Lorimer bed ESH int Lorimer room A Baxter copyimageoptim
Precious McBain
10 title Baoul S Himi 2020 ESH bathroom with Batoul S Himi A Baxter copy
Batoul S’Himi
11 title Paula Rego Alexander Baxter Eilean Shona Mar23 102 copy
Paula Rego
12 title Henry Kondracki am we eileanshona 14 A Mellor
Henry Kondracki
13 title Keith Mc Intyre Branson2 copy
Keith McIntyre
14 title Carmen Galofre ESH int painting group A Baxter copy
Carmen Galofre
15 title Pep Duran ESH int sitting room window seat A Baxter copy
Pep Duran Esteva
16 title William Kentridge Grayson Perry Alexander Baxter Eilean Shona Mar23 103 copy
William Kentridge & Grayson Perry
17 title Peter Mc Donald Alexander Baxter Eilean Shona Mar23 10 copy
Peter McDonald
18 title Nicolas Hely Hutchinson Alexander Baxter Eilean Shona Mar23 3 copy
Nicolas Hely Hutchinson
19 title William Kentridge Tioram int kentridge artwork A Baxter copy
William Kentridge
20 title Paloma Varga Weisz Tioram int artwork group A Baxter copy
Paloma Varga Weisz
21 title Martin Maloney JBP 5337
Martin Maloney
22 JBP 5696
Louisa Young
23 title Paul Kindersley Alexander Baxter Eilean Shona Mar23 125 copy
Paul Kindersley
24 title Abe Odedina 2023 Shepherds int bedroom A Mellor copy
Abe Odedina
25 title Stephen Balkenhol Picnic Bothy int sculpture detail A Baxter copy
Stephen Balkenhol
26 title Mhairi Vari 2022 carved r M Vari copy
Mhairi Vari
27 title Art studio 2015 artist studio ext 2 J Bedford copy
Art Studio
28 JBP 6102
29 JBP 6095imageoptim
30 JBP 6092imageoptim