“Tradition is not the worship of ashes
but the preservation of fire”
The bardic tradition of the Islands and Highlands of Scotland is probably the
oldest and richest, still living, folk literature of Europe. It is a song
tradition - shaped by the sea, the mountains, and the fireside. The bards
themselves have often been wanderers and travellers: they have carried ancient
lore, stood up for the Gaelic language, the pride and millennial courtesy of
Sorley MacLean was to write, ‘Chan eil a’ mhiorbhail
ach an gaol dhuinn, / soillse cruinne an lasadh t’ aodainn.’ - ‘to us there is
no miracle but in love, / lighting of a universe in the kindling of your face.’
Here are the faces of bards; here is the song that binds a people, here is the
breath of life and a message of Peace.
Praise for Face of the Bard
Seductive, beautiful and challenging. It somehow manages to be both eternal
Alan Rickman. Actor, director
Only the truly inspired can be so inspiring. In his gloriously imaginative
Bardic Voyage, Andrew Ward captures the spirit of each bard. In his animated
production Face of the Bard he sets each one free!
Dr Margaret Bennett. Folklorist, bard
'This is a splendid video - many-layered, educational, artistically
spell-binding and historically important. Three thousand years ago Homer
imagined 'the face that launched a thousand ships':
Andrew Ward has now painted the faces of twelve twentieth century bards -
Look - Scotland is young again. Listen - hear at hundred miles - the sea!'
Tim Neat. Author, film director
EXCERPT FROM THE DVD
Working in conjunction with Caledonian Macbraynes
Andrew J Ward started the “Bardic Voyage Project in 2005.
By June 2007 the 12 oil paintings depicting historic Highland bards were
installed on three main Ferryboats, The Clansman, the Hebrides and the Isle of
This was a project of the people for the people. Creating paintings that would
resonate with the voices of the bards.
It was only with the generous assistance from Caledonian Macbrayne, who not
only provided a studio for Andrew but also travel for research purposes, that
made this project possible.
Together with the support of Caledonian Macbrayne and Bord Na Gaelic, a book
Bardic Voyage”, depicting the 12 portraits, each with a short history was
Taking the work a step further art-intervention with the collaboration of a
host of great talent has created the video “Face of the Bard”
BUY THE DVD FOR £12.50 AND RECEIVE A FREE BONUS
“BARDIC VOYAGE” BOOK*
Original Paintings: Andrew J Ward.
Video Production: Andrew J Ward and John McGeoch
Miller. Vocals: Lesley Strachan.
translation: Ailean Boyd.
“Precipitation within Sight”: Robert Dow
The bards in order of appearance:
PEGGY MACKENZIE 1907 – 1993, SORLEY
MACLEAN 1911 – 1996, MARTYN BENNETT 1971 – 2005, MAIRI MHOR NAN ORAN 1821 –
1897, AILIDH DALL STEWART 1882 – 1968, HAMISH HENDERSON 1919 – 2002, DONALD
MACASKILL 1872 – 1943, MURDO MACASKILL 1909 – 1983, DONALD JOHN MACDONALD 1916
– 1986, ANGUS MACFEE 1916 – 1997, MARY MACLEAN 1921 – 2004, GEORGE MACKAY
BROWN 1921 – 1996.