If you’re visiting Orkney come and see us
You can be assured of a peaceful and relaxing visit with beautiful scenery en route, free from Cruise liner traffic.
At the gallery we have a permanent exhibition of large tapestries and a changing exhibition of original artworks and rugs which are for sale. In addition we have hand-dyed local wool, cards and photographic prints (framed and unframed) of the artworks for sale.
Directions to the gallery
The gallery is located 3 miles from the village of St Margarets Hope, 5 minutes drive from the Pentland Ferries terminal and is well signposted. Follow the Creative Trail signs out to Hoxa Head, past the Sands of Wright beach.
April – September
Monday to Friday: 10:00AM to 5:30PM
Saturday and Sunday: 2:00PM to 6:00PM
Out with these times by appointment only.
Place and inspiration
Orkney’s panoramic landscape with its rich archaeological and cultural heritage makes it an endless source of inspiration for Leila and Jo. More specifically, the headland of Hoxa provides a wellspring of inspiration for both artists. Through being born and brought up on Hoxa Head the landscape is ingrained in their consciousness. Returning to Orkney, for both artists, was very important as they felt that being cut off from the light and space of the landscape became claustrophobic. They both missed the wide expanses of sea and sky and the quality of light.
Hoxa is a headland connected by a narrow neck of land to South Ronaldsay, Orkney. Positioned on the narrow neck of land is a burial mound, thought to have been the burial place of Earl Thorfinn of Orkney (Thorfinn Skullsplitter) and a bronze age Broch. It has been suggested this is how the area got it’s name. It may originally have been ‘Haugsaith’, as the Old Norse word ‘haug’ is a burial mound and ‘aith’ is a narrow neck of land. Through time this could have been Anglicised or misspelled to become ‘Hoxa’.
On each side of the ‘aith’ are arching beaches, each with its own character, tones, textures and colours. On the east side of Hoxa is Widewall bay and on the west lies Scapa Flow and the Hoy hills, while to the south is the churning tides of the Pentland Firth.
Further out on the tip of the headland are the remains of both World War 1 and World War 2 camps and gun emplacements. Hoxa Sound was one of the main entrances to Scapa Flow, where the British Fleet was anchored in both wars, and therefore was heavily fortified.
Orkney has long been of strategic importance throughout history, which is being further substantiated by new archaeological finds at the Ness of Brodgar. Their research shows this site pre-dates Stonehenge, England, suggesting that neolithic knowledge and culture spread southwards rather than north.
Orkney may be a small group of islands with a population of under 22,000 inhabitants but it has a wealth of treats on offer to inspire and explore: history, landscape, geology, archaeology, flora and fauna, music, art and folklore. The economy of Orkney is still based on agriculture as the land is rich and fertile, making it a relatively easy place to live in comparison to the wilder, rockier landscape in the North West Highlands or nearby Shetland. Orkney is also now at the forefront of renewable technology.