Resilience and Inclusion
In 1594 a Black man pulled a chariot at a performance at Stirling Castle – he replaced a lion, which was deemed likely to scare the audience. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is thought to reference this story in a scene where actors discuss plans for their play Pyramus and Thisbe.
The project used this story - and other Black performance heritage at the Scottish court in the 16th and 17th centuries - to engage local people with untold Black Scottish heritage through a moving image work and community workshops.
A film was created in response to this legacy and in celebration of Black performance in Scotland today. The project recruited Black and LGBTQ+ creative practitioners, providing more opportunities for people from diverse communities to work in heritage.
OMOS is a celebratory visual journey of breath-taking performances from Black artists in Puck's Glen and Stirling Castle.
Rhys Hollis, lead artist, OMOS
The project has the ambiguous title ‘OMOS’ - originally this was an acronym of a Shakespeare quote 'O monstrous! O strange!', but during the project this changed to 'Our Movement, Our Stories'. The film was shown at Dunoon Burgh Hall, Stirling Castle and the Royal Scottish Academy in 2022, and opens the Glasgow Short Film Festival in 2023.
Rhys Hollis, lead artist, said: “OMOS is a celebratory visual journey of breath-taking performances from Black artists in Puck's Glen and Stirling Castle. We brought this journey across Scotland, engaging with communities with workshops and discussions. Now, with major presentations in Glasgow and Berlin, the film continues to reveal these stories to new audiences in Scotland and further afield.”