What we do.
As an experienced creative team drawing on photography, film making, and writing skills we have produced a wide variety of work, including films, books, exhibitions and presentations. Based in Devon, we have many connections across the South West, especially on Dartmoor and Exmoor.
Skerryvore's first major success is the acclaimed film celebrating the life of one of Exmoor's extraordinary personalities - How Many People See The Stars As I Do? - The Exmoor Story of Hope Bourne. Intensive research underpinned this project which challenged conventional views of a controversial and important figure, stimulating new discussions and re-evaluation. To date Skerryvore has presented the film to sell-out audiences in a wide range of venues, including Appledore Book Festival 2014, Porlock Arts Festival 2014, Withypool Village Hall, Molland Village Hall, Winscombe Village Hall, and Chagford Jubilee Hall (a run up event to Chagword 2015, Dartmoor's Literary Festival).The film is available as a DVD from National Park offices and a variety of other outlets.
In 2014 Skerryvore was commissioned to produce a book outlining the history of Withypool, a village in the heart of Exmoor, from prehistoric times to the present day. Author Richard Westcott, a historian and medical doctor, reveals his lifelong love of Exmoor and brings scholarly insights, a deep sense of humanity and a humorous eye to the story of this ancient settlement. Withypool - The Story of an Exmoor Village is lavishly illustrated with newly commissioned colour photographs, and is accompanied by a village archive CD-ROM edited by Chris Chapman. It also features previously unpublished original material relating to the Lanacre manorial documents which date back to 1772. These documents, which have hardly seen the light of day, let alone been fully studied and annotated, give a fascinating insight into the comings and goings, payments and non-payments, doings and misdoings of village life in times past. As each chapter unfolds, the story of Withypool tells of the historical events which have shaped the landscape of Exmoor that we see today, a mixture of wild open moorland, steeply wooded combes, unpolluted rivers and the uninterrupted legacy of some 5,000 years of hill farming.
In the winter of 2015, Skerryvore mounted a retrospective exhibition of Chris Chapman's photographs at the White Moose Gallery, Barnstaple and in December published a second book by Peggy Harris.
Peggy's highly successful first book, Life on a Dartmoor Scrapyard: The Early Years tells the story of her life growing up near Chagford on the legendary Lettaford scrapyard owned by her father, Sam Harris. Sam, whose reputation spread far beyond the bounds of Dartmoor, and who is remembered with affection to this day, died in 1988, so it might be easy to think that's where the story ends. But nothing could be further from the truth. Sam may have gone; the scrapyard may be a mere shadow of its former self; but quite the opposite can be said of Peggy. This new book recalls her struggle to move on into adulthood and to make a life for herself and her daughter Clare in the face of great adversity. Inevitably, this makes for tough reading at times, but even during the darkest days Peggy's resilience and strength of character shine through. Illustrated with personal photographs and others by Chris Chapman, Life on a Dartmoor Scrapyard: The Later Years by Peggy Harris (ISBN 9780993103919) was published on December 4th 2014.
An accompanying well-received film, A Lady of the Moor - Life Beyond Sam's Scrapyard, by Chris Chapman, is also available on DVD.
Other recent Skerryvore projects include a specially commissioned history of four intertwined families from the South-West, but the production of the definitive story of the Three Hares (described in detail elsewhere on this site) has been the main focus of our work over the last year. Skerryvore contributed text, photographs and photographic work along with editorial and other production features: we are very proud of this achievement, which has been recognised by enthusiastic reviews in both the regional and national press.
With several potential commissions involving photography, film making, writing, editing and book production in the pipeline, Skerryvore faces a promising future.