Shetland 4th – 11th September 2021

VISIT TO SHETLAND. 4th – 11th September 2021

As Shetland is the most northerly part of Britain it seemed important in the early days of planning our project that we should bring it to Shetland. Initially our plan was to find space to hold our exhibition on the islands.
We soon came to realise that this was not a feasible plan and that we needed a more considered understanding of the reality of life in such a northerly place. Our visit became a research exercise aiming to get a better understanding of how living in what others consider a ’remote’ place affects the artwork, the lifestyle and the presentation of art, for the artists living there.

After making many changes to our original plans due to Covid we were affected again at the very last moment when two members of the group were unable to travel due to their children being affected by Covid.
Su Grierson & Kyra Clegg continued alone but continued to update and keep in touch with the other two members by regular zoom meetings.

A zoom call made from the northern island of Yell to Japan, was hosted by The Shetland Gallery and the Shetland Tweed Company and connected ourselves, artists from Yell and our Japanese partners. It was interesting to note that while artists in Tokyo and Glasgow felt isolated, artists in Yell felt very connected to both their local community and other artists. But what they lack is connection to the wider Mainland art community and exhibiting and marketing opportunities together with facing more expensive materials and extra cost in sending their work elsewhere. These initial themes were encountered many times during our visit. We met artists whose work ranged from craft makers, to image based painters and printmakers , from moving image installation to political and landscape engagement.

Click images for larger view.

We would like to extend our thanks to …

Shona Skinner Gallerist and artist at The Shetland Gallery on Yell.
Andy Ross weaver and Shetland Tweed company owner on Yell.
Helen Robertson.
Ruth Brownlee,
Kate Lonsdale,
Rowan Ormiston.
Jane Macauley – Shetland Wild Skies on Unst.
Roxane Permar, Susan Timmins, Cold War Project & Landscape in Pain.
Janette Kerr and Jo Millett ‘Confusing shadow with substance’ at Papil on Burra with Sound walk at Stenness beach
Daniel Clark and Amy Gear, at Gaada.
Vivian Ross-Smith.
Paul Bloomer.
Shetland Lace experts Hazel Laurensen & Mimie Mouat and Manager Lynn at The Unst Heritage Museum.
Carol Christiansen textile Curator at Lerwick Museum
And the many friendly people from Shetland who have talked to us along the way.