Hansel for Mareel Project to Launch on 23rd December
12 December 2012
(n) a gift to
commemorate an inaugural occasion, the launching of a new boat,
birth of a child, a new home, new enterprise.
The Shetland Dictionary, John J. Graham.
Mareel has generated strong opinion from
the community since its inception nearly 20 years ago. During the
construction phase of the building, Shetland Arts invited the
public to record their feelings towards the building, positive,
negative, neutral, or otherwise, in the form of a 'hansel' or
'gift.' The only requirements were that it should contain nothing
illegal or organic, and must fit into a 3 inch screw-top jar. These
jars were then buried within the walls of the building where they
will remain forever. Three hansels were chosen to be displayed as a
visual marker of the project. These are in the south wall of the
The Hansel for Mareel project will be
officially launched on Sunday, 23rd December at 4pm in
the Café Bar. All are welcome to attend alongside those who
contributed to the project to hear a short presentation and to be
some of the first to see a brand new leaflet containing photos of
the hansels with a map of Mareel showing where they are in the
building. Christmas themed refreshments will also be available to
Shetland Arts' Director, Gwilym Gibbons,
said: "Mareel has been a project that has stimulated unprecedented
debate amongst the Shetland community. Mareel is now a venue which
has, in just a few months, been used by tens of thousands of people
from all corners of Shetland. The decision to build Mareel in 2008
came just at the point in which fears were growing about the levels
of funds Shetland Islands Council had to invest in large scale
projects. The Council's investment in Mareel stands at just under
half the costs for the build; that investment continues to be one
which attracts lively debate.
"Hansel for Mareel captures a small part
of the story that led to the Mareel construction, caught in
individual responses to Mareel and gathered from the Shetland
community throughout the construction. The hansels were buried into
the very fabric of the building locking away personal opinions in
the form of gifts into Mareel forever.
He continued: "I feel it is important to
acknowledge the broad range of responses Mareel has stimulated. It
feels right for the building to be the home to the rigorous debate
that has taken place, and for Mareel's walls, ceilings and floors
to hold that story in the form of what Mareel represents to
individuals in the Shetland community."
All are welcome to attend the launch in the
Mareel Café Bar at 4pm on Sunday 23rd
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