08 August 2013
Photo: Artwork by Kristina Wiherheimo
To coincide with Shetland Arts'
International Textile Festival (which ran from 31 July - 5 August
this year), Bonhoga Gallery's new exhibition Lighten,
running till 15 September 2013, explores the theme of
'northern light and seasonal change' through work from ten textile
artists from from Iceland to Finland. Each artist will use their
work to explore lightness and darkness through cultural
connections, notions of travel, history and the seasons, with
particular reference to their northern latitude.
The idea for the exhibition began with a
conversation between Shetland Arts and two artists - Gudrun
Gunnarsdottir from Iceland and Agneta Hobin from Finland - and has
evolved into a major exhibition to accompany this year's
International Textile Festival. A total of ten artists have been
selected to produce work for the show; two from Iceland, three from
Finland, one each from Norway, Sweden and Denmark and two from
Each of the exhibiting artists has a
well-established background in textiles, many with an international
reputation for both their artistic practice and academic work, and
all have been in Shetland for the opening of the show. Hazel
Hughson, Craft Development Officer at Shetland Arts and Co-curator
of the show explains, "We are grateful to the Nordic Cultural Fund
and Creative Scotland for supporting this Shetland Arts project,
enabling us to bring the artists exhibiting in 'Lighten' to
Shetland. Since arts development opportunities
underpin all our exhibitions, Shetland textile artists will exhibit
alongside the Nordic artists; local students, textile designers and
artists will benefit by taking part in the exhibition
Each artist has created new small work
specifically for the show. Interpretation of the theme is varied
and covers many fascinating aspects of the idiosyncrasies of
northern life. Kerstin Lindström accompanies her intricate wire
sculptures with the description, "The winter is long in northern
Sweden. The snow settles over the landscape and embeds the people.
The darkness can be compact."
Conversely, Shetland-based artist Barbara
Ridland explores the energy that comes with the returning light,
"each year we are revived by the returning sun from the darkness
onto faded land wrapped in mist and cloud". Basket-maker Jeanette
Nowak explores growth and light and is driven by the elements in
nature and the pull of the tide. She has used an array of plant
fibres collected from around her in Yell.
All the work in the exhibition can be said
to both express and question our identity on a local and global
scale. The ten exhibiting artists, from a wealth of creative
environments, provide us with the opportunity to see the (often)
intangible side of life at these northern latitudes.
In the Lower Gallery a collection of collagraphs, linoprints
and homewares by Shetland born artist Mandy Tait features alongside
a selection of work by Shetland and UK based makers. The Shetland
work on display includes a new jewellery range by Mike Finnie,
jewellery and sea glass and wood sculptures by Jeanette Novak and
accessories by Rosalyn Fraser.
Scotland’s Islands - the events, exhibitions and activities happening all year round.
We list every event we hear of, large and small, taking place on
the islands of Scotland or taking place elsewhere and relating to
Scotland's Islands. They provide a unique opportunity to savour the
diversity and excitement of island life. Check our our facebook
page for general updates too - http://www.facebook.com/ScotlandsIslands.
There has never been a better time for you to visit Scotland's
Islands, to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and unspoilt beaches, to
get close to dramatic wild-life, learn about our heritage,
participate in a great range of activities, and enjoy our music,
food and drink.
All this on some of our 99 inhabited islands large and small (and
many more uninhabited) accessible by sea and air in six regions:
Argyll & Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire, Orkney, Outer Hebrides
Sign up for our newsletter