Contemporary Textiles Students Exhibit at Bod of Gremista

Three students from the UHI Shetland Contemporary Textiles course will present their woven work as part of an exhibit titled ‘Crossing Threads’ available to view at the Shetland Textile Museum at the Bod of Gremista.

A component of the Contemporary Textiles course is the Professional Practice module in which students are required to develop curatorial skills to create an exhibition of their own work.

This collaborative exhibition has been curated by three third Year BA Contemporary Textiles students. Alana McGuinness, Janet Mahon and Richard Main. As three dedicated weavers, the inspiration for their work comes from a variety of sources which include Shetland buildings, the natural world and science fiction.

Shetland Textile Museum has once again kindly offered the exhibition space for this student exhibition. Barbara Gray, Chairman of Trustees at the Shetland Textile Museum commented: “We are pleased to welcome the students back to the Shetland Textile Museum and seeing their work.”

The exhibition is open to the public from Tuesday 26th of April at 2pm. The Shetland Textile Museum is open from 11am – 4pm.

About the weavers:

Alana McGuinness

Since moving to Bressay, Alana found herself drawn to the croft house ruins. She was fascinated by the amount of colour to be found in the walls, particularly the abundant shades of grey. The instinctive and organic nature of the stone placement is an inspiration to her work.

Getting the opportunity to work with Uradale Yarns, Alana found herself drawn to their range of natural colours. She felt that the gradients between the greys and the fawns found in the fleece of Shetland Sheep seemed to perfectly reflect the different colours in the drystone walls.

For Alana, the best way to express the subtle simplicity of the drystone walls and the Uradale yarn was by weaving a mixture of twill patterns in a gradient of shades and thicknesses at the beginning and end. The middle section comprises shades which were chosen instinctively and in the moment. This was achieved using a double weave construction to produce double the width of cloth at once. Alana would like to thank Uradale Yarns for their kind sponsorship of the yarns for her work in this exhibition.

Janet Mahon

Janet’s inspiration has grown from her background in the biological and environmental sciences, where she worked for many years as a researcher in molecular biology and then as a teacher in further education.  Her interest in the natural world and its interface with human activity is something she has explored recently within her woven work.

In these works, she looked at the myriad of textures and colours found in geological strata and in more detail at individual rock and mineral samples.

Janet also looked at how humans have gone about the extraction of fossil fuels and metal ores from beneath the earth.  The patterns produced by the mine shafts and overground buildings influenced the creation of her final pieces.

Richard Main

Richard’s inspiration came from the ‘Star Wars’ films, which were a lifelong source of science fiction escapism for him. Focusing on one of the main characters he decided to reflect on their internal conflict between light and dark in their transformation from hero to villain.

Using a monochromatic colour palette to highlight the alternate light and dark sections in his warp, Richard’s weft alternated soft and coarse yarn in effort to express the conflict through touch as well as in colour.

Using clasped weft technique gave the effect of some light and dark weft sections being barely visible against the monochrome warp. The intention of this was to reflect how the character’s internal conflict made him lose sight of who he was.