Fine Art Exhibition

The BA(Hons) Fine Art course at Shetland College UHI is currently hosting its inaugural degree show featuring the work of Gemma Hoseason, Tracey Cassidy and Sean Boyle. This degree show marks the culmination of four years hard work by all three of the students.

With current Covid-19 restrictions, the students’ work is only viewable online from Wednesday 16 December on the Art North Magazines ‘project rooms’ impressive virtual exhibition space.   

Gemma Hoseason is exhibiting a series of very personal, highly charged self-portrait photographs that express the feelings of isolation she has recently felt. Gemma was shielding during the initial Covid-19 pandemic, and she has used the experience to produce powerful images, which helped her gain solace with the profound sense of melancholia she felt during lockdown. 

Tracey Cassidy is exhibiting a series of oil paintings that are deeply rooted in her generational family home “The Faine” which is now derelict. Tracey started with an image of her grandmother – the last person to live in the house – and revisited in various seasons and times of day to produce emotion-laden paintings that explore memory and deep connections to home. 

Tracey celebrates Shetland dialect in her writings about the paintings and says:

“Wir fok ir bidn on da saam laand fir mony generations and it hadds coontless stories. As I waak da saam laand my ancestors waaked, my imagination is ignited we a sense o da past, reverberations o baith sadness n joy. Da Fain wis da hame o my Great Grandmidder Lily, whas presence I can still feel echoed in da waas n da laand in a powerful spiritual connection. Though da hoose lies noo in decay, dis paintins survive as traces. Treeds o memory dat bring da past in tae da present”.

Sean Boyle has fused large scale woodcut printmaking with oil painting to produce a series of large paintings and describes his work as “an attempt to both reveal and conceal my personality” by combining relief carving and oil painting to create a picture within a picture, where mundanity is obscured by the fantastical. 

Paul Bloomer, Shetland College UHI Fine Art lecturer, who has worked with all three students commented:

“Shetland College UHI is the newest partner to deliver the BA Hons Fine Art, and this is our first round of graduates. The circumstances these students have found themselves in because of Covid 19 lockdown, meant they faced additional pressures and constraints, and their initial plans for degree show had to be rethought.

Each of the students have risen admirably to the challenge and all have produced diverse and interesting artwork that is the culmination of four years very hard work. Degree level Fine Art offers a chance to delve deeply into individual creativity, in a stimulating and supportive environment that encourages risk taking and the forging of individuality artistic identity.

The BA Hons Fine Art course is growing to be an important contribution to the richness and diversity of Shetland’s expanding visual culture as more and more students step out into the world to pursue independent careers and directions as artists.”     

The Fine Art degree is taught over four University of the Highlands and Islands campuses: Moray, Orkney, North Uist and Shetland, and the accompanying degree show catalogue features work from talented artists from all four campuses.