Vision 22: A display of rising local talent at UHI Shetland

After almost two years away, the UHI Shetland Fine Art Degree show is opening to the public again this month from Friday 10th of June until Friday 24th of June. The exhibitions will have Saturday openings and late evening openings. This exhibition is running as part of the creative industries department end of year show and will feature work from various courses including contemporary textiles, national certificate portfolio, core and life skills and skills for work art.

Covid restrictions over the last few years have led to limited viewing opportunities to see art in the flesh and this show is a celebration of the studios being reopened again giving the viewer to experience art in all its tactile colourful experiential glory.

The BA (Hons) Fine Art course is taught over four years, with the first year an emphasis on building on and strengthening key creative foundational building blocks of drawing, painting, photography, spatial practice, printmaking, and contextual studies. As students’ progress through second year the emphasis becomes on an individual creative path being formed and forged, by encouraging vigorous experimentation that is tempered with a strong and in-depth contextual awareness of fine art practice. There are four students exhibiting in the Fine Art & Contemporary Textiles show. These students are: Shannon Leslie, Jean Urquhart, Elouise Spooner and Karen Clubb.

Shannon Leslie explores her island identity by delving into the world of dream, symbol and unconscious by inviting the viewer through the portal of a trapdoor into an imagined sculptural  archipelago where through the lens of dreaming reality has been transformed into a waking nightmare where light and dark converge in a family of powerful and memorable forms inspired by lambs that have become deformed by undefined forces.

Jean Urquhart's chosen medium is paint in all its richness and fullness and against the backdrop of the colours light land sea and textures of Shetland she allows her subconscious mind to roam. A self-confessed ‘doodler’ Jean takes inspiration from self-taught visionary artists such as Adam Christie from Shetland and allows this free-flowing imagery to imbue her works with multiple layers of meanings.

Elouise Spooner has created a whole room walk in installation full of youthful rebellion and unbounded self-expression. Her work is irreverent, joyous, fun, and multi-layered, taking inspiration from popular media such as poetry, songs, tattoos and graphic novels, and utilising found object trash to reject any form of preciousness. Her show is an out of the box celebration of the freedom that coming of age brings and the work explores a diverse range of pathways and threads that will leave the viewer needing to come back for more.

Karen Clubb has created an intensely personal body of work that explores the mysterious spaces that exist between absence and presence. Using textiles as a carrier for the emotions that arise during the process of making her work captures essences that connect the individual to the universal by exploring the life experiences that touch us all – love, loss, the passage of time and the fragility of memory.

The Contemporary Textiles course will be displaying a selection of weave, knit and printed textiles that utilises a variety of approaches and inspirations to textiles.  The NC Art and Design portfolio course is bursting with the usual diverse expressions of talent featuring paintings, prints, sculptures, textiles, and a myriad other visual treat. The Skills for Work art course highlights the work of S3 students who come into the building alternative Fridays to study drawing and textiles. The Access to Core Skills students have been constructing with clay and Life Skills students have been developing work under the theme of costume where a variety of visual delights have been created.

Simon Clarke Head of Creative and Cultural Industries for UHI Shetland said: “After the lifting of COVID restrictions, it is going to be a wonderful opportunity to come and view our student’s work in person.”

The exhibition will have an official opening on Friday 10th June 2022 at 6pm and will run until Friday 24th June 2022 where everyone is welcome to visit and no booking is necessary.

UHI Shetland Lerwick Campus Gallery Opening hours: Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm, late night opening Mon & Wed 7.30pm & Saturday 11th & 18th 10am - 4pm

Karen Clubb's degree show is being hosted at: 49 Commercial Street, Lerwick (opposite the Queens Hotel) – opening daily from 12 noon until 4pm