24th September 2018
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Yell artist wins BP Fine Art Award

Amy Gear from Yell, a final-year printmaking student at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, has received the prestigious BP Fine Art Award at the 127th annual degree show.

Amy, 22, has created a series of large-scale prints inspired by the traditional languages and customs of Shetland. The judges were particularly impressed by her work, which also aims to preserve elements of island poetry and folklore for future generations.

She will graduate in the summer with a BA (Hons) in Printmaking and was presented with the trophy together with a cheque for £500 by BP’s regional president of North Sea, Trevor Garlick, at a special ceremony at the launch of the show.

Tim Smith, vice-president of communications and external affairs for BP Scotland, said: “BP is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Gray’s School of Art degree show for the seventh year. Once again we have been impressed by the creativity and quality of the students’ work. This made the judging for the BP Design Award and BP Fine Art Award both very difficult and very enjoyable.”

Amy combines fabrics including silk with screen-printing to create textured pieces. Her exhibition included prints and fabric installations.

She won the Cross Trust Award at the end of her third year, which allowed her to further her studies of Nordic cultures and she chose to go to Iceland. Amy said: “This trip greatly influenced my work in my final year.”

Her work also incorporates the organic elements of living in a remote island. Certain pieces represent abstract versions of the island landscape and weather. For example, one of her pieces is a 3m high fabric wall hanging depicting a rain shower over the Yell landscape.

As well as the BP Fine Art Award, Amy’s work was selected by the Royal Scottish Academy as part of its “New Contemporaries” exhibition and she had a piece purchased for £500 for the University’s permanent art and heritage collections.

This is not the first such accolade for the Gear family as Amy’s elder brother Daniel received the BP Design Award in 2010 for his work on the debate about windfarm developments in Shetland.

Amy has accepted an Artist in Residence for Printmaking next year at Grays.

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