An exhibition highlighting the North Sea oil industry is to go on show in Da Gadderie at Shetland Museum and Archives.
Oilwork by Sue Jane Taylor documents her experiences as an observer in the industry through diaries, photography, drawings and sculpture. Described as a living archive by Tony Benn, the exhibition portrays what it is like to be involved in this industry which is so important to Scotland.
Taylor spent 10 years observing the life onshore and offshore of the men involved in the North Sea oil industry. Through her exhibition she recalls the evocative days of the black gold – the rush, the boom times and the decay – but above all she celebrates the individuals she met, the men far from home and those that died on Piper Alpha.
The exhibition catalogue, on sale at the museum, contains a chapter on Sullom Voe and text from Taylor’s diaries which personalise the exhibition.
Taylor will also provide further insight into being an artist in the oil and other industries with an illustrated talk in the museum on Thursday 21st May at 7.30pm.
Exhibitions officer John Hunter said: “What comes across in this exhibition is the fact that the artist has spent time alongside the work force developing an understanding not only of the physical environment but also the human situation in this environment.
“Like good social documentary there’s realism in the imagery. Figures are dwarfed in among oil field construction work while portraits of larger than life characters are the counter point to this industrial landscape. Black gold seeps through the work.”
To give visitors more of an insight into the oil industry, the museum will be showing a film in the auditorium for the duration of the exhibition.
Under the North Sea follows the discovery and production of oil and gas from under the North Sea. From the formation hundreds of millions of years ago, it follows the story of North Sea oil and gas through the last three decades to an examination of some of the offshore production systems of the future.
The exhibition runs from 25th April until 25th May.