Award winners host Bonhoga show

The next exhibition showing at Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale, is a mixed show by the winners of the 2008 Shetland Open Art Exhibition. Shetland Arts decided to reward the winners of the Open by giving them not only the £100 prize donated by the show’s sponsors, but another £100 towards preparing work for a joint exhibition in the gallery.

This show entitled Open Quintet features the work of the five win­ners. Helen Whitman won Baker Tilly’s prize for the best newcomer, June Redman won Vaila Fine Arts’ award for the best painting, Ivan Hawick was the successful photo­graphy winner for the prize donated by Millgaet Media and Mandy Tait won the John Goudie prize for best print. Shetland Arts and Crafts gave the prize for best craft piece and this was won by Jenny Deschenes.

The exhibition opens tomorrow and runs until 21 June. The exhibition preview is tonight at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome.

Helen is a student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, who has just completed her first year general foundation course and loved every minute of it. In September she will go on to specialise in textile design which she hopes will kick-start her career in the design world and reach her goal of creating designs from environmentally friendly materials, and designing fabrics that are more environmentally friendly. “This year I have gained inspiration from a lot of things around me including the huge change I experienced of moving from Shetland to Dundee. However, I keep looking back to Shetland, which will always be my home, for inspiration and memories,” said Helen who is delighted to be taking part in the show.

Many regular visitors to Bonhoga will be aware of Bressay based artist, June Redman, who has been a Shetland resident since 1973. June said of her work: “Drawing has always been my main interest for as long as I can remember.”

June joined a group of local artists, the South Mainland Art Group, who exhibited in local galleries. When she retired in 2001, after working as an official for the local housing association for 20 years, she became a full time member of Veer North, the local artists’ group, exhibiting regularly both in Shetland and, recently, in Denmark and Inverness.

The series of prints from Mandy Tait is on the theme of “The eyes have it?” Mandy is fascinated by faces, and the way we interpret them. Mandy said: “We are conditioned to recognise the face as a pattern, not as individual features but as a sum of all its parts. Because of this we are apt to see faces or face like patterns in other objects. The eyes look, but it is the brain that ‘sees’, or interprets this information, enabling us to make a decision as to whether or not what we are looking at is indeed familiar to us.”

Jenny loves the idea that her collected ephemera belonged to someone else and that in passing it on it continues its journey. This need to re-invent the old, coupled with her love of naïve drawing, is always her starting point for her work.

The man in the quintet of artists is well known photographer Ivan Hawick. Ivan is a born and bred Shetlander who has been taking photos for many years. His photos are well known locally through appearing in the ii Shetland magazine and he has built up a reputation for his stunning aurora photography. A series of striking landscapes complete the Open Quintet show.

Work in the exhibition is for sale and this is an opportunity for visitors to Bonhoga to purchase work by five Shetland artists each with their own distinctive style.

Bonhoga Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30-4.30 pm and on Sundays from noon to 4.30pm.


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