A group of artists and musicians will travel to Sardinia to take part in an arts festival.
The group will be guests of the Municipality of Padru at the twelfth International Biennial of Painting, “Isole” (“Islands”).
On each occasion a different island group is hsoted and this year the mayor of Padru, Antonio Satta, invited Shetland to participate. The municipality is Sardinia’s youngest, established in 1996, and the event aims to strengthen artistic and cultural links with other island communities.
Eight Shetland artists will take part in a competition with Sardinians, painting on location and focusing on the culture, history and tradition of the area. This year they will be judged by
Shetland College art lecturer Paul Bloomer, among others, who is one of those making the journey later this month.
There’s also a week-long celebration of fashion, music and theatre. Eight Hjaltibonhoga fiddlers are also heading to Sardinia.
The invitation came following discussions with Shetland Islands Council. SIC convener Malcolm Bell said: “Shetland has always been an outward-looking community and this is a magnificent opportunity for our talented painters and musicians to experience the culture of another island area and share our culture with them.
“I am very grateful to Mayor Antonio Satta for inviting Shetland to be this year’s guest island at what is a major and high profile cultural event for Italy. I think it also demonstrates the high regard in which Shetland’s creative industries are held.”
Mr Satta said: “We are delighted to show our special guests from Shetland our traditions, folklore, fashion, and a special dance, ‘Lu Scottis’ which is performed only in this part of Sardinia and claims to have Scottish origins, as its name recalls.
“I am convinced that the Biennial is a starting point for strong cooperation between our two islands, and are very honoured to have convener Malcolm Bell with us representing Shetland.”
Mr Bloomer said the festival is a fantastic opportunity. “The paintings will be placed in an important collection which includes the work of internationally important painters such as Renato Guttuso, and our artists will learn a lot from this valuable experience.”