It’s Up-Helly-Art! Bill heads to go on display at museum
The latest exhibition at Da Gadderie in Shetland Museum features “bill heads” from all the Up-Helly-A’s across Shetland.
The bill head sits above The Bill or Proclamation, which is displayed in a public place on Up-Helly-A’ day.
The Bill started in 1899 and at first, was to provide guizers with instructions for the event. It developed to contain local jokes and satire, topped with a piece of art that often depicts the Guizer Jarl’s saga.
The artist is chosen by the jarl who may be a family friend, relative or someone from their area. The bill head is officially unveiled to the jarl and his squad a few days before the event and presented to the jarl on hop day (the day after Up-Helly-A’) by the “torch boys”.
The exhibition contains work by well-known artists Nicholas Barnham, Liam O’Neil and Ron Sandford, along with work by lesser-known artists from the community. For some, Up-Helly-A’ might provide the first opportunity for a public exhibition of their work.
The exhibition opens on Saturday at noon and runs until Sunday 11th February.