29th February 2020
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WATCH: Viking Bus Station to get new graffiti mural

A French artist will work with youngsters to create a street art mural at the Viking Bus Station in Lerwick.

Marc Delaye, now based in Inverness, will oversee the graffiti project in August. It is part of the Year of Young People activities.

The youngsters involved will come up with ideas but they are also keen to hear what other young people would like to see on the mural.

Year of Young People ambassador Jonathan Dorrat said: “We’d really like children and young people aged eight to 26 years to come forward with designs or concepts for the new mural. Some of the themes could be, ‘What do you enjoy about Shetland?’, ‘What makes you proud of Shetland?’, ‘What is Shetland famous for?’.”

The artwork will be spraypainted and sealed in sections and will measure about 30 metres long and 2.4 metres in height.
Send any ideas, before Friday 6th July 2018, to youthservices@shetland.gov.uk or call (01595) 744490 or contact SIC Youth Services through their Facebook page.

The SIC’s education and families chairman George Smith said: “This is a really exciting project that will capture the creative talents of young people, who will design and create this substantial piece of graffiti street art.

“This project will help to channel their energy, and produce something expressive and colourful that helps to transform the area of the Viking Bus Station. It will be a fitting local legacy of the Year of Young People 2018.”

• The Viking Bus Station wall was last decorated in May 2007 to coincide with the opening of the Shetland Museum and Archives at Hay’s Dock. Thanks to Filmmaker JJ Jamieson for sharing this time-lapse video of the artwork being installed.


  1. Gordon downing

    Are they going to remove the bus shelter to allow for the mural to be done

  2. David Spence

    I sincerely hope the art work or whatever, is not some form of contemporary, conceptual, expressionism or modern art rubbish, where splashing paint onto the wall is regarded as art when in reality it is utter rubbish…….oh, but you can see the movement of the paint, the blending of colours and the meaningless shapes etc etc………and then give an equally rubbish title like Lerwick on a stormy night, the meaning of life or some other pointless title.

    Over the years art has very much lowered its standards significantly to make and justify it becoming more commercially viable………….just as bad, selling a reproduction at almost the same price of the original work as a so-called ‘ limited edition rubbish ‘.

    I would think even Graffiti would be more interesting to look at………atleast, for the best part, you can still see what was being represented in terms of graphics and text.

    No doubt the PC Brigade would like it because it gives the opportunity for somebody to express themselves through art and life experience………..despite the fact everybody else looks upon it as pointless and meaningless rubbish.

  3. Mr ian Tinkler

    Love the art, shame about the bus service, waiting for an area and all that. Never mind, the Morons have control!! I just hope no funds are wasted on this idiocy. How about a Council spend on a Shetland Wildlife centre based in Lerwick. Infinitely more valuable than Mareel, a far greater attraction for tourists, hopefully, a better and local architect employed. Something less like an inverted bedpan with windows that Mareel so reminds me ..

    • Steven Jarmson

      Hmmm…a wildlife centre in Lerwick.
      Would this be for all of Shetland?
      Or just to highlight Lerwicks wildlife?
      Which is only really readily available on a Friday or Saturday night.
      Whilst the mating rituals of the Over Puffed Shirted Bafoon and Lesser Dressed High-Healed Wabbler is very indeed very interesting, I doubt you could make a viable centre out them!
      Any wildlife centre should be where the wildlife is at.
      I’ve never seen the point of displaying pictures of things you could actually go and see.
      Any wildlife centre in Lerwick will be nothing more than an photgraphy gallery.
      Since people in Lerwick drive to everything, in Lerwick, there’s nothing to stop them driving to a location outside of Lerwick.
      Oh, I forgot, the forcefield would need lowered to allow them to leave!!

  4. Sue Wailoo

    Why not use that glaringly white, huge marquee beside the Clickimin Leisure Centre, called something like 60/40 ? It’s crying out for some sort of camouflage before moss and lichen gradually take over that task. Decorating it could become a regular summer holiday event for young people. It has potential as an exciting, big, artistic canvas after all.

    There are many young people who do not participate in sport but who might be more interested in such an art project. Great though it is that there are so many facilities for sporty types perhaps it is time to re-balance provision and support for those not so inclined.

    • Steven Jarmson

      Possibly the Arts Trust should look into that?
      The rec trust provide sporting facilities.
      I think you’re muddled about the purpose of the different trusts.
      Next you’ll be saying Hjaltland should build houses with more than one bedroom outside of Lerwick!!

  5. Haydn Gear

    I think the Mareel is a fine looking structure. It also won an award from the Civic Trust so I’m clearly not alone. That won’t stop the philistines from sticking their oars in I know but it would be nice to think that one day the scales may fall from their eyes and the axes they are so keen to grind will forever remain blunt.

  6. Ian Tinkler

    If you like concrete and glass, gaudy displays and tarmac, Mareel fits the bill! As regards, “The Arts”, Mareel has hardly proved the game changer as so promised. In fact, Shetland Arts at Mareel have achieved ?? SFA in my humble opinion. Mareel made a few pounds for a few usual suspects, talentless arty parasites. The talented have been left to fend for themselves. Best live artistic performance on Shetland since Mareel opened, “Status Quo”, thanks, Malcomn Younger and “Scottish National Ballet, “Highland Fling “, just my view. No surprise Mareel featured in neither. !!! Now, how about what matters, a Shetland Wildlife centre in Lerwick. Hardly need to spend £15 million on that. A scientific, educational asset that may help to educate our children and a massive tourist attraction. Would not even need a bar!!!

  7. Haydn Gear

    The Shard in London, an amazingly beatiful structure is made from steel, glass and concrete. Skyscrapers in New York are also made from the same materials. Buildings, too many to list here, in most countries on the planet also depend on their construction from the use of ——— steel, concrete and glass. Building methods change along with building materials. I suppose there are some people who would like to see the continued use of materials once employed in the construction of cathedrals and even the pyramids of Egypt but it’s not going to happen. One day, that simple truth may dawn on those trapped in a narrow focus world.

    • Ali Inkster

      Come on Haydn I agree there are many beautiful building all round the world made from concrete and glass, but the tin shed that is mareel is definitely not one of them.

    • Michael Garriock

      The Shard is a massive glass pyramid….I’m wholly indifferent to it in every way. At least its somewhat better than The Gherkin, which closely resembles a huge glass butt plug…….

      Mareel resembles a cheap mass produced tin shed which has broken its back.

      If I have a point to make here, its that the choice of materials for any one given building are largely irrelevant to what that building is when completed. Massive useless carbuncles were created in the days when only timber and rock were the materials used – There’s the most of one of them still sitting in Scalloway yet as proof.

      All the choice of materials can do is either increase or decrease how much of a carbuncle it appears to be, but a carbuncle is always going to be a carbuncle whatever its made from.

    • Graham Fleming

      Call me old fashioned but I would love to see the modern building business that could build a pyramid like the meg aliths of Egypt. Stones of 25 to 80 tonnes brought in from three to four hundred miles ,all done 5000 years ago.It’s true you really can’t get the staff nowadays. I wonder if the Pharoahs had problems getting folk to pick their fruitcrops – the British ways of one can’t get ones hands dirty and keep Johnny foreigner out is about to finish off another burgeoning industry.

  8. Haydn Gear

    I’m curious to know how a concrete and glass building can also be made from tin (tin shed). Somebody seems to be a bit mixed up! As for the Shard looking like a massive pyramid what about the Louvre pyramid in Paris which is made from the same materials already mentioned. It was designed by I M Pei, a Chinese -American architect and it is a marvel. May I suggest that those who have never stood next to it or walked around inside it make the effort to include it in their bucket list of things to do before the grim reaper does his job and whips them off to the pyramid in the sky.

    • Ali Inkster

      Aluminium, tin the terms are interchangeable when it comes to foil and sheds.

  9. Haydn Gear

    I’m sure your terminology is correct Ali but would you not agree that the use of the term ‘ tin shed’ lies not so much in identifying the material nature of that being used but more an attempt to denigrate the quality of the end product by likening it to a humble run of the mill structure? Rather like calling a van a box on wheels? I am too well aware that for some people the only way to deliver criticism is to resort to demeaning comments which, ironically, rebound on themselves. But that is just my personal approach to delivering an opinion.

    • Ali Inkster

      If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it is probably a duck. The same goes for tin sheds.

    • Michael Garriock

      @ Haydn Gear.

      When there is nothing of note to differentiate one building constructed from certain materials apart from other run of the mill mundane buildings of similar materials and style, there is nothing to denigrate. It is a case of being factually accurate.

      Pretentiousness is no more admirable than denigration.

      Unless you already know Mareel’s purpose and that its supposedly an ‘iconic’ design, it looks exactly like a run of the mill tin shed that’s broken its back, just the same as the Viking Bus Station looks like a certain style of building that earned itself the nickname ‘The Pagoda’ as soon as it was built.

  10. Mr ian Tinkler

    Let us not quibble over semantics, but I would compare the architectural award for “Mareel” to be somewhat like The Turner award for Damiens Hurst’s “Pickled cow and calf.”, Just a load of pretentious codswallop! To the real point, for countless £ millions (£16?), Lerwick now has a cinema, a new bar and a Cafe. Shetland Arts have a splendid Gin Palace as a new headquarters. The contribution to original art on Shetland, by Mareel, since its opening, has been conspicuous by its absence! Nothing of lasting merit, since Mareel’s gaudy doors, were flung wide open.

  11. Haydn Gear

    I have never seen any tin sheds on Shetland which resemble Mareel. If any actually do exist , maybe someone would be kind enough to direct me to them so that I can criticise them for looking like Mareel. What is abundantly clear to me is that there is never any shortage of subject matter at which nasty , negative comments may be flung. Further to that, there is never any shortage of those who seem to get a kick out of venting there spleens in those directions. I wonder how much input into the Shetland cultural activities these people contribute or is their primary function to stand on the sidelines and hurl abusive, critical comments? I am mindful of those who, having no talents whatsoever, walk into an art gallery and loudly claim that their five years old grandson could do better. Pig ignorant prats.

    • Ali Inkster

      Leaving Lerwick on the boat last week, I happened to overhear some tourists comments on mareel, they were not impressed to say the least. And when I informed them that it had won an award for architecture, they laughed out loud and one comment was by who, a blind man?

      • Brian Smith

        Those of us who are long in the tooth remember the foaming at the mouth and rending of garments that went on about Mareel prior to its opening. It all stopped soon afterwards, leaving the field to a few cranks.

  12. Haydn Gear

    Purely as an addendum, I don’t suppose that the nickname The Pagoda was in any way at all a reference to China or of people of Chinese ancestry was it? I wonder if takeaway customers are over concerned about certain mild architectural similarities.

    • Steven Jarmson

      The viking was a chippy when it opened.

  13. Mr ian Tinkler

    “What is abundantly clear to me is that there is never any shortage of subject matter at which nasty , negative comments may be flung.” Well said Hadyn Gear, Especially well illustrated by, ” is their primary function to stand on the sidelines and hurl abusive, critical comments? “, “I am mindful of those who, having no talents whatsoever” and ” Pig ignorant prats.” Your words, Haydn! A Turner for you for contemporary hypocrisy perhaps!

  14. Mr ian Tinkler
  15. Haydn Gear

    Well Ian, I think the key word in your missive is the last one —PERHAPS. I submit that it more truthfully should be PERHAPS NOT. There’s really not much mileage in playing this game of tug of war is there? All is does is underpin the fact that opinions, both informed and uninformed , proliferate. Those who shout the loudest and longest think they have won when they have actually simply become hoarse. I know that to be true since it came from the horse’s mouth.

  16. Haydn Gear

    Love hate relationships are usually destined to cause pain and disillusion for all concerned and lead to all round disaffection. Having spent a major part of my life involved in “ the Arts”, mainly writing and the visual arts, I find it most interesting that so much attention and invective are directed towards the creative endeavours of some by those who appear to be totally opposed to so much ——— apart from their own claimed preferred cultural snippets, just to avoid being labelled as philistines and to maintain ( hoped for ) credibility from the watchful public at large. In regard to the Turner prize, it might be pertinent to remember that both Constable and Turner were derided and scoffed at by the critics for being mere Impressionists. Look what happened! So let today’s critics mock on if it makes them feel better.

  17. Mr ian Tinkler

    Constable and Turner never sought, nor took £16 million of public funds. The Mareel protagonist, Shetland Arts did and are still creaming it! What is so extraordinary, so little original art having has ever been created in Mareel since its opening! Nothing remotely comparable with what Shetlanders achieved before this edifice’s inception! Mareel is not bad for a cinema, a lousy bar and a very average cafe. As for original art, the below says it all. Just a philistines humble opinion. http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/33075/1/the-uk-s-most-controversial-art-prize-returns-turner-prize-2016

    • John Tulloch

      Paraphrasing MGM’s famous motto, the phrase “Arse gratia artis”, springs to mind. LOL 🙂

  18. David Spence

    As an artist myself (mainly in graphite but also in pastel and acrylic) doing mostly portrait work but also the occasional wildlife, I do question whether certain art styles are indeed representative of art or just plain utter rubbish.

    I have been to many art exhibitions and art shops where I question what is deemed as art and what is deemed as ‘ ripping off the customer ‘ with questionable so-called art skill to this of ridiculous prices for a piece of art which looks like it was done in less than a few seconds. It all fair and square in regards to art, but when art only becomes the interpretation of the artist and nobody else can see what they see, one has to look closely at the motive behind such art, and usually the motive is commercial.

    It takes me about 20 hours to do a portrait, and I charge a minimum fee such work. I have been told by an art expert, I should be charging atleast double for my work. I do art because I enjoy it, but moreso, the joy it gives to other people who admire my art work.

  19. Haydn Gear

    I have sold art work to collectors in France, Western Australia , USA, Spain and even Scotland and Wales but, so far, none in Shetland.! Yell gallery has lovely work by Ruth Brownlee and those who find some art products difficult to accommodate should pay a visit. Ripping off the customer as mentioned by David Spence is an all too common feature in most walks of life —— not Just in the art world. Buyer beware should always be the watchword. Freedom to express ideas of whatever kind should be encouraged. To condemn out of hand as has happened in these columns is not too far removed from the actions of the infamous dictatorial methods of the now dead Soviet Union. Beware the Nikita Kruschevs who take swipes at anything that does not conform to dogma. Roll on the Turner prize!!!

    • Alistair Inkster

      So talented, and yet so humble. You forgot blowing your own trumpet when lavishly covering yourself with plaudits.

    • Ian Tinkler

      Nobody has questioned freedom to express ideas apart from yourself here Hadyn referring the expressions an opinions of others as “pig ignorant”. What I question is the countless £ millions wasted on promoting such “arty things”. We have human problems aplenty without such utter waste of funds on pretentious arty nonsense. Shetland needs food banks, yet we squander £16 million on a waste of public space such as Mareel, which at the end of the day contributes next to nothing to anyone! That is apart from the trivial entertainment to a very few, who are hardly in need of anything that was not there before this White Elephant was ordained/consecrated.

  20. Haydn Gear

    No doubt it was deliberate (John Tulloch) and the opportunity to be a comedian was irresistble but the phrase “Arse gratis artis” should, of course be “Ars gratis artis”—— Ah so !

  21. Ian Tinkler

    No insult was ever meant to you, Haydn. You are a real artist. If I ever get back to “The Black Mountains”. I will try and visit. What I genuinely loath are the artistic parasites, sadly some on Shetland, who exploit grant money, to feather their nests! We have plenty of those talentless people around; most can be found in Mareel’s bar, a further few in Shetland Arts. They usually promote and do nothing else, nasty little creatures!!! (I use the scientific meaning of parasite here).

  22. Haydn Gear

    Fair enough Ian. I take you point and concede that you probably have a better overview of the local scene than most. I do understand that parasitic ARTISTS do exist and I met but rejected plenty of such types when I was a student all those years ago in London. Have no fear, I adopt a pretty cynical approach to people who pass themselves off as artists ( or any other activity) when it is obvious to anybody who has the capacity to question, argue and then dismiss them as frauds. Too many around in all walks of life. Nice to have these little chats from a distance and always enjoy reading your submissions. HG

  23. David Spence

    Is the winning artist of the Turner Prize, representing what many think of the Turner Prize and this of being a club for elitist artists where their work is highly questionable or just giving art the ‘ shock value ‘ when it comes to expressing what art is or should be?

    Personally, I would do away with this and just put a pile of shit onto a white surface with a white background and title it ‘ And the winner of the Turner Prize is…. ‘. lol

  24. Haydn Gear

    “ And the winner of the Turner Prize is……….?”. Go on David,since you are consumed with what is appropriate why not have a go yourself ? You said “ personally , I would just put a pile of shit onto a white surface with a white background and title it “ And the winner of the Turner Prize is…….David Spence. I’ll lend you a trowel to apply the “paint” provided that you are prepared to produce it …….. on stage at Mareel perhaps. After all, anything goes these days and you could bask in the glory for the rest of your days. Plus free drinks at the bar with all the trendies. LoL

  25. David Spence

    Thank you for the offer Haydn, but my style of art is recognizable and is representable to those people to whome I have done portraits of.

    Based on this, and the feedback from people I have done portraits of as well as people who have seen my work, I can categorically say my artwork is recognized for what it is, this of a portrait. To my surprise, even the people I have done portraits of say ‘ there is a strong likeness to themselves ‘ and they are very pleased with the outcome.

    Alternatively, I could always paint and draw a few squiggles and indistinguishable shapes on a canvas and pawn this off as a master class in doing a portrait, but I think most people would see the flaw and question whether I was taking the mick or ripping them off. lol.

    I could always get away with this by saying ‘ It is contemporary, conceptual or modern art ‘ and it is how I see your face. lol I am pretty sure the majority of people would be wanting a refund. lol

  26. Haydn Gear

    Well, David I think you’ve made your point and I have every regard for it. I’m not actually a sqiggles man myself and if you look at my products you would find this to be true. My concerns are mainly moved by what I perceive to be ideas, thoughts and principles which may or may not generate sympathetic responses. It’s a matter of giving freedom of movement rather than swallowing everything hook, line and sinker. Remember, many artists who were once derided eventually grew in stature and became accepted in spite of inordinate criticism. Picasso was a prime example as was Henry Moore. All artists were modern in their own time. Dare I say that you are and I are too but to dismiss us as makers of Modern Art in the way that critics use the term would be unfair and short sighted. I hope that I’ve made it clear.


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