Public art trail brings fresh colour to Lerwick town centre

Phase one of Lerwick’s new public art trail has been installed to bring a splash of colour and intrigue across the town centre.

The four Shetland-inspired sculptures have been made designed by Scottish artists and made  by isles businesses Garriocks, LEF and Malakoff.

Work on the LOCUS  project, which is being delivered by Living Lerwick in partnership with Shetland Arts, began in December 2019, involving residents, community organisations and businesses from across the town.

Funded by the Scottish government’s Town Centres Fund, through Shetland Islands Council, the project focuses on three themes; where we are;  where we’re going and where we’ve come from.

After extra cash was awarded through the fund, two new murals have also been commissioned for the town centre.

They were chosen following a public vote and will be painted by Cobolt Collective and Gavin Renshaw and will be painted later this month and mid-August.

The first sculptures are: David Lemm’s Stakamillabakka; Kenny Hunter’s As Above so Below; Joe Ingleby’s Storm Cargo and Civic Soup’s The Never-Ending Gansey, which was the result of a series of workshops across five Shetland schools.

All the sculptures have been fabricated in Shetland, apart from the bronze section of Kenny Hunter’s work as there is no bronze foundry in Shetland.

Living Lerwick chairman Steve Mathieson said: “It’s great that the idea of a contemporary art trail for Lerwick has finally come to fruition and thanks must go to Shetland Islands Council for providing us with the funding through the Town Centre Grant Fund, and to Jane Matthews at Shetland Arts for showing great perseverance through these difficult times as Project Manager.

“We’re very happy that so many local companies have been involved in the actual making of the sculptures and bringing to life the work of the artists and we hope that the trail will bring some additional colour and interest to the town centre for locals and visitors alike.”

Shetland Arts chief executive Graeme Howell added: “This has been a great partnership project, from working with Living Lerwick on the locations and commissioning, to the work done by the highly skilled local fabricators with the artists to produce these great additions to Lerwick’s streets and lanes.”

A LOCUS map and guide, designed by Chloe Keppie, is available at Mareel, Visit Scotland’s iCentre, and other venues across the town.

A plain text and PDF version of the map and guide can be found online.

An audio guide is also available for the trail is also available from the website.

People  can also search for ‘Locus Lerwick’ on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or visit anchor.fm/shetland-arts.

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