Celebration of emerging talent

UHI Shetland has announced the opening of its 2024 Fine Art and Contemporary Textiles degree show, highlighting the talents of its graduating students.

The exhibition, part of the Creative Industries department’s end-of-year show, will run from next Friday until  21st June.

Special Saturday and late evening openings have been organised, inviting the public to immerse themselves in artworks out-with working hours.

This year’s show highlights the work of five students from the BA (Hons) Fine Art course and one student from the BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles Course , alongside pieces from various other courses.

The exhibiting artists are Rachel Birse, Yolanda Bruce, Katie Leask, Keith Massey, Ami Robb, and Lucy Wheeler.

Birse’s woven textiles are inspired by the soft light and open skies of Shetland, alongside the layers of hills and sea in the Outer Hebrides. Block weave structures blend colours of the earth and water, mimicking the way these elements weave their way through the landscape.

Bruce has been inspired by the traumas of life and world travel. A former physics and maths teacher, she has explored her recovery through mixed media, expressing her journey in a series of multi-layered self-portraits in paint, print, photography and sculpture.

Leask has spent the past few years developing her use of figurative oil painting to capture the nuances of the world around her. She is particularly motivated by the idea of noticing and preserving the importance of seemingly insignificant or “mundane” moments.

Massey has been exploring with new materials and techniques, and says he has learned a new language of expression.

Robb, from Kirkcudbright, has navigated three Scottish archipelagos while undertaking her BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree.

A personal family connection to the sea, a sense of place, and environmental concerns were heightened firstly, in North Uist, then Orkney and finally at UHI Shetland. 

Finally, Wheeler draws inspiration from the natural environment. Her atmospheric works capture the expressive energy of the landscape through vivid colour and abstraction. Her observational drawings and paintings are a visual reinterpretation of time spent outdoors.


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