A GOOD crowd turned out for the interactive event Luminous Yarns at the Shetland Textile Museum last Wednesday night.
International visitors for Wool Week, local and national artists, supportive students and tourists participated in activities, which explored the effects of light with retro-reflective and luminous yarns.
Contemporary Shetland artist Roxane Permar continued her theme of working with light, textiles and the community to explore audience responses, following her five year project working on lace light installation, which is being installed at Mareel.
The artwork was supported by 2nd year students of the BA (Hons) contemporary textiles course at Shetland College UHI for their professional practice module, which requires a live project.
The experience helped the students understand the skills needed to arrange a public art event. It was a good opportunity to learn how an artist works, learning skills such as negotiation, organisation, time management, oral and written communication.
Students also helped with essential tasks such as creating safety guidelines for visitors and publicity material as well as working as guides on the night.
Students were able to be creative with the yarns too, making small accessories worn at the event, such as felted rings, knitted and crocheted brooches where the yarns reacted to light, encouraging participants to experiment with their own specially made wands.
The event was greatly enhanced by neighbours Highland Fuels turning out near by lighting which allowed the subtle effects of the glowing yarns be more obvious.
Ann-Marie McDiarmid said of the event: “The best part for me was the community engagement, and the diverse group of locals and visitors sharing the experience.”
Visual artist Sally Booth from London, currently on a month long residency in Scalloway, agreed: “The range of people that were attending the event from local to international was stimulating.”
Visiting Scottish poet Evlynn Sharp who has travelled to Shetland from her Brighton base to work with Sally at the Booth, said she was “very impressed by the diversity and use of materials and its use to reflect both local and wider potentialities”.
Refreshments were provided inside the Shetland Textile Museum allowing people to network and talk about the event, Luminous Yarns and Wool Week.
Participants wrote personal reflective comments on cards that were tied to the fence at the back of the museum. Once illuminated by UV light these messages were magically revealed and shared.
Third year textile students volunteered to help with various tasks on the night providing information, equipment and assistance.
Overall it was an enjoyable way to spend an evening and a great opportunity to meet old and new friends.
Helen Ball, Eleanor Hynd and Juliette Labourne
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