News / Kids turn art world upside down

Now of the works of "art" created by Shetland school pupils for the Bonhoga exhibition.

A NEW exhibition that involves the work of over 300 Shetland schoolchildren is opening this weekend at the Bonhoga Gallery.

The Art World, which launches on Friday, is the brainchild Amy Gear, who has returned to Shetland after studying a masters degree at the Royal College of Art in London.

Gear has worked with hundreds of kids aged between five and 16 across a number of schools in Shetland, including Aith, Baltasound, Fetlar Sandwick, Whalsay, to create the collaborative exhibition.

The work, which will span the entire Bonhoga Gallery including even its outside areas, explores the definition of the word artist, how an artist makes a career and the idea of the ‘art world’.

The exhibition will be delivered by Shetland Arts in partnership with SIC Creative Links, with funding coming from the Start programme via national organisation Children & The Arts.

“The art world is a mysterious place even if you are an artist, living right in the middle of it,” Gear said.


“When I was in London, I was so aware of all the hierarchies and rules that existed within the art industry – it’s a very intimidating place – which can really put a cap on creativity.

“For this project I wanted to use the art world as a theme, I used elements of the art industry like ‘Painting’ and ‘Audio Guide’ and ‘Sculpture Park’.

“With the bairns and teachers, we tore apart the art industry’s rulebook and have stuck it back together again and in doing so, it has been completely transformed.

“I absolutely love how the bairns and teachers interpreted the tasks we set and have made these very honest artworks. They have been a joy to collaborate with – the bairns’ fresh viewpoint of the art industry has transformed it, like a bit of printer paper into an origami swan.”

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