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Reviews / College exhibition a ‘diverse display of talent’

Prints by BA Fine Art student Jane Ridland. Photo: Patrick Mainland

AROUND 150 people attended the opening of Shetland College UHI’s end-of-year art exhibition Vision 17 in Lerwick on Friday evening, writes Patrick Mainland.

The creative efforts of students from several different programmes of study covered the college walls in a truly diverse display of talent.

Opening the event, Shetland College’s Jacqui Clark paid thanks to staff and students for their work and explained a little of what the exhibition was all about, saying “The diversity of the work is truly inspirational. This base is jam-packed full of fun and wonder.

It was clear that much hard work had gone into making the exhibition a success, including canapes from Skills For Work hospitality students – an all-round college event.

There are a number of striking designs at the college exhibition. Photo: Patrick Mainland

Programme leader of the BA Contemporary Textiles course Faye Hackers said “throughout the college the students have been excellent. It’s really been the cream of the crop this year.”

Among the work showcased is that of this year’s two final-year BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles students. Both are intriguing examples of the way textile design can be used to convey very different ideas.

Kirsty Nicolson’s knitted garments had some thought-provoking political inspiration – among them an armoured knit representing an ‘assertion of power’ for women, and also a cardigan inspired by the coarse Scottish language used in recent protests against Donald Trump.

Nicole Taylor’s striking nature-inspired designs focused on the colours of autumn. The eye-catching designs reflected the ‘vibrant and muted transitions of colour’ which stand out in the season in spite of the often grim weather conditions we are all so used to. The work has obviously been made with keen care and passion.

There is much to see from this year’s NC Art and Design students too. From distinctive photography to illustration to even a fantastic short animation by Sophie Williamson, it’s clear to see the programmes offered by the college gives students the freedom to discover their preferred methods of expression naturally. They were also greatly inspired by a recent trip to Vienna.

This year’s exhibition saw a new programme added into the mix, with first-year work from the BA (Hons) Fine Art on show, the course having begun at Shetland College last year. Again, there were many differing styles and techniques including an intensive drawing module which provided all kinds of interpretations. Jane Ridland’s printmaking module work on the theme of ‘journeys’ was particularly impressive.

Work from S3/4s on the Vocational Pathways courses, including self portraits, highlighted the college’s work through different stages of education, and folk from the Eric Gray Resource Centre and Forward Directions were also featured. A highlight in that room was Fraser Pottinger’s Creeps – an imaginative selection of clay model creatures which together were part of one big mysterious story.

But really, Vision 17 boasts such a vast amount of work, work which encompasses so many mediums and materials, that it’s difficult to pay it all justice – so it’s worth seeing it for yourself while you can.

The exhibition is open to public from Monday until 23 June. The opening hours will be 9am-5pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 9am-7.45pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The pop up cafe at Briggistanes is open 3pm-5pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 3pm-7.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

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