Arts / Gods and monsters to descend on museum

Dirk Robertson with the artwork for the Revellers' album Skeletons.

THE SHETLAND Museum is set for a colourful makeover this spring when it displays work by one of the isles’ most distinctive artists.

Dirk Robertson’s Viking-themed Gods & Monsters exhibition will be held at Da Gadderie between 30 March and 4 May.

The display will focus on the “vivid and gruesome” imagery found in the Viking story of creation.


“My exhibition is a visual depiction of the Viking creation story as told in the first book of the Prose Edda, Gylfaginning,” Dirk explained.

“These 12th century stories describe the violent origin of the universe, world and inhabitants. The collection is entitled Gods and Monsters, referring to the beings that go to war in Gylfaginning. The gods, sons of Buri, attack the Jotnar, the sons of Ymir.

“A catastrophic battle ensues resulting in the death of Ymir and the creation of the world.”

Dirk’s paintings usually feature a smorgasbord of eye-catching colour and textures, while they often focus on otherworldly characters.


He is also known locally for distinctive artwork he has created for local bands, such as the cover of The Revellers’ second album Skeletons.

Dirk also painted individual posters for each artist playing Heavy Metal Buffet’s popular Shetland Rock Festival, which ran for a number of years through to 2017.

At Da Gadderie, the artist said “visitors can expect to see my interpretation of these ancient descriptions of creation on large canvases in bold acrylics”.

“The passages in the book hold immense amounts of imagery in just a few lines,” he added.

“I wanted to unlock those wild scenes of majesty and havoc and illustrate them in the way I imagine them, in loud colours and contrast, particularly focussing on the characters in the stories to give them life and tangibility.

“This interpretation steers away from the stereotypical Viking mythology imagery and leans towards a psychedelic approach, depicting movement in otherworldly landscapes.”