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Arts / Modified greenhouse in Mareel car park to showcase contemporary art

A Shetland Webcams image of Vivian Ross-Smith's work.

A TEMPORARY outdoor exhibition space showcasing new contemporary art is being set up in a modified greenhouse in the Mareel car park in Lerwick.

The greenhouse, which will be installed tomorrow (Friday) weather permitting, will be locked and viewable from the outside.

The space is called Perimeter and a programme of small shows and events has been planned to be contained within it. The first exhibition will be work by local artist Vivian Ross-Smith.

In July Ross-Smith commandeered the Shetland Webcams network to make a performance piece exploring accessibility of the art world, perceptions of place and her identity as an islander.

It tackled questions around the presentation of artwork in the current Covid-climate. Vivian aims to challenge people’s understanding of both the gallery space and the audience for contemporary art.

For Perimeter, Ross-Smith presents Ways of Seeing, including a montage of footage from her webcam appearances.

She will also periodically dress in wearable paintings and occupy the greenhouse, which acts as a window in as well as a barrier and screen, to contemplate the tensions between absence, presence, and physical and digital forms of connection.

“There are many challenges to sharing artwork right now, and these strange times are teaching us important lessons in rethinking how we access art too,” Ross-Smith said.

“I am delighted to be the first artist to occupy the Perimeter space with Shetland Arts. The ethos of the space works perfectly in tandem with my recent work and I hope folk will enjoy stopping by to be both intrigued and amused.”

The space is locked and monitored by CCTV, and footage from the CCTV will be relayed via the Shetland Arts website.

Jane Matthews of Shetland Arts said: “This new space gives us the opportunity to showcase work in a safe, outdoor environment, a platform for work that is relevant to our current situation.

“It’s an installation in itself, a draw for people returning to Mareel, to see something new/unusual/fresh/challenging. It’ll be there as long as it withstands the weather!”