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Arts / Plans for art trail in centre of Lerwick gather pace

MORE details have emerged of a new contemporary art trail which will run through the centre of Lerwick.

The launch of the Locus trail is planned for April 2021, and its lifespan is envisaged to be a minimum of five years.

It is being organised by Shetland Arts and Living Lerwick through funding from the Scottish Government, and it has now started to go through the planning permission process.

Organisers say the aim of the project is to “enhance and animate the area and offer a new way to engage with contemporary art and the environment”.

There will be four sites in the trail, with three designed by mainland based artists and one involving the input of local youngsters.

Three of the four works are being fabricated in Shetland in partnership with local industry.

The trail will begin on the pavement outside Cee and Jays where a sculpture from Kenny Hunter will be installed.

Kenny Hunter.

The work is a cast bronze representation of a cross-section of seabed and pipeline, “representing the gas extraction industry and Shetland’s close relationship with nature”.

It will be installed on a concrete plinth to give a sightline through the work to the open sea.

Next will be a sculpture from David Lemm on the expanded pavement area outside the Parliamentary Office on Commercial Street.

The artwork will be a tall, thin metal structure inspired by the shapes of industrial cut-offs at LEF (Lerwick Engineering and Fabrication), as well as language and the architectural shapes of the buildings on the street.

The shapes used in the work could represent letters, ciphers or runes and it will be presented vertically in a steel column, inspired by the Runic stone from Mail, which can be seen in the museum in Lerwick.

Along Da Street there will be a metal sculpture from Joseph Ingleby installed outside the Royal Bank of Scotland.

It will consist of two halves, and is broadly inspired by the shape of a guillemot’s egg. The main influences on the outer surfaces of the work are a sense of movement depicting tides, waves, coast and landscape, along with sixareen boat.

The egg is sliced open to reveal a core of Shetland shapes – a ‘cargo’ of elements that make up the isles, as brought to Commercial Street by merchantmen.

The final installation will be placed in the planted area behind the phonebox at Hill Lane in Lerwick, and it is the culmination of a number of workshops with young people at five Shetland schools held by Edinburgh art collective Civic Soup.

Drawing upon the heritage of textiles in Shetland, an array of threads will weave across the vantage point of Hillhead, knitting together stories of place and home, as told by the next generation of Shetlanders.