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Arts / ‘Prodigious talent’ on show in new museum exhibition

A NEW art exhibition inspired by local nature has opened at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

The exhibition, based at the Gadderie, comprises of paintings, sculpture, site-specific installation and photography from Shetland-based artist Roberta Fulford.

Drawing on the wild skies and nature surrounding Roberta on her Whalsay croft Rooted, Flowing, Wild uses mixed materials including paint, metal leaf, cast bronze, laser-cut, mirror polished stainless steel, repurposed wood, and 3D printed seaweed-based resin.

She said: “The title of the exhibition is inspired by Virginia Woolf’s words ‘I am rooted, but I flow’, which speaks to me of settling in Shetland but evolving and growing with the on-going experience of living among its beauty. My work also heavily features water, wildlife and wilderness.

“The works in this exhibition are a return to my roots, stemming from my three-dimensional design degree specialising in metal and wood.

“After my degree I branched out into a career in interior architecture, but when I moved to Shetland eight years ago my focus returned to a more artistic direction.

“The past 18 months and its universal challenges led me to throw myself into my creative work full-time and I am now really excited to be able to exhibit these recent pieces here in Shetland.

“I hope that my paintings and sculpture reflect the awe I feel of living in such a beautiful wild place, and will encourage others to take a different look at the natural world around them.”

The museum said visitors can expect to see over 40 pieces of art, many of which are large scale and are three-dimensional, inspired by the wildlife of Shetland and the marine environment, including gannets diving, killer whales and shoals of mackerel.

One highlight is the Big Insect Chair, which was made with the assistance of local engineers L.E.F.

Made from steel and velvet it is said to be a bold centre point, first conceived many years ago as a model and now at last brought to fruition.

Shetland Museum curator Ian Tait said: “The technical prowess and creative range of techniques in this show are something to behold. Many people are inspired by the natural world, but extremely few have the prodigious talent of Roberta.

“Visitors will enjoy the intellectual process of ‘reading the work’ as much as seeing the pieces themselves.”

The exhibition runs through until August 2021.