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Also in the news / New exhibition, space test, arty Knab and more…

Photo: SIC

THREE young people attending the Bridges Project are having artwork showcased in an exhibition at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick this month.

The aim of the project was initially to support them in the process of creating art, learn new skills and to develop their designs to finished artwork.

The Bridges Project has been running a weekly art class since January, with artwork made using various techniques, including mono and litho printing, embossing and collage.

With the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, the three young people – Erik, Paignton and Sadie – felt they wanted to do something to support the victims of the war.

Their favourite pieces of artwork have since been developed into a six-piece pack of cards, including design styles reflecting the colours of the Ukrainian flag. These packs are available to buy for £10 per pack from Islesburgh and various other outlets throughout Shetland, all proceeds of these cards will go directly to the UNICEF – Ukraine appeal.

The group has been supported by Hoswick-based textile designer Niela Nell Kalra; and Katie Leask, studio manager at the Nielanell knitwear studio.

Bridges support worker Gail Herculeson said: “This has been a really positive and creative journey for this group, who have had the space and time to design pieces that reflect their individual personalities.”

The exhibition will run at Islesburgh until the end of July, and artwork will also be for sale.

The Bridges Project supports young people who have been out of education, employment or training for a period of time.


SAXAVORD UK Spaceport says it has successfully completed a first emergency response exercise to test out its safety procedures. 

The desktop exercise involving emergency and a number of other public services tested the spaceport’s emergency documents and procedures and assessed its multi-agency initial response plan.

Chair of the Shetland space contingency planning working group Matt Mason said: “This was an extremely useful first exercise and involved two representatives from each key agency as well as working group members such as the Civil Aviation Authority and Air Accident Investigation Branch.”

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Meanwhile, Edinburgh based rocket company Skyrora, one of the SaxaVord Spaceport’s potential customers, has hired retired US Air Force colonel Lee Rosen as it new chief operating officer.

Rosen, a former vice-president with Elon Musk’s Space X company, has been hired to help Skyrora to become the first UK company to launch from British soil.


SHETLAND Arts has announced a two-year partnership with the council to support delivery of a range of “exciting creative solutions” for the Knab redevelopment programme.

Through funding from Shetland Islands Council (SIC) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), a two-year secondment has been secured for a creative outreach post via Shetland Arts, ensuring that creativity is embedded in the design and build of the Knab redevelopment.

The role has been taken on by creative project manager Jane Matthews, who previously worked at Shetland Arts on a variety of national and local projects including exhibitions, schools’ projects and residencies.

Core to the Knab masterplan, adopted by Shetland Islands Council in 2019, is the proposal for the development of the Anderson Institute into a creative hub including creative workspace, artists’ studios, exhibition space, workshop and community meeting spaces.

Part of Matthews’ role will be to deliver a pilot project on the ground floor to fully establish what demand is for this sort of facility before the whole building is developed.

Shetland Arts will also use the site to launch and house the existing tool library alongside a community paint recycling facility and a dark room.


SHETLAND Community Choir gave its spring concert in St Columba’s Kirk in Lerwick last Friday.

The concert was postponed from the previous month, as Covid struck, affecting some of the singers, and the choir-master himself, Robert Bennet.

The organisers said it was a “varied and accessible programme” enjoyed by all.


MORE than £2,000 has been raised for the 2010s Shetland Football Development Squad following a Sunday teas at the Gulberwick Hall.

Among the fun on offer was a raffle, games for bairns and ‘soak the coach’. The group managed to raise £2,185.99 in total.

The team now looks forward to their next football competition in Orkney on 25 and 26 June.

Meanwhile new strips have been designed for Shetland footballers, with replica tops due to go on sale.

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