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Arts / Fine art students put work on show at Bonhoga

The exhibition opening at the weekend. All photos: Austin Taylor

FOUR students who are studying in their third year of UHI Shetland’s BA Fine Art degree have launched a new exhibition at the Bonhoga gallery.

The exhibition, which is called a’four and is being undertaken as part of the professional practice module, opened on Saturday.

The students involved are Yolanda Bruce, Katie Leask, Keith Massey and Lucy Wheeler.

The group have been working together over the last few weeks to create a variety of artworks including 3D installations, landscape watercolours and acrylics, figurative and abstract oil paintings, prints and digital moving image performance. 

Yolanda Bruce.

Bruce is a mixed media artist who is currently working on a self-portrait series inspired by life changing experiences.

She came to Shetland to work at Sandwick Junior High School, and after twelve years working as a maths teacher she decided to finally take the plunge and pursue her childhood dream to study fine art full-time with UHI Shetland in 2020.

Katie Leask’s work has a focus on ‘home’. She draws inspiration from the things, people and places that are closest to her.

Katie Leask.

Leask works mostly in oil paint and she enjoys focusing on a moment or memory and preserving it, extending its time.

She said: “Whilst it is a slightly daunting experience, it is a privilege to be able to exhibit in the beautiful space at Bonhoga at this stage in the degree.”

Keith Massey’s work is focused on his return to Shetland and the impact of nostalgia combined with the desire to immerse himself into the environment through a performance piece.

Keith Massey.

He works with different media including oil paints and clay as well as imagery.

Meanwhile Lucy Wheeler uses the Shetland landscape at the heart of her creative practice.

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She responds to the landscape through various media, predominantly painting and print.

Lucy Wheeler.

Wheeler uses mainly acrylic and watercolour for her paintings and copper plate etchings and screen-printing onto paper and fabric.

Site leader of the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at UHI Shetland Paul Bloomer said the third year of the programme is a “period of intense reflection in a quest to find a personal creative voice”.

“Experimentation is vital in exploring new avenues and ideas which are pulled together and refined in a public exhibition,” he added.

“The four students represented in this show are all forging individual artistic identities exploring themes such as cosmology, the timelessness of a moment, the mood of the Shetland landscape and an excavation of personal roots through the prism of memory.

“We are delighted to bring the work of these upcoming and unique artists into the public eye.”

The exhibition runs until 14 May.

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