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Arts / Eye-catching artwork from Eric Gray students goes on display

Photo: Shetland Museum and Archives

A COLOURFUL new exhibition featuring artwork from Eric Gray students has opened at the Shetland Museum.

The display All About Everything is a group exhibition offering a snapshot of the artistic achievements made during the academic year by students from the Shetland UHI’s creative industries classes.

These students, who attend through the Eric Gray services, have filled the first floor of the museum with an array of paintings, prints, ceramics and photography.

The photography section of the exhibition is inspired by last year’s Diane Arbus exhibition at the museum.

Photo: Shetland Museum and Archives

The students explored themes of identity through their work, influenced by Arbus’s approach to capturing the lives and emotions of her subjects.

The Eric Gray is a day centre providing support to adults over the age of 16 who have a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder.

UHI Shetland creative industries lecturer Kristi Tait said: “Using digital SLRs, students spent the year visually exploring genres, engaging in digital and hand editing, and experimenting with cameraless photography techniques such as cyanotype, anthotype, and chemigrams.

“Inspired by Arbus’s curated ‘Box of 10’ photographs, the students have compiled their own collections, offering a personalised view of their student journey through a camera lens.”

Karen Clubb, exhibitions officer at Shetland Museum, has worked closely with the Eric Gray group, delivering gallery talks and workshops which explained how Arbus’s work documented the lives, appearances and emotions of people, building up relationships of trust and respect with her subjects.

“I am overwhelmed by the variety and personalisation of the work which encompasses many techniques from line drawings to layering and photo manipulation,” she said.

“The breadth of work is impressive, including photos using textiles and the ‘strong woman’ pieces inspired by Arbus’s ‘strong man’ images.

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“It is wonderful to see how the Diane Arbus exhibition has inspired such meaningful engagement and creativity.”

A second element of the exhibition features clay pots, mono printed cards, alternative screen-printed images, and drawings, all inspired by Shetland’s landscape and community.

These works are part of the students’ preparations for a pop-up shop which is planned for the autumn.

A representative of the Eric Gray centre said: “We would like to thank both UHI Shetland and Shetland Museum and Archives for their continued support to enable us once again to showcase and celebrate the talents and individuality of our group members.

“These supported classes allow people to explore their creativity, learn new skills and boost self confidence. We are exceptionally proud of all their achievements.”

The exhibition will be on display until Monday 15 July.

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