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Exhibition: 7 June – 20 July 2014 Public opening: Saturday 7 June 2014, 11am – 1pm Meet Your Maker event: Saturday 14 June, 10.30am – 4.30pm, & Sunday 15 June, 12 – 4.30pm Children’s Workshop: Sunday 15 June, 10.30am-12pm

Marking his return to Shetland following retirement as Head of Ceramic Design at Glasgow School of Art, Shetland Arts is proud to be showcasing the work of Bill Brown in his solo show opening this weekend at Bonhoga.

Craftsman, designer and teacher, Bill has been working full-time in ceramics since graduating from college in 1974. This exhibition will focus on the diversity of his skills and the flexibility of ceramics as a medium. Bill has specialised for a number of years in the techniques of casting and ceramic printmaking.

He explains: “Ceramics is unique as an art-form… Ceramicists are defined by the material rather than a particular kind of product and we can explore all the many different areas within it; one-off pieces, tableware, tiles, sanitary ware, sculpture – the possibilities are endless and the great thing is that providing no-one drops them the pieces will still look as fresh in a thousand years as they do now. Potters always have the last laugh.”

The variety and ingenuity of the work in the exhibition offers a fresh look at ceramics. Jane Matthews, Shetland Arts Exhibitions Officer said: “It has been a long time since we have staged an exhibition of ceramics at Bonhoga and it is a pleasure to be working with Bill at this important stage in his creative career as he plans to return to Voe and establish his new workshop.”

BB photo

Bill Brown

Bill’s exhibition, Message in a Bottle, will begin on Saturday 7th June with the public opening between 11am and 1pm, to which everyone is welcome. The following weekend Bonhoga is delighted to be working with Craft Scotland to stage a Meet Your Maker event with Bill.

This will be a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the processes involved in Bill’s work. Taking place in the gallery at Bonhoga during opening hours over the weekend of 14-15 June, Bill will demonstrate his craft, talk about his work and be available to answer any questions

This follows on from the success of last year’s Craft Scotland Meet Your Maker event at the gallery with local jeweller Mike Finnie. Meet Your Maker originated from Craft Scotland's campaign to connect craft makers at work with the public; an initiative that aims to showcase the skill, design and quality of Scotland’s talented makers.

This year Meet Your Maker events will be presented all year round, turning the programme into an annual celebration of craft across Scotland. The weekend event with Bill Brown is the first of two events this year at Bonhoga, the second (in October) will showcase the work of textile artist Jen Deschenes.

Craft Scotland is the national agency for craft in Scotland and Bonhoga Gallery is delighted to have been selected again as a participating venue. Jane Matthews said: “ It is a great opportunity to showcase the talent of Shetland’s craft artists as well as providing visitors of all ages a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of craft.”

Shetland Arts is also pleased to be offering places on a morning Ceramics Workshop for 7-12 year olds, at the gallery on Sunday 15th June, from 10.30-12. Sunniva Caro, Community Arts Worker and Bill Brown’s daughter, will run the workshop with Bill, introducing children to ceramic processes and each creating an object to take away. More information and booking is available on the Shetland Box Office.

Running concurrently with Bill’s show in the main gallery is Nothlandings, an exhibition in the lower gallery by artist and printmaker Silvana McLean. Taking inspiration from links between The Northern Isles, Iceland and the wide ocean which connects and divides them Silvana is showing framed and unframed etchings, ‘Sea Boxes’ and handmade books.

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