A group exhibition which brings together the work of 16 contemporary artists from Shetland and Switzerland opens at Mareel later this month - Hidden Flowers Bloom Most Beautifully.

The exhibition is a collaboration between artist collective Streunender Hund based in Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland, and cultural practitioners from Shetland. The theme of the exhibition is making work beyond the perceived geographic limits of the art world, as seen from these two different locations.

The exhibition will run concurrently in both locations with each artist contributing work to either or both shows.

Hidden Flowers brings together artists who either work rurally or commute between town and country. In preparation for the exhibition, a dialogue has taken place between the artists from the two places in which they have explored the similarities and differences between their cultural environments. This will be presented as an archive as part of the show and there will be a catalogue and special limited edition box set of artworks available to buy, to accompany the exhibition.

Artists Paul Bloomer, Daniel Clark, Amy Gear, Aimee Labourne, Vivian Ross-Smith, Roxane Permar, Andrew Sutherland and Roseanne Watt make-up the Shetland cohort, whilst Caroline Baur, Florian Gugger, Martina Morger, Maria Nänny, Dorothea Rust, Harlis Schweizer, Birgit Widmer and Wassili Widmer represent the Swiss contribution.

Swiss curator and participating artist Wassili Widmer explains, "One way to learn to understand complex issues is to show multiple perspectives on them."

Jenny Tipton, Co-curator for Hidden Flowers in Shetland, said; "This is a unique proposal from the Streuneunder Hund collective, that has led to new collaborations and conversation between Shetland and Switzerland. The works in this show and accompanying catalogue help to uncover the varied exchanges that have taken place over the past three months."

Jane Matthews of Shetland Arts added, ‘It’s great to be showing contemporary work in Mareel again and we’re excited to get a chance to use this impromptu gallery space for such an interesting selection of work. The partnership with Streunender Hund (which translates as ‘Stray Dog’) has supported a whole new body of work which both celebrates and questions our place in the art world’.

The exhibition is supported by the Swiss Arts Council (Pro Helvetia), Creative Scotland and Shetland Arts with support from Swiss galleries and individuals - Steinegg Stiftung, Dr. Fred Styger Stiftung, Susanne and Martin Knechtli-Kradolfer-Stiftung, TISCA Tischhauser Stiftung, Metrohm Stiftung, Stiftung für Ostschweizer Kunstschaffen, Kulturförderung Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Innerrhoder Kunststiftung.

Hidden Flowers takes place at Mareel from Saturday 31 July to Friday 27 August. Free ticketed time-slots for the exhibition are available here, by visiting the Box Office in person, or by calling 01595 745 500 during opening hours (Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 10pm).

Image: Pipe-dream Car Wash by Andrew Sutherland, photo by Wassili Widmer

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