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You may have been wondering where the Shetland Arts Open Exhibition has gone from Bonhoga… For this year only the Shetland Open is becoming a BAIRNS OPEN, in partnership with The Big Takeover, wholly devoted to the creativity of our younger talent.

Jane Matthews, Exhibition Manager at Shetland Arts explains, “We’re calling it BLOOMING YOUTH and it’s going to take over the Flower Park in Lerwick on 15/16 September, as part of the Year of young People Big Takeover weekend. It’s going to be a spectacle of contemporary art, inspired and created by all our young people and, if you’re aged between five and 26, now’s your chance to get involved.

“We want to turn the Flower Park into an even more magical place than it already is, we’re going to add giant flowers and mushrooms and beetles and butterflies, all made from fabric and bruck, all made by young people. We have made up some free kits to get things underway but people are free to make whatever they like to fit the guidelines. Grab a template from either Mareel, Bonhoga or our website - and get creative over the summer.”

For older bairns the Blooming Youth project is going to turn the adjoining tennis court into a brain with an installation that develops over the Big Takeover weekend. Artist co-lab Kristi Cumming and Maya Darrell Hewins are overseeing the whole project and are asking the question, “What’s going on in your teenage brain?

Maya continues, “Show us your thoughts, ideas, hopes and fears in the form of an artwork that will go inside the tennis-court-brain. Work can be in any medium but please bear in mind that the exhibition will be outdoors, so think about how it might survive in different weather conditions. You could build a sculpture, paint a picture, write and record a song, make a film or anything else you can think of… there’s no size restriction as long as it can fold up into a car!”

Kristi and Maya will be hosting two public workshops in the Flower Park pavilion in the run up to the exhibition, on 12 and 19 August. The deadline for all entries is 1 September.

All this creativity is combined with an Instagram competition responding in any way to the idea of ‘Blooming Youth’. Tag @shetland_arts for a chance to have your image(s) exhibited as part of the project.

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