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Shetland Arts and Living Lerwick have announced the four artists who will create new work for a public art trail in Lerwick, funded through the Scottish and UK Government’s Town Centre Fund. Work on LOCUS is due to start in December 2019, and will involve residents, community organisations and businesses from across the town.

Enhancing the town centre through public art – in line with Living Lerwick’s Business Plan for 2017-2021 – LOCUS aims to inspire imagination and bring new footfall to the area through adventurous installations in the landscape. Four sites will host four new pieces of work from three established artists and one collective, who all share similar values in delivering public art to complement the townscape. This will be a continuation of Beyond Bonhoga, Shetland Arts' programme of contemporary visual art delivered outside the confines of the conventional gallery space.

Having recently unveiled a new War Memorial in London, internationally-renowned artist Kenny Hunter is known for his monumental civic sculpture and gallery-based work. A number of his outdoor works pay respect to the areas they are situated in – from Citizen Firefighter (2001) outside Central Station in Glasgow to the Barnsley Mining Column (2012), each resonate with their surroundings. With connections to the University of the Highlands and Islands and receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Aberdeen University in 2008, he is also Director of Outreach at Edinburgh College of Art.

Rooted in co-design and community participation, art and architectural collective Civic Soup encourage people to take interest in and ownership of the built environment. Driven by people, knowledge, heritage, craft and nature, they draw from a breadth of experiences to support learning and skills development. Most recently, they have worked alongside young people aged 10-21 to explore traditional building materials and methods – assisting them to design and build a round hut in the Pentland Hills outside of Edinburgh.

David Lemm has presented work from Amsterdam to Berlin, with his practice spanning across various processes including printmaking, drawing, video and collage. With work often research led, David has worked on a broad range of projects which tackle notions of place, landscape, narrative and perception. In 2017, he was awarded was awarded the Jon Schueler Scholarship Visual Artist in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye, where he worked with local school pupils to investigate the landscape through walks and workshops.

Well known for his site-specific public commissions, Joseph Ingleby’s sculptural practice stems from memory and identity. His work is held in private and public collections across the world, and in 2018, he was commissioned to create a ‘Treasure Trail’ of seven works for the regeneration of Denny Town Square, near Falkirk. Joseph also teaches at Glasgow Sculpture Studios, working with a wide range of materials, most commonly steel, stainless steel and copper.

Jane Matthews, Exhibition Manager at Shetland Arts said;

We had a great response to the call for proposals, from artists working locally, nationally and internationally. The panel was keen that the commissions have an impact both individually and as part of the wider trail, resonating for locals and visitors alike, and impacting beyond Shetland too. The selection of such experienced artists working in this realm aims to reflect this.”

The artists selected to take part in LOCUS put community engagement and interaction at the heart of their plans. School and community workshops will ensure the community is able to feed in to the development of the trail, aiming to grow and develop access to and interest in contemporary art. Building on these projects, we will continue to champion young people in LOCUS, ensuring opportunities to feed into how these artworks develop.

With Da Street recently shortlisted as one of Scotland’s most beautiful high streets, the public art created for LOCUS will be sympathetic to the heritage environment of Lerwick town centre, and will pay homage to the industries, buildings and businesses which make the town a great place to live, work, study and visit. The works installed will act as new wayfinding points, meeting places and photo opportunities for locals and visitors alike. In the high season and other busy events, we hope that LOCUS will become part of the visitor experience, increasing the dwell time in Lerwick town centre, encouraging spend in our local shops, cafes and restaurants.

More details on LOCUS will be announced soon. You can follow the project’s progress here

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