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From film soundtracks on the harp to circus video postcards, and one-to-one advice surgeries for artists, it’s a busy start to May as Shetland Arts continues to adapt to a different way of serving its audiences across the isles.

After a successful range of online activity in April, including the launch of a Facebook Live Wellbeing Choir and a series of videos from local artist Gilly B, the next month will see an expansion on activities in music, theatre and artist’s development.

Having planned to bring her music into care homes and schools across Shetland as part of Live Music Now in 2020, harpist Sophie Rocks had been continuing to take her music to national and international stages until the outbreak of COVID-19. The Shetlander – who is currently based in Glasgow – will be bringing Saturday Night at the Movies to audiences on Mareel’s Facebook page on Saturday 16 May at 7pm. Playing a string of well-known pieces from film soundtracks, Sophie’s harp will hopefully bring a peaceful and relaxing start to your weekend, or perhaps give some inspiration to explore the soundtracks and their films after the performance.

Let’s Circus last visited Shetland in 2017 – they had planned to tour back to the isles in the summer of 2020, bringing both their show and workshops to clowns of all ages. For now, the company will be sending Shetland a series of circus postcards, released through Shetland Arts’ social media, beginning in late May. These postcards will provide at-home activities and skills using objects from around the home to bring a little bit of fun into people’s lives. It is hoped the company will return to Shetland in the future, where they will deliver a Circus Skills intensive.

A series of free one-to-one advice surgeries are also being offered by qualified coach, Bush Hartshorn, from Monday 11 to Monday 18 May. Head of Catalyst at Dance Base in Edinburgh, these sessions are open to Shetland based artists and art workers or those with strong connections to Shetland, regardless of the forms they are working in. The sessions will be one hour long, confidential and the content will be determined by the participant.

On the advice surgeries, Kathryn Spence, Creative Project Manager at Shetland Arts said, ‘I am delighted to be offering Shetland artists an opportunity to access Bush's advice surgeries. As an artist I have found them incredibly beneficial over the years, to chat through ideas and thoughts about my practice. I have always found them informal and low pressure. Now seemed like a perfect time to use our ever-more digital world to allow us to connect with him, and I hope you'll take us up on this opportunity and find the benefit in it.

  • One-to-one advice surgeries will take place from Monday 11 to Monday 18 May (not 13, 16, 17), with slots available at 3pm and 4.15pm. To arrange a session contact kathryn.spence@shetlandarts.org with a brief explanation of your art practice (max 100 words) including what art form you work in. Please state your availability for sessions. More information can be found here.

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