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12 January – 7 February 2010

The New Year at Shetland Arts’ Bonhoga Gallery opens with Absent Voices a new body of work by one of Scotland’s most innovative and dynamic artists.  Over the last twenty years Mhairi Killin has explored the nature of visual language and craft as a signifier of social cohesion and cultural identity.  Moving easily between disciplines of drawing, weaving, silversmithing, sculpture and installation, the artist’s superb craftsmanship and command of form are applied with characteristic tenacity, curiosity and skill in her latest solo exhibition.

The exhibition tells of the journey she has embarked on over the past two years in researching and developing her work, discussing the importance of her ancestral heritage in coming to terms with her own, contemporary cultural context.  Killin’s work is both epic and intimate in scale, the multilayered nature of textile construction drawing a powerful thread between the contemporary artist and the work of her ancestors.  Stitching on top of etching, use of organza, metal, monofilament thread, etched glass and naturally eroded found objects contribute to the exquisite range of textural possibilities employed by the artist.  Dominant use of silver, a material of healing and transformation, contributes to the extraordinary quality of light and illumination within the work.

The recipient of a Scottish Arts Council Creative Development Award in 2007, Killin has continued to push the boundaries of her own technique revealing an unexpected and expansive vision of landscape encompassing land, people and memory.  Drawing upon primary source material, including poetry, waulking songs, images, postcards and letters of correspondence between Scotland and the New World, the artist creates a point of contact between human experience past and present.

A new publication, examining the process, development and context of this latest body of work, with essays by Murdo Macdonald, Professor of Art History at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee and Georgina Coburn, art critic and writer will accompany the show.  A limited edition of hand finished books by the artist will also be available.

Absent Voices was curated by Lee Hendrick and is being toured by An Tobar, The Tobermory Arts Centre, Isle of Mull.

Bonhoga Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 10.30 am to 4.30 pm and on Sunday from 12 noon - 4.30 pm.

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