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The ‘Mirrie Dancers’ project moves into its penultimate phase this weekend with the Mirrie Lace exhibition at the Bonhoga Gallery. The exhibition opens on Saturday 3rd July.

Mirrie Lace fuses the craft of Shetland lace knitting with new technologies. Twenty-one knitters have been working with artists Nayan Kulkarni and Roxane Permar to develop Shetland lace pieces which will become part of the permanent light installations for Mareel, Shetland’s new music, cinema and education venue. Mirrie Lace forms a significant part of the project, Mirrie Dancers, conceived by the artists and commissioned by Shetland Arts. This exhibition offers the first public opportunity to see what this exciting new work involves.

The exhibition gives an insight into the experimental process undertaken by this diverse group of highly skilled knitters over the last year. It includes the knitters’ lace pieces as well as light projections, using the work of eighteen different knitters to create a light installation in the upper gallery. This work employs a unique system of LED lights designed and produced by Nayan Kulkarni and lighting engineer Duncan Turner. 

The knitters have been working with the artists since July 2009 and ever since they have been exploring new ways to use their knitting by taking part in a series of group ‘laboratory’ sessions called Lace Labs. In each Lace Lab the knitters came together with the artists to look at their knitted pieces through a prototype light projector that simulates the lights which will be used in the permanent artworks at Mareel. The Lace Labs provided an important opportunity for the artists and knitters to share their thoughts, ideas and to collectively consider the qualities of different patterns, materials and scale in combination with the light, as well as technical knitting issues. 

Mirrie Dancers is funded by the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and LEADER funding.

The exhibition runs until 1st August.

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