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Noup and Noost

Bonhoga Gallery 5 November – 24 December 2016

Public Opening Friday 4 November 6 - 7.30pm

The final exhibition of 2016 at Bonhoga opens on the 5th November, showcasing the work of Shetland born artist Bert Simpson; Noup and Noost is an exploration of the landmarks that guide and act as places of shelter for those who live by, and from, the sea.

Bert Simpson was born in Lerwick in 1941 and worked as an apprentice painter and decorator to Frank Williamson from 1956 – 61. His interest in art was encouraged by a chance meeting with Bunty Hunter, then an art teacher at the Anderson Institute who went on to help him prepare a portfolio to gain acceptance into Gray’s College of Art in Aberdeen. He later transferred to Edinburgh College of Art to complete his degree and stayed on for a post-graduate year to study industrial furniture design. Bert began his career as a furniture designer and worked for Sir Basil Spence and Partners, a leading firm of Edinburgh architects.

Throughout his life he has pursued his interest in ceramics and painting, regularly exhibiting across Scotland. In 1977 he set up a small pottery and concentrated on developing his skills in pottery alongside his design work, drawing and painting. In 2001 Bert decided to paint full time and set up his Orkney studio and gallery in 2003 as a halfway house between family in Shetland and Edinburgh and continued to paint and exhibit in Shetland, Orkney and Edinburgh.

Recently he has had work exhibited by Royal Scottish Watercolourists, Royal Scottish Academy, Aberdeen Artists and Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art who awarded him the N S Macfarlane prize in 2005. He also exhibited in the old Shetland Museum in 2000, 2006 and in Da Gadderie in 2010.

Noup and Noost is a personal and nostalgic look at Shetland – the place Bert still calls home. Bert says, ‘When returning to Shetland I am reminded of its strong cultural influences and feel compelled to express those thoughts in my work’.

The focus in the Lower Gallery and Craft cabinet meanwhile is on contemporary design; there is a large selection of Scandinavian inspired prints from Dee Beale, as well as a selection of the best in contemporary art and craft from Shetland and across the UK, including luxurious textiles, quirky ceramics and a wide range of classic and funky jewellery.   The gallery shop will also be brimming with beautiful and unique gifts, something for everyone at Bonhoga this winter.

The exhibition opens to the public on Friday 4 November from 6-7.30pm, everyone is welcome to come along, meet Bert and enjoy a drink to mark the start of the festive season.


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