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Saturday 27 April – Sunday 9 June 2013. Public Opening: Friday 26 April 6-8pm

Opening at Bonhoga Gallery on Friday night is an exhibition showcasing 4 very different artistic journeys that have taken place over the past year. The winners from the 4 categories of the Shetland Open Awards 2012 were given the opportunity to develop work for a group show, and Four Journeys from Blue is the result. Each came to the project from a very different standpoint, some with a wealth of exhibition experience, some with none, all with enthusiasm to create a new collection of work representing both a connectivity and development in practice.

The 4 women; Ria Moncrieff, Gail Harvey, Diane Garrick and Rachel Ross-Smith; have worked together from the outset, on the theme of journeys. They decided collectively to start by exploring the theme using film, a medium new to all of them. Shetland Arts provided a small hand-held camera to each and they went their separate ways.

Gail Harvey, a well-established painter, chose a whole new direction for her work and began crafting puppets that she used to create a film telling the story of a fairy called Fen. Rachel Ross-Smith used the camera to reflect changing colour in the seasons, Diane Garrick used hers to chart physical journeys she has made in the landscape, while Ria’s journeys are subjective and reflective, symbolic of her journeys through motherhood. These films are the glue that binds the exhibition together, a platform from which to view the very different styles of work on display in the gallery.

Gail Harvey, Fen the Christmas Fairy

Fen the Christmas Fairy, by Gail Harvey

Gail explained that the exhibition gave her the opportunity to experiment: “In many ways this project has been waiting to surface since my childhood. Ever since I was able to use scissors (I remember those strangely useless plastic ones), I’ve been making little people and animals from all sorts of scraps of things. There were so many surprises.”

Jane Matthews, Exhibitions Officer at Shetland Arts said: “It has been a treat to work with such an enthusiastic group with such varying styles and experiences. Everyone has embraced the aim of the project wholeheartedly, developing their work in different ways and taking inspiration from each other. The result is a captivating exhibition for all ages.” The exhibition preview is this Friday, 26 April, from 6-8pm and everyone is welcome. The exhibition runs until 9th June, complemented by the Bairns Open in the lower galley and new craft ranges in the cabinet.

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