Artist Fraser Taylor returns to Shetland

6 June – 19 July 2015

Public Opening 5 June 6pm – 7.30pm

During June and July, Bonhoga Gallery is proud to be showing an exhibition of work based on the history of the Weisdale valley. ‘Shadowed Valley’, the title of the exhibition, is taken from the book of the same name by John J. Graham, which was first published by the Shetland Publishing Company, Lerwick, in 1987. It tells the harrowing tale of one family in Weisdale and how they and their extended community’s lives were decimated by the evictions and land clearances of the nineteenth century.

The artist Fraser Taylor, who conceived the exhibition, spent several months in the Booth at Scalloway between 2013 and 2014 as part of a sabbatical from his position as Adjunct Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Whilst in Shetland he found himself inspired by the largely treeless landscape, the shapes of the myriad small islands, black rock strata, and the shifting colours and light. These experiences informed his drawings which are on display in the lower gallery at Bonhoga, whilst the main space upstairs is showing a series of suspended textile works which form a response to the ‘Shadowed Valley’.

Fraser Taylor grew up in Scotland and studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. He is an interdisciplinary artist who works with a range of media including, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and animation. Alongside three other designers, Taylor set up ‘The Cloth’ in 1983, an innovative design studio that created work, over a four year period, for Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Smith and Spandau Ballet, as well as their own ready to wear collections which sold in Harrods and Liberty of London, amongst others. Fraser Taylor’s work since has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including major cities such as Glasgow, London, Paris, Madrid, Sydney, Tokyo, Chicago, New York, Boston, Detroit, and San Francisco. More recently, collaborative work has included set and textile designs for the Baryshnikov Art Center.

Clair Aldington, Visual Arts Development Officer for Shetland Arts, commented,

‘It is a privilege to be showing work at Bonhoga by such an eminent artist and designer as Fraser Taylor. The pieces have been specially created for the gallery space as well as reflecting the wider context and history of Weisdale. Fraser will be taking over all of Bonhoga for ‘Shadowed Valley’ and so it promises to be a unique, immersive and unmissable experience for visitors to the gallery. Fraser will be in Shetland installing his show and will be leading a series of events about his work so please come along and meet him.’

There will be a public opening event for the exhibition on Friday 5 June, 6pm – 7.30pm, and members of the public are encourage to attend and view the works at the earliest opportunity. In addition to the exhibition Fraser will also give a talk on his work on Saturday 6th June at 11am, and will be hosting a drawing workshop for all abilities on Sunday 7th. Tickets for the workshop cost £3 and are available through Shetland Box Office.


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