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17 April – 21 May 2010    Preview Friday 16 April 7.30pm

Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale Mill, Weisdale, Shetland

As the evenings lengthen and the daffodils appear Shetland begins to welcome spring.  At Shetland Arts’ Bonhoga Gallery, the new exhibition comes from another island where spring arrived in a flurry of orange and almond blossom and the temperature has been in double figures for at least a few weeks.  This exhibition is from Soller, set amidst the Tramuntana Mountains in northwest Mallorca, and is entitled Sun Town: Moon Street.  It features paintings, collage, film, small sculptures, photography and jewellery.  A selection of projected images of the town and surrounding countryside by Shetlander David Smith, who has spent many months over the past 25 years in this beautiful area, will give visitors a flavour of where the artists work and show how the landscape has inspired them.

The creative community in the north west of Mallorca is large and varied.  Many flocked to the island that Robert Graves found so magical and inspirational and although many of the ‘names’ are dead or very old the island still attracts artists and writers as visitors and residents.

Carlos Tellechea came from Argentina to live in Madrid and Segovia before moving to Soller in 2002, a place he describes as ‘a piece of paradise’ and he sees its special location as an ‘island within an island’.  A trained chemist, then a goldsmith and is now a jeweller, sculptor and film maker with work based on his trademark chameleons being shown at Bonhoga.  In Soller, the Sun Town of the exhibition title, on Calle Luna –Moon Street - he opened a shop selling his work and that of some of the top makers in Spain, set up a studio to create his own work and went on to develop the upper floors as gallery space.  Carlos exhibits in Mallorca and mainland Spain and takes part in many cross-cultural events including the exciting exhibition previews he hosts where you will find circus acts, drummers, fire-eaters and cocktail artists entertaining alongside both wall and 3D work.

The workshop of Daniel Mirce Puscasu, known to all as Dani, is also within Carlos’s space.  Born in Romania in 1974, Dani studied design and architecture before working as a jewellery designer at "Parasehivu Gold Free" for nine years, then as an independent jewellery designer at "Bon Ton Bijou", Romania before moving to Germany in 2007.  After spending a year working at "Oriental Schmuck", Augsburg, Germany, he set out for Mallorca where he met Carlos, and has been working as an independent jewellery designer at "ArteArtesania" specialising is designing and making rings, some strangely shaped but all unique and comfortable on the finger.  For this exhibition, he has created a series of rings and four suites of jewellery that can be worn, and purchased, as a unit or individually.

Martin Schubert lives in an old townhouse and is often found painting in his garden where dramatic views of the surrounding mountains, and the beautiful light that washes the landscape inspire his work, which tends to be spiritual and psychological: so it is not surprising to learn that, before turning to art, Martin studied psychology at the University of Saarbrucken, Germany.  ‘I love colour and doing collage – mixing old materials like pages from an antique Bible or rare book with new art’.  This he sees, not as destroying these books, but reconstructing them in another form.  He has been in Mallorca for ten years.  After taking a year off to concentrate on his art he found himself with an exhibition after three months and a solo show within six months.  He has gone on to exhibit extensively worldwide with over 50 solo shows and a large number of group exhibitions.  His work is in many private and corporate collections.  ‘My personal philosophy is to show the beauty of this world.  If people can look at my art and also experience a moment of beauty then I have done my work,’ he says.

 Betsy Zill lived in Soller for many years but her education and painting career began in the United States.  Betsy studied at the Kann Institute with Keith Finch and Saul Bass.  She studied, worked, and conducted classes in printmaking, etching and engraving then studied calligraphy in Kamakura, Japan.  A diplomat’s wife for many years she travelled to Spain in a freighter in 1972, lived in Madrid, Seville and Cadiz before settling in Mallorca, first among the creative community of Deia and then in Soller. 

When her trunk with oil paints was lost, she turned to watercolour and permanent inks and has continued working on paper in that medium since that time.  Her work is abstract and calligraphic, strongly influenced by living and studying in Japan.  She is influenced by the stones and ancient walls of Spain and ever aware of the worldwide attack on ecology; her paintings have this underlying theme.  Betsy Zill has exhibited widely in the USA and in Spain and her paintings are represented in collections around the world.  She had a wonderful exhibition in Palma not long before she returned to live in the USA.  This grand old woman of art held court to many artists and friends from all walks of life in Mallorca that evening and the love and respect with which she was regarded was apparent.  She was also given the Freedom of the Town of Soller, an honour not given to many artists. 

Thirty years ago Marianne Dillman and her family moved from Germany to Mallorca and her home, set amid a splendid garden, with both and indoor and outdoor studios, would inspire most artists.  She painted alongside Betsy for many years and both found the partnership stimulating.  Marianne has travelled widely to countries as varied Austria and China and staying for long spells.  Her husband has his work and she had her art.  After each trip influences from the country could be seen in her work.  In the past few years, a camper van has allowed her to explore the back roads of Europe as well as some of its grand cities, and again there are subtle changes appearing in her work.  Marianne is involved in the art scene in Soller, Palma and her old home town of Munich.  Her mixed media pieces are very subtle and she has an extraordinary colour sense with work often featuring fragments of Chinese bank notes or petals or beautiful Japanese paper carefully saved by the artist from her travels.  She has exhibited in both these countries and her work is in private collections throughout the world. 

A short way away lives Beatriz Carcamo who studied ceramics at Moncloa, Madrid, and has shown works in Madrid, Barcelona and Mallorca where she took up residence in 1987.  She practices the plastic arts and is an illustrator and creator of objects, boxes of light, installations and luminaries.  She also dances the tango.  This diverse artist also works with theatrical groups creating wardrobe and sets, is known for her children’s book illustrations, and has been project managing large arts events.  She has been Creative Director for the past 10 years of the Three Kings Cavalcade for the City of Palma, which is the celebration of the Epiphany on 6 January.  This is a big festival on the island and the day that children receive their equivalent of Christmas presents.  Her work at Bonhoga features female tresses and you will begin to look at hair in a different way.

Bonhoga Gallery is open 10.30 to 4.30 Tuesday to Saturday and 12.00 to 4.30 on Sundays

Images of the show

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