7 – 11 November 2012

Public opening: 6 November, 5.30-7.30pm

The Art of Ping Pong by Jono Sadilands is coming to Bonhoga for five days, combining sport, technology and creativity in a blend of colour and style. Jono Sandilands is taking over the gallery for what has become known as Renegade Week. This is the first year that the programming and curation team at Shetland Arts has scheduled in this week to the gallery programme, as a platform for some unusual and innovative projects.

Jono Sandilands is a designer and visual artist, whose work is exploring new technologies to enable a participatory experience for the viewer. The project started life back in 2009 in response to a brief set by a national student design award scheme. At this time it was simply to record where the ball makes contact with the table during a game of table tennis, to allow player interactivity to create original pieces of artwork. The conceptual outcome was commended and won the YCN National Student Award in 2009.

In 2010, supported by a Visual Artist Award from Shetland Arts in partnership with Creative Scotland and Shetland Islands Council Jono was able to develop the concept into a reality, exploring many different methods of tracking and also expanding his skills in programming software and hardware along the way.

Jono said, “Everyone enjoys a game of table tennis, or ping pong. Whether it’s a spot of fun or a sporting occasion; most people when asked if they would like to play will reply positively. After they have played they will say that playing was fun and yet most people never play regularly. What the Art of Ping Pong strives to do is to encourage people to play more table tennis.”

Jane Matthews of Shetland Arts said, “This is a brilliant participatory artwork that will offer fun for all ages. In a year when sport has been on everyone’s radar I am delighted that we can add some creativity into the mix with Jono’s colourful project”.

The interactive table consists of a projector and a hacked Xbox Kinect that sits above a normal table tennis table. The ball movements are tracked on the table and sent back to a piece of software which tells the projector to display one of many different possible styles of artwork onto the correct location of the table. After a game has been played the ping pong- generated artwork will be automatically printed out and can be hung up on the gallery walls, to be displayed while further gaming commences.

Shetland Arts presents The Art of Ping Pong at its first public exhibition at Bonhoga Gallery from Wednesday 7 - Sunday 11 November. The public opening is on Tuesday 6th November from 5.30-7.30pm and will include live demos by Shetland Table Tennis Association and music by 45/33 Promotions DJs. Everyone is very welcome.

During this time, the lower gallery will also be playing host to Cartoon Correspondence - Smirk to Sally Kindberg, an illustrated dialogue.

In 2011 Bonhoga hosted a hugely successful exhibition curated by the children’s author Julia Donaldson. Included in the show were several envelopes addressed to the author from, and illustrated by, Axel Scheffler, best known for illustrating The Gruffalo and many of Julia’s other best-selling stories.

The exhibition coincided with Wordplay, Shetland Arts’ book festival, at which writer and artist Sally Kindberg was appearing. A chance meeting between Sally and local cartoonist Stephen Gordon (Smirk) led to the idea of an exhibition of postcards, inspired by Axel Scheffler, and so began an unexpected exchange of postcards illustrating news from the south and north.

Sally said: “I didn't know Smirk, but not knowing each other led to some sort of creative freedom of expression, and a great deal of fun. How could I resist a correspondence with someone whose alter egos include Pete Stack of the Rayburns and the louche Victor Vomit?”

Stephen Gordon (Smirk) is a Shetland born artist/cartoonist whose work appears regularly in the Shetland Times.

Sally Kindberg's recent series of comic strip books include The Comic Strip History of the World and The Comic Strip Book of Dinosaurs published by Bloomsbury. She is currently writing and illustrating a series of children's books called Draw It!, also for Bloomsbury, and working on a graphic novel. She lives in London.

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