BUZZ - Christmas Exhibition at Bonhoga

by Misa Hay -

There's a buzz at Bonhoga Gallery as the Christmas exhibition is being prepared for launch this Thursday, 15th November, from 7-9pm. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy a glass of mulled wine, and take in the diverse array of contemporary art, craft and jewellery on show in the Upper Gallery and Craft Cabinets, and the postcard correspondence project between Sally Kindberg and Smirk on the Lower Gallery wall.

The exhibitions will run until Sunday 23 December, with planned late-night openings on four Wednesdays; 21st and 28th November, and 6th and 12th December, when the gallery, shop and café will all be open until 8pm.

Featuring amongst the work in the Upper Gallery is that of Ronald Robertson Lawson, a painter whose work reflects the vast open space and brooding skies of the Outer Hebrides, and celebrates the wild remoteness, peace and simplicity of that part of rural Scotland. 

Celia Smith's beautifully woven wire birds complement the organic forms of ceramicist Lok Ming Fung's work, resembling magical fungi or rock pool gems. British print designer Craig Fellows has sent an extensive collection of his exquisite range of sillk scarves, purses, prints and accessories. Using traditional, contemporary and digital printing techniques, Craig transforms his illustrations of insects, flora or feathers into beautiful fashion and interior pieces. 

Prints, photographs, ceramics and textile pieces from Shetland and across the UK will offer something for every taste. With many more beautiful and eclectic designs of bags, jewellery, scarves and even some gongs (!) the gallery will be buzzing this Christmas.

Likewise, the shop and craft cabinets will be bursting with exclusive Christmas gifts; beautiful Scandinavian throws and blankets, recycled leather bags in every colour of the rainbow, Christmas decorations and much more. Visitors can also purchase special Christmas Gift Tokens, which can be used in all Shetland Arts venues (Bonhoga, The Garrison and Mareel) and at all Shetland Arts events.

Running concurrently in the Lower Gallery is "Cartoon Correspondence – Smirk to Sally Kindberg, an illustrated dialogue". This show is inspired by the hugely successful "Illustrators" exhibition at Bonhoga in 2011 which included several envelopes illustrated by Axel Scheffler, widely known for his illustrations of The Gruffalo.

The "Illustrators" 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?

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.

Both exhibitions run until the 23rd December. Work from Buzz will be available for collection at prearranged times before, or at, the end of the show.