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New Exhibition at Bonhoga Gallery - Open Winners

by Deborah Leggate -

Saturday 7th May - Sunday 19th June 2011

The artists exhibiting in Progressions, the next exhibition at Shetland Arts" Bonhoga Gallery, are the five winners from the 2010 Shetland Open Portrait Awards.

The awards welcomed entries from amateur, professional and student artists and craft makers, aged 18 and over, linked to Shetland by birth, education or residency. In addition to the £100 prize awarded to each winner by the sponsor of each category, Shetland Arts awarded a further £100 towards creating new work for a group show. The aim was to encourage artistic and professional development and exhibition experience, particularly for those who have not exhibited their work previously. The resulting show has been organised collaboratively between Shetland Arts and the five artists involved; Amy Irvine, Mandy Tait, Claire Laurenson, Jayne Kelly and John Carolan.

After winning the Best First Time Exhibitor prize Amy Irvine is showing paintings. She studied the NC Art & Design course at the Shetland College from 2009 to 2010. Amy said "I'm glad I did the course as I learned a lot from the tutors and fellow art students, they really inspired me. I was encouraged to use bigger brushes and go into the unknown and let my imagination take over. I really enjoy painting, you can be a free as you want and there are no rules. I'm always happy with the results and I'm still learning…”

Claire Laurenson studied art at Brae High School at both Higher and Advanced Higher level. Now 19, she is in her first year of study at the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, doing a BA in Popular Music. Amy paints frequently in her spare time, mostly portraits.

Exhibiting a new collection of silver jewellery is Jayne Kelly. Born in Lerwick she studied at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen and teaches Art and Design in schools, making ranges of jewellery and commission pieces in her spare time. The inspiration for her new designs came from many sources such as the local environment and Shetland's culture - ancient and modern -as well as a much wider mix of influences from travel and an appreciation for the design traditions and trends of other cultures

Photographer John Carolan studied Fine Art at Bradford College of Art in West Yorkshire, graduating in 1991. Originally from Manchester, John relocated to Shetland in 2003. He has exhibited widely and is currently working on a variety of personal projects, alternating Shetland-based subjects with street and travel-based observational work exploring locations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

Mandy Tait "s prize for Best Print has enabled her to develop new work, her statement reflects the value of Shetland Arts" support and encouragement for emerging artists “I wanted to create a series of collagraphs that give a narrative account of "Progression". The goose is a creature that remains connected to its family throughout its lifetime… My images [of geese] are intended to illustrate progression, not only terms of growth and development but also in the sense of familial assurance, in that so much more can be achieved by remaining connected to those who offer encouragement and support."

The public are welcome to join the artists and Shetland Arts at the exhibition opening on Friday 6th May at 5.00pm at Weisdale Mill.

For more information contact Jane Matthews (01595) 743843 or

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