Pier Arts Centre 2024 exhibition programme launches with a celebration of UHI Orkney graduates and emerging Orkney artists

An exhibition of work by Orkney’s Recent Art Graduates will open on Saturday 10 February, with 13 of the 15 graduate artists being alumni of UHI Orkney.

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Eilidh Warnock In Transience 2023 © the artist

Supporting Orkney’s home grown and developing artists is an important role for the Pier Arts Centre, with schools displays and visits, graduates and open exhibitions, creative workshops, artist lectures and artist collaborations forming an integral part of the annual programme of events.

Perspectives - Orkney’s Recent Art Graduates includes the work of 15 emerging artists who have all attended school or college in Orkney. The UHI Orkney graduate artists are: Wendy Barker; Elizabeth Bown; Jamilla Garrett;  Sophie Macdonald; Beccy Mooney; Barbara Morrison; Vicki Redpath-Watson; Molly Shearer and Sue Whittingham.

Further exhibiting artists who have graduated all over Scotland at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art include Dunstan Clackson; Siân Griffith; Janine Smith; Fin Tams-Gray; Martin Turner and Eilidh Warnock.

The work in the exhibition explores a vast array of media including photography, design, painting, fashion and textiles.

Sue Whittingham who graduated with BA (hons) Fine Art at UHI Orkney in 2022 added “It is both exciting and inspiring to be exhibiting my work alongside fellow graduates at such a prestigious venue as The Pier Arts Centre.”

Fin Tams-Gray, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design with Bsc (hons) Digital Interaction Design commented "I'm really happy to share the outcome of my honours project at this exhibition in Orkney and showcase the work I've done in the field of disability studies and design.

The exhibition is supported again this year by Sheila Fleet Jewellery. Business founder Sheila Fleet commented “Every year I am amazed by the high standard of the emerging artists and exciting new artworks. I hope this special Exhibition at the Pier Arts Centre will act as a springboard for a lifetime of Creativity here in Orkney.”

Alongside Perspectives - Orkney’s Recent Art Graduates will be a display showcasing the work of senior pupils from Kirkwall Grammar School and Stromness Academy. This exhibition will include work created over the course of the academic year by the National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher and Higher Photography students as part of their folios of work which are assessed externally by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Head of the Art Department at Kirkwall Grammar School Nichola Watson said “The pupils’ work encompasses a diverse range of mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography and mixed-media. Pupils put in a great deal of time and effort, both in and out of school and they regularly achieve excellent SQA results.”

Mrs Watson continued “Having the opportunity to display this work along with the recent Orkney graduates allows the young people and the wider community to see the journeys and potential that studying the creative visual arts can offer.”

Both exhibitions will be on display until 16 March 2024. The Pier Arts Centre is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am-5pm. Admission is free.