Crushed Gem Wheat Pods Sway on Silver Stalks

A silver wheat field is one the works in a 20th anniversary exhibition at the Bonhoga Gallery on Shetland.

Wheat Field, 2014, Kelvin J Birk Photo Chloe Garrick
Wheat Field, 2014, Kelvin J Birk Photo Chloe Garrick

The exhibition reflects the history of the gallery and its home, the Weisdale Mill, through new work by 20 of the artists who have exhibited over the past 20 years. One artist was selected from each year to create a new work and they were each given an object as a starting point which related to the gallery’s history, location or physicality.

Since its construction in the 1850s the building has gone from meal and barley mill, to butchery and tannery, to art gallery, shop and café. From 1994 it has been welcoming large numbers of both Shetland residents and visitors to the Isles with a year-round exhibition programme of contemporary visual art and craft.

The North, 2014, Málfríður Aðalsteinsdóttir Photo Chloe Garrick
The North, 2014, Málfríður Aðalsteinsdóttir Photo Chloe Garrick

Bonhoga means ‘my spiritual home’ in Shetland dialect and this is reflected in the show of work from local, national and international artists – Gail Harvey, Frances Pelly, Silvana McLean, Jimmy Thomason, Paul Bloomer, Alison Willoughby, Lesley Burr, Maxie Bain, Kyra Clegg, Karen Clubb, Málfríður Aðalsteinsdóttir, Terje Roalkvam, Anna Lindal, Kelvin J Birk, Ruth Brownlee, Janette Kerr, Jayne Wallace, Peter Davis, Amy Moncrieff and Joanne B Kaar.

Kelvin J Birk, represented 2010, when he exhibited rings, and was given an object that reflected the raw material used by the original grain mill. He created a small wheat field using precious metal and crushed gemstones, which sway, creating a calming effect similar to looking at a wheat field in the wind, and has filmed his sculpture.

An Icelandic artist based in Norway, Málfríður Aðalsteinsdóttir, represented 2007, the year she exhibited photographs of glaciers and sea ice in Spitsbergen. She was given a magnifier to show a different focus on the environment and decided to embroider a drawing of the North Pole, the countries around it and the ice front, showing the melting of sea ice.  It’s drawn from her personal experience of the ice front during her travels in 2005-2012.

See: 20:20 – 20 artists, 20 years of Bonhoga
Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale Mill, Weisdale, Shetland ZE2 9LW
Until 7 September 2014
Tues – Sat 10.30am – 4.30pm, Sun 12 – 4.30pm



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