Published: 11/11/2011 11:00 - Updated: 11/11/2011 09:06

Highland crafts set for a Wick showcase this winter


THREE Highland craft makers will exhibit their work at the St Fergus Gallery in Wick later this month.

Four were selected for Making Progress, the craft mentoring and business support scheme for mid-career makers run by HI-Arts.

They created solo exhibitions of their work, staged individually at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery throughout the summer.

Three of the exhibitions have now come together in this group touring exhibition, along with work of one of the two mentors, Deirdre Nelson.

The fourth maker, Nick Ross, from Inverness, currently has an exhibition in Berlin and is unable to take part in the group show.

The makers are Patricia Neimann, from Latheron; Caroline Dear, from Skye, and Jennifer Cantwell, from Forres.

Since November last year they have worked with their mentors, Deirdre Nelson and Gilly Langton, as well as HI-Arts craft development co-ordinator Pamela Conacher and the HighLife Highland Exhibitions Unit to develop their creative skills and business to a new level. They have also been supported by a partnership with Screen HI to create short films for the project with film-maker and director Catherine Weir.

Niemann is a German-trained goldsmith and designer with a master’s degree from Edinburgh College of Art in glass.

Since 2003 she has been based in a studio in Caithness where she primarily makes contemporary fine jewellery. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and works freelance as a designer and as an instructor at North Lands Creative Glass.

However, most of her recent work is informed by her experience of the Far North, with its wide open spaces, harsh weather and clean air. She is interested in all forms of body adornment, especially objects that change the silhouette of the wearer.

Dear is interested in the natural world. In this exhibition she has developed a new body of work based around the traditional skills of making ropes by hand, something which has fascinated her for a number of years.

This has allowed her to expand her plant working vocabulary, explore practical issues of conservation and examine new ways to exhibit fragile plant material.

Cantwell lives and works in Forres, Moray. For this exhibition she has been working with knitting, sound-processing software and mobile phone technology to create a series of installations incorporating bird boxes.

The patterns on the boxes are based on the sound files of birdsongs and ambient sound recorded in specific locations. The work looks at issues of immigration, emigration, identity and belonging.

The exhibition was staged at the Swanson Gallery in Thurso from October 14 to November 5, and will run at the St Fergus Gallery from November 19 until the end of the year.


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