This summer will see two new exhibitions opening at the Pier Arts Centre by artists who have taken their inspiration from landscape.

'Wilhelmina Barns-Graham - Inspirational Journeys' focuses on Barns-Graham’s travels around Europe over a 50-year period, outlining the importance of her trips to Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Lanzarote and the time she spent in Orkney in 1984-85. The exhibition reveals how these trips provided a significant impact on her wider practice and how these experiences led to new perspectives, themes and stylistic changes in her work - from remarkable on-the-spot pencil drawings to bold and colourful abstract paintings.

'Inspirational Journeys' - a Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust touring exhibition curated by Trust Director Rob Airey - highlights the importance of travel in broadening the mind both from a creative perspective and in the possibilities arising from cultural exchanges.

Rob Airey, Director of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust commented “The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust is delighted that the 'Inspirational Journeys' exhibition, after some delays, will be making the final leg of its own journey to the Pier Arts Centre this summer. The exhibition was conceived to look at Barns-Grahams trips and working holidays away from mainland Britain over a 45 year period. One of the most significant places she visited, twice in 1984 and 1985 was Orkney, so it is really wonderful that we can celebrate that particular inspirational journey at the Pier Arts Centre and as a central part of the overall exhibition.”

Rob Airey will give an informal tour of the exhibition on Saturday 18 June at 3pm. Admission is free and no booking is necessary.

A fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition is available from the Centre’s shop.

'Teebro – new work by Laura Drever' will be on display alongside 'Inspirational Journeys', highlighting a shared belief of both artists, that visual art can reveal the underlying patterns, as well as the feel, of a place.

Laura Drever has spent her lifetime travelling around Orkney, studying and exploring the changing nature of her native islands. By walking over and through the landscape the artist has come to a deep understanding of the fabric and form of the hills, valleys and seascapes around her.

Laura commented “I’ve been considering this collection of work for the past 3-4 years although Covid put a wee break to things! But it feels like I’ve been given a bit of extended time to think a bit deeper about it.”

She continued “Looking to the future, the Open Funding awarded from Creative Scotland has enabled me to continue to research and develop my practice - giving me time, space and the financial security to explore the Orkney landscape further. This has included taking new walks and gaining first-hand knowledge from the people and places visited. It has allowed me to further explore unseen landscapes and question my existing methods and where they fit within the cultural landscape of Orkney.”

Teebro, an Orkney Norn word describing the shimmering haze of a summer’s day, includes a series of striking new drawings, paintings and prints that reflect the artist’s experience of locations including Hoy, Hobbister, Orphir and Scapa.

Pier Arts Centre Curator Andrew Parkinson added “We are pleased to have the opportunity to display the work of these two great women artists, highlighting the parallels between their approaches to representing landscape. We hope our visitors will enjoy these exhibitions that explore something of the places that inspired them.”

The Pier Arts Centre summer opening times are Monday to Saturday 10:30am-5pm. Admission is free.