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The Pier Arts Centre's latest exhibition offers a rare chance to see the work of two well known Stromness artists together.
Stromness has nurtured many artists over the last one hundred years, and the Pier Arts Centre’s next exhibition brings together work by two of the most distinctive artists who have worked in the town in recent times.
'Two Stromness Artists - Bryce Wilson & Sylvia Wishart' opens on Saturday 29 April 2023 and will be on display until 3 June.
Bryce Wilson studied fine art at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and worked as an itinerant teacher then head of Art at Stromness Academy for four years before becoming the first Museums Officer at Orkney Islands Council in 1975.
In addition, over the years Bryce has written several books on Orcadian culture and history as well as providing illustrations for other writer’s books. His most recent publication An Orcadian Odyssey: A memoir includes anecdotes about growing up in post-WWII Orkney and the changes to Island life over his lifetime.
Sylvia Wishart also studied at Gray’s and taught there for many years before returning to Stromness to paint full time in 1987.
Throughout her career Sylvia created a series of remarkable drawings and paintings of locations around Orkney including many from Rackwick in Hoy, where the artist established a base in the early 1960s.
Heatherybraes, the artist’s Stromness home until her death in 2008, inspired a group of large-scale paintings that charted the seasons from her ‘picture window’ overlooking Hoy Sound and the mountains of Scotland beyond.
Life-long friends, Bryce and Sylvia were both instrumental in the development of the Pier Arts Centre, serving as Trustees in the early years of the organisation.
Pier Arts Centre Director Neil Firth commented “The Pier Arts Centre was founded on the warm welcome Margert Gardiner found in Orkney and on the enthusiasm and encouragement shown by Bryce Wilson, Sylvia Wishart and others when she suggested creating an art gallery. Creating that gallery involved a long search of premises, a great deal of fundraising and hard work and both artists provided invaluable assistance and local knowledge in shaping a home for the remarkable art collection Margaret Gardiner gave to the people of Orkney.”
The exhibition includes portraits, landscapes and illustrations that show the artists’ shared interest in drawing from observation to create striking and sensitive images, along with their deep love of Orkney.
The Pier Arts Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am-5pm. Admission is free.