Janette Kerr and Jo Millett - Confusing Shadow with Substance

Janette Kerr and Jo Millett - Confusing Shadow with Substance

Saturday, July 22nd 2017 - Sunday, August 27th 2017

Da Gadderie will host a multi-screen and sound installation exploring aspects of Shetland's relationship with the sea. This collaborative project between artists Janette Kerr and Jo Millett, focuses on the historic fishing station of Stenness, Northmavine.

Working with local museums and archives and residents, the artists have investigated traces of a once thriving fishing station where hundreds of men worked and lived for the summer months in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Navigating between shoreline to far haaf, in the passage between fishing grounds and shore, events and journeys are re-imagined. Weaving together contemporary and historical images of Stenness, Shetland voices and music merge with oral testimony and sounds to produce a work that is a poetic response to place.

Our approach considers the sea as neither inert substance, nor neutral space, and examines the close relationship between land and sea. Unlike the better known and preserved Fetheland fishing station, material remains at Stenness are less discernible, but it remains a portal to a place and time of great activity and sounds - a threshold between land and far haaf, and a place for imagining’.

‘We hope to encourage dialogue between contemporary Stenness – now described in tourist brochures as a ‘beautiful, deserted and tranquil beach’ – and its historical condition as a place of trade.

Confusing shadow with substance is a phrase used by local fisherman Davie Smith, describing the process of direction-finding and the use of local landmarks called ‘meids’ to aid navigation, extended in our work to consider a temporal navigation”.

Janette Kerr, Jo Millett

The installation shown at Shetland Museum, Lerwick will offer local and visitor audiences an opportunity to relate past with present, bringing an awareness of the layers of memory imbedded in a place.

Janette Kerr is a painter of Shetland seas and Jo Millett is a moving image and sound artist. Both have coinciding interests in the sea.

The exhibition opens on Saturday the 22nd July and runs until Sunday the 27th of August 2017.