Public Art

Shetland Amenity Trust commissioned over 60 individual artworks as part of its Shetland Museum and Archives Public Art Project. These are on show throughout the building and dock, some even appearing alongside the artefacts and documents in the galleries and Archives.

The work ranges from craft and drawings to film and multi-media projects. The arts is both Made in Shetland, showcasing the work of Shetland artists, and Made for Shetland, bringing artwork by international artists made especially for Shetland to Shetland.

Below are just some examples of the work.

Shetland Receivers - Hay's Dock
Artist: Lulu Quinn, constructed by Alan Hart.

At first glance this unusual installation resembles four small satellite dishes mounted on poles outside the main entrance. However, get closer and you can hear strange voices, songs and whisperings coming from inside each of the dishes. These sound recordings of historic and contemporary life in Shetland, change with wind speed and direction. The post also contains a blue LED light which illuminates a cloud of Shetland wool during late afternoon and evening.

A Ship Named DIASPORAA Ship named DIASPORA - Archives Searchroom
Artist: Mike McDonnell

This piece was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's observations on emigration. As first class passengers frolic on the upper decks, the emigrants muddled on in steerage. See ifyou can spot the inevitable stowaway!

Textiles in Tables - Hay's Dock Cafe Restaurant
Tables by Cecil Tait, inlays by local artists

The tables in the restaurant were made by Cecil Tait. Using Ash for the table tops, the legs were ingrained with peat to bring out the grain. Local artists, designers and College students were commissioned to produce 25 unique pieces of artwork which were inlaid into the table tops.

Simmermil ta Yul - Home & Land Zone
Artist: Ewen Balfour

The panels in the display case are inspired by traditional basket-making techniques. They are made from plants grown and harvested in Shetland and reflect the summer and winter themes of this display.

Tae - Textile Zone
Artists: Deirdre Nelson and Anne Eunson

Tae is based on the Truck system - women bartered knitting for tea, then bartered tea for wool so they could knit again. Each hand knitted 'tea-bag' has been dyed with tea and made from handspun wool. These can be found in drawers in the textile zone.

Explore the building during your visit and see if you can find all the public art.