In collaboration with
SIC, Creative Learning Network
Brae High School
Hamnavoe Primary School
Sound Primary School
Whiteness Primary School
LEF (Lerwick Engineering Fabrication)
Lerwick, Shetland Isles
2019 / 2021
LOCUS is a new public art trail around Lerwick town centre, commissioned by Shetland Arts on behalf of Living Lerwick.
As one of four selected artists, Civic Soup delivered The Never-Ending Gansey, a work carrying the varied lives of young Shetlanders in response to the project's provocation:
Where we are / Where we’re going /
Where we’ve come from
A fascination of the sociocultural history of textile production on Shetland has so far led us to develop and deliver creative workshops that borrowed from processes of Makkin, and continues to inform the development of the artwork.
Through Shetland Isles Council’s Creative Learning Network fund, we took The Never Ending Jumper & The Never Ending Story on a tour of five schools, working with classes from upper primary through to S3.
These paired workshops created an opportunity for pupils to reveal to us broad, exciting and unexpected insights into life on Shetland through the eyes of young people, whilst also learning about design processes, skills and the power of creative thinking.
The Never Ending Jumper started by abstracting rows from a traditional Fair Isle knit by reading into the pattern with a language of geometry.
The shapes were used to recompose motifs that revealed individual aspects of the pupils’ lives. They then used paints to mix associated colours that reminded them of the activity or place represented in their motif.
The Never Ending Story followed by collectively considering the relationships between these individual motifs and colours, prompting discussions around place, local life and collective points of view.
Pupils used this discussion to weave stories that told a collective story of their local communities’ character and values.
From epic fantasies, through maps and romantic tales of Valentine’s Day, a diverse representation of life on Shetland was uncovered.
Our contribution to the public art trail is now in progress as we reflect on and work with the amazing imagery, narratives and colour schemes produced by pupils across the schools that we worked with.