Exhibitions at the Festival

Many aspects of Orkney can be seen in the annual exhibition of Orkney Camera Club. Each year they take a Festival theme and come up with a richly varied mix of images, whether in the Orkney Library or, as in 2020 and 2021, online.

Also online in these two years have come the 360-degree panoramic images of Katy Firth of Stromness Museum, with journeys to the islands of Graemsay and Swona.

The Archive section of Orkney Library has provided some fascinating exhibitions commemorating notable Orcadians such as the great mapmaker Murdoch Mackenzie and the writer and folklorist Ernest W. Marwick.

And drawing on Orkney’s past have come new images for today, with the selkie legend reimagined in terms of transforming ocean plastic into upcycled clothing, one of several exhibitions developed by Selena Kuzman on turning waste materials into objects of beauty.

Other exhibitions have ranged from special displays at Orkney Wireless Museum to Sue Jane Taylor’s offshore images from the Beatrice Field. The bicentenary of the Arctic explorer John Rae was marked by paintings of his favourite places on both sides of the Atlantic by Canadian artist Sheena Fraser McGoogan and Orkney artist Jane Glue.

Rebecca Marr travelled back further in time to the origin of Orkney’s rocks as sediments in the great Lake Orcadie, several hundred millions years ago, and the imprints of that time that continue in the paving stones of the Stromness street today.


It’s 50 years since the death of Robert Rendall, Orkney shore naturalist and poet. Two exhibitions in the Orkney Library mark the occasion, with archive letters and photos, and new images of the Orkney shore. The new pictures come from Orkney Camera Club, looking at aspects of Orkney’s shoreline. Upstairs in the archive department is a display of documents and pictures from the life of a much-loved and multi-talented Orcadian.

Ernest W. Marwick: writer and scholar

Items on display will include some of the photographs in the Ernest Marwick Collection, and you can also hear some of the sound recordings that he made. The exhibition will also offer a glimpse into his personal diaries. Ernest Marwick left school at just 10 years old after being diagnosed with scoliosis, but he did not let this hinder his education. Instead, he put the period of his illness to good use to read as much as he could.

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