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.

Walking Lake Orcadie

An exhibition by Rebecca Marr - In Walking Lake Orcadie Rebecca, a photographic artist whose gaze is often on the natural world, among clouds or plants or seaweed, focuses on flagstones as individuals, each shaped by time. In close-up, she says, the stones form compositions, images that range from moonscapes to figures in a dance, each one “a still image made in a time of flux”. ...

Set fair for Swona

Out in the Pentland Firth tidestream, on the southern approaches to Scapa Flow, the island of Swona has seen many shipwrecks. It has been uninhabited for nearly fifty years, and the remaining cattle, now feral, are recognised as a distinct breed. You can see Swona, with its seals and feral cattle, out in the Pentland Firth, in Katy Firth’s exhibition of 360-degree photospheres. Turn them around for complete panoramic views, with recordings and archive photos as well. ...

Online Exhibitions 2020

Orkney Camera Club respond each year to the Festival theme, and this year had an even bigger challenge – to do so online; and they have responded in splendid style. Their exhibition Orkney’s Coastal Waters is a delight, as you can see by going to it on the Artsteps site. Katy Firth in association with Stromness Museum has put together an exhibition of 360 degree photospheres of a visit to the island. The exhibition ‘Ian Scott – a retrospective’ can be seen online at the Artsteps site.


“From Orkney Nature to Murdoch Mackenzie’s beautifully detailed charts of Orkney waters, from Scapa Flow’s history and marine life to sea forms and soundworks … Orkney Camera Club mark the anniversary with an exhibition on the theme of Orkney Nature. It will be in three Kirkwall venues – Orkney Library and the windows of WHB Sutherland and We Frame It – and will also include photographs from Orkney College students and Kirkwall Grammar School pupils.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!