Exhibitions 2023

Featured image: Light on the Westside-TFW © Tim Wright

Light, the sea, and natural forms are the themes of this year’s three special exhibitions.

The transformative power of light on Orkney land and sea is highlighted by Orkney Camera Club at the Orkney Library in Kirkwall. It is something that delights Orcadians and their visitors alike – how on even the dullest day the sun can suddenly break through the clouds and create a rich world of light and colour.

The transformative power of the sea runs through the works in a collective exhibition in Orkney’s newest gallery, The Ship of Fools. Developed in a 17th-century Bridge Street building with a long connection to the sea, the gallery has brought together a varied mix of artists, with deep connections to the sea and work ranging from painting to textiles, origami to ships in bottles.

The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness brings art and mathematics together through a look at the influence of the remarkable book On Growth and Form from 1917, written by D’Arcy Thompson. The book influenced artists in the Pier’s permanent collection and those in a visiting exhibition from Dundee.


An explosion of forms takes over the Ship of Fools - ocean ecosystems in origami and crochet by Neil Banas and Emily Doolittle, paired with paintings by Michelle Campbell, and ocean trash transformed to wearable art by Selena S Kuzman. Orkney artists join in, with work by Bill McArthur, Maiwenn Beadle, Rebecca Marr, Megumi Barrington Uenoyama, Lesley Mackay, Marion Yorston. Work inspired by Orkney tales meets magical ships in bottles from Len Wilson and Fiona Sanderson.

The Growth of New Ideas – The Legacy of D’Arcy Thompson in Modern and Contemporary Art

A new exhibition showing the remarkable impact on a range of artists, among them the scuptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, of a remarkable book by a remarkable man. D'Arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form, published in 1917, looked at the underlying mathematics of forms in nature.

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