Endeavour – A Creative Collaboration

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A new exhibition opens at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness on Saturday 25 March 2017. Endeavour – A Creative Collaboration brings together work that has developed as part of a joint project involving South African artist Neville Gabie, the Centre’s Piergroup and students from Orkney College UHI’s Art and Design Department.

A core part of the Professional Practise Module for students at Level 3 of their degree course at Orkney College UHI is to curate and present an exhibition, gaining the experience of working within a gallery environment.

Level 3 student Beccy May commented “I felt very inspired to be involved in this project after attending Neville’s talk to the Piergroup. Particular pieces in his exhibition had really struck a chord with me as they seemed to relate strongly to my creative practice, and to have the chance to collaborate with Neville on this project presented a real opportunity to develop my own ideas.”

From developmental sketchbooks to video, text, painting and sculpture a wide variety of media have been used over a number of months to create interesting and thoughtful works.

Piergroup member Adela Kaluzinska said “The project has encouraged us to think about ways of representing our own endeavours, experimenting with materials and mediums that reflect our journey. Our involvement in the project has made us more aware of the everyday endeavours we experience, allowing us to appreciate the large and small challenges we mightn’t have thought twice about otherwise.”

Carol Dunbar, Education Officer at the Centre continued “This year we have brought two of our on-going programmes together – Piergroup and our work with Orkney College.  Neville’s suggestion and enthusiasm for an exchange project has generated some really thoughtful work. We are delighted to be working with Beccy on the presentation and display of the outcomes of the project – it is a challenging process to curate such a variety of material and media, but in the true spirit of endeavour there is a real sense of teamwork taking place around the exhibition.”

Neville Gabie has travelled the world creating pieces that examine places and community and often involve working collaboratively with the people he encounters along the way.

Following toandFRO, his exhibition at the Pier Arts Centre in 2016, Gabie wanted to engage with local young artists in a project to further explore the notion of ‘exchange’, a theme that runs through his own creative practice.

Inspired by the small boat Endeavour moored in Stromness Harbour throughout his November exhibition, and considering the journeys that a vessel makes back and forth across the seas, the idea was proposed to explore the meaning of endeavour through an exchange of sketchbooks, materials, photographs, thoughts and writings between Gabie and the Orkney participants. This exhibition follows that interaction from the first sketches through to finished artwork.

Anne Bevan, Curriculum Leader in Art and Design at Orkney College UHI added “This exhibition is an invaluable part of our ongoing collaboration with the Pier Arts Centre. For Beccy it is a great opportunity to learn about setting up an exhibition in a ‘real world’ gallery environment. The experience our students gain through this project is invaluable as they move through their degree and on into their creative work life.” 

Endeavour is on display until Monday 17 April. The Pier Arts Centre is open Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am – 5.00pm. Admission is free.


The photograph includes: Beccy May (Level 3 Orkney College UHI) and Adela Kaluzinska, Beccy Mooney and Erlend Firth (all from Piergroup)