Soulisquoy’s blog: ART evolution

Title: Soulisquoy Printmakers’ summary presentation

Date: March 2022

Title: March’s update

On 19 March we displayed the prints that we made during the ART evolution project in Soulisquoy Printmakers’ exhibition space.  We learned how to mount, frame and hang our prints with the help of the Pier Arts Centre’s exhibition assistant.  We called the exhibition: ‘Connections: Making and Made. A new generation of printmakers. It was a great opportunity to share and celebrate with our friends and family, and the rest of the Orkney Community.  We also made the main feature of the Gaan Oot section of our local newspaper!

Date: February 2022

Title: February’s update

Our project is coming along and we are enjoying weekly sessions with artists Jack, India and Magda. The techniques we’ve been exploring are monoprint, aquatint, wood and lino cut with reduction, to build on the ‘kitchen sink’ lithography and some letterpress that we gained on earlier taster sessions – a great selection to help us to build experience and knowledge of printmaking. 

We are enjoying discussing our project and developing our ideas together.  The imagery we have been developing show links to each other and our key themes – family, sea, Orcadian history & culture and mental health are all coming together.

Duncan (Project Trainee) said, “as someone who has never had any printmaking experience it has been enlightening and great to learn about this side of our local artistic community.”

We were introduced to ‘Miro’, the online Collaboration tool where we are sharing ideas and pulling together information for our final outcome.  It has been great to contribute to this out with the face to face sessions and it has helped us to consider how to pull our individual ideas together.

Artist Jack Whitwell commented, “The group have supported each other throughout each of the sessions whilst learning a variety of printmaking techniques. It has been lovely to see both their personal progression along with how they have grown in confidence working collaboratively as a group.”

Date: January 2022

Title: Project update

We are part way through our project having had the first couple of practical sessions before the Christmas holiday and now continuing through January with regular weekend workshops.  So far we have learnt a lot about what goes into planning an arts project including identifying themes and ideas we would like to work around with an artist of our choice. We have gone through the application process of hiring an artist and having selected three applications to call to interview, through each providing us with a short practical workshop. It was a difficult decision to make, however we selected a joint proposal from three artists – Jack Whitwell, India Johnston and Magda Choluj. They led a very engaging and informative monoprint session before we broke up for the holidays, and we hope to come back to the next sessions with a better and clearer plan for an end goal which we are continuing to work on together in our own time. Overall everyone is having a great time learning and creating art, the project is filled with enthusiasm and brimming with creativity all round as we continue the strong start we made last year.

Date: November 2021

Title: Introductions from the Youth Trainee & Young Project Associates

Duncan (Project Trainee): I am a ceramicist who has been working at the Harray Pottery for about five years now and am developing my skills in various art forms before heading off to study Modern History at Uni. I have been selected as the trainee for the Soulisquoy Project and have been thoroughly enjoying learning the art of printmaking and looking at the behind the scenes of what it takes to organise a project like this. My hobbies include pottery and rope-making/tying, climbing and dabbling in various other crafts including machining and modelling. I also enjoy spending my time with practical archaeology in the summer and teaching others what I learn.

Niamh: I’m a growing artist who mostly focuses on drawing and collage, although I’m looking to branch out into other mediums as well. My personal style tends to include lots of small details either in lineart or shading. I like creating my own characters and stories on which to base my art, taking inspiration from anime, cartoon and music, as well as colours and aesthetics. I also enjoy sewing, writing, reading and cooking, either alone or with friends.

Jamilla: I am a multi-media artist, currently in my fourth year of university. I largely work with themes of ancestral family, conflict and societal attitudes towards gender during the early 20th century. Particularly, contrasting elements of second world warfare with elements of the domestic sphere. I like to communicate these ideas through; drawing, painting, printmaking, hand-sewn textiles, sculpture and most recently photography and audio. Through this mixture of exploring the past and my background as a member of a large family, I like to use materials that are hand-me-downs, discarded or show a kind of decay, sometimes using water-damaged fabrics, rusted metals and old camera film.

Arwen: Having recently completed my NC in Art and Design, I’m looking to continue experimenting with a range of mediums, to further develop my arts practice. I really enjoy working with a variety of materials, such as clay, fabric, paper and metal. I have also started drawing digitally, particularly for sketching. My current interests are in exploring pattern, colour and shape, in mixed media pieces. I look forward to developing this in print for this project. I’m also very enthusiastic about animation, and various forms of visual storytelling, and I hope to incorporate this in my future work.

Date: October 2021

Four young people from across Orkney will take forward a new creative initiative being delivered by Soulisquoy Printmakers as part of Engage Scotland’s ART evolution programme supported by Creative Scotland with Youth Arts funding from the Scottish Government. 

Soulisquoy Printmakers have established a steering group of 4 young people, including a paid Youth Trainee and 3 Project Associates who – with the support of this small, volunteer-led arts charity – will select and commission an Orkney-based artist to work with them to devise and deliver a wider participatory programme open to young Orcadians from across the Islands. 

Follow Soulisquoy on Facebook: @SoulisquoyPrintmakers


IMAGE CAPTION:  Young people taking part in a taster weekend at Soulisquoy Printmakers: a chance to try out some techniques and find out more about getting involved in ART evolution

Engage Scotland is delighted to be working in partnership with Highland Print Studio, Rumpus Room and Soulisquoy Printmakers as part of our new ART evolution programme.  

Engage Scotland is delighted to have worked with Edinburgh-based emerging artist illustrator, Alice Carnegie, on the design of the ART Evolution logo.

Check out the blogs for project partners Highland Print Studio and Rumpus Room.