From Shetland to Skagaströnd

ARTIST Janette Kerr will be at Sladers Yard gallery, West Bay, on Friday 17th June to give a talk about her current exhibition, From Shetland to Skagastrond.

Renowned for her paintings of the far North and Arctic, Janette Kerr is an experimental contemporary painter whose work explores the boundaries between what is felt and what is seen in wild windswept places. She paints the weather, sea, light and wind – the more energetic the better ­– working both outside and in the studio. Her fascination extends to the people who live and have lived in the places she paints.

Moving between abstraction and representation, she carries forward the Romantic Sublime ideas of the 18th century in paintings that capture terrifying but thrilling confrontations with nature. She goes regularly to the Shetland Isles to work.

This current exhibition also includes works that have resulted from her time at the Nes International Art Residency, Skagaströnd, NW Iceland in 2020. Numerous collaborative projects with other artists, historians, scientists and geographers have included time spent studying the unpredictability of waves and wind, alongside Norwegian oceanographers at the meteorological Institute in Bergen.

Underpinned by her exceptional drawing skills, Janette’s relish for the physical processes of drawing and painting can be felt in the dynamic quality of her marks and brushstrokes. When not away on a residency, she divides her time between her two studios – one in the West Country near Bath, and the other in Shetland, 200 miles north of Aberdeen and west of Bergen.

Janette Kerr has a PhD in Fine Art from the University of the West of England, is an honorary Royal Scottish Academician, was President of the Royal West of England Academy of Art from 2011 to 2016 and then a Visiting Research Fellow, Fine Art, UWE Bristol. She taught full-time as a lecturer in painting, printmaking and drawing at the City of Bath College from 1980 to 1993.

She has worked on residencies in Somerset, Wales, Ireland, Shetland, Norway and Svalbard ande has curated high profile exhibitions and their accompanying programmes. Her work is in national and international public collections in Britain, Norway, the US and Italy.

The talk on Friday 17th July is at 6.30pm, and dinner will be available afterwards in the Sladers Yard cafe.

Pictured: Janette Kerr working at sea and her studio; and two of the powerful paintings in the exhibition.