Galleries: Critic’s Choice: An Lanntair, Project Project Sketchbook

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Critics’ selections: An Lanntair, Project Sketchbook

Like every other art gallery in the world, Stornoway’s An Lanntair has been closed for the past few months, but the first step of its reopening starts next week, welcoming visitors to the first floor, where its latest exhibition, An Lanntair Sketchbook Project, will be on view, subject to the usual restrictions of hand sanitization, masks and distancing – a small price to pay to get back in, even if it is a small price to get back in.

The inspired sketchbook project was produced in partnership with 100 islanders during the lockdown, all of whom received a sketchbook with regular email prompts from the gallery to draw. Some shared their answers online, sharing their thoughts and sketches while the lockdown lasted. For this show, which will include the physical books as well as many of the online offerings, some waited until the end and sent back all of their sketchbooks.

Some had an artistic background, but many had no artistic background, but may simply have been involved in drawing. They spent time every day thinking about the subject of the day and putting their answer on paper, enjoying the excitement of “success” even though the concepts behind it did not quite fit an answer. The difficulty, the frustrations, the inspiration, the immersion in something that brought them out of the different containment obstacles were enjoyed by most. Thus, at a very special time, these interesting sketchbooks are a diverse and joyful snapshot of an island.

An Lanntair, Kenneth Lane, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, 01851 708480 www.lanntair.com Sketchbook Project Exhibition Opens Aug 17, Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm.

Don’t forget yourself,

The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney put out a call on its website for children 18 and under to apply their artwork during the lockdown. Submissions came not only from Orkney, but also from Scotland and even Australia – a true flowering of art for many kids (and their parents) worldwide during the Lockout, an outlet and a delight. This interactive display is a joyous tour of the minds and abilities of the young people involved, from a koi carp on a rock to felt puppets and a’ famous elephant.’

Pier Arts Centre, Victoria Lane, Stromness, Orkney Children’s Interactive Exhibition www.pierartscentre.com Online only, until 31 August.

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