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The Arts, Museums and Heritage Service operate the Art in Public Places scheme and annually acquire pieces for the existing collection. The collection is accessible to the public through schools, colleges, Orkney Library and Archive and other public buildings.

In addition to Art in Public Places, Orkney Islands Council also provides support for public art commissions and larger-scale public arts events and exhibitions. The intention behind these events is to provide access to public art across Orkney for as many residents as possible and to attract visitors to the Islands.  Past events can also be viewed in the list below.

  • The Integrated Artwork Project

    The Integrated Artwork Project

    NHS Orkney, in partnership with Orkney Islands Council’s Arts Development service and supported by the charity Art in Healthcare, commissioned Samantha Clark to help create a distinctive identity for the building which will also help provide privacy, where needed, throughout the glazed entrance and central hub area. Samantha’s work draws on the human relationship with the natural world. She works across video, installation, drawing, photography and creative writing. In 2018 she was awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

    01 January 2019

  • The Transitions Project

    The Transitions Project

    Jack Whitwell undertook 6-month residency within the old and new hospital and healthcare facilities, responding to both the history and future of The Balfour and its place within the Orkney community. This was a unique opportunity to respond to this one-off transition, to the built environments, the people and stories associated with The Balfour embracing dialogue with staff, patients and users of the hospitals. The residency allowed unique access to the sites and the artwork created was presented at the new Balfour Hospital and Healthcare Facility, becoming part of the permanent collection of art.

    01 January 2019

  • World War One Cathedral Projection

    World War One Cathedral Projection

    World War One Cathedral Projection to commemorate the Armistice, produced by Playdead and commissioned by Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative (KTHI).

    This was a public projection project to commemorate the centenary of the First World War armistice, in November 2018. The projection depicted life during the war period in Kirkwall and explored the history of World War One in Orkney and Kirkwall in a dynamic and inspirational way, revealing the role the islands played in the conflict. The artwork was projected onto St Magnus Cathedral, in the heart of Kirkwall. It is the most northerly cathedral in Britain, a fine example of Romanesque architecture which provided a spectacular canvas and backdrop for the projection.

    11 November 2018

  • Pages of the Sea

    Pages of the Sea

    Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea was realised by a community team who made a large-scale sand portrait of a local soldier, at Scapa Beach, in order for it to be washed away by the incoming tide, as part of the World War One 100th Anniversary of Armistice.

    “The community was invited to explore an online gallery of World War One casualties in order to choose someone to say a personal goodbye to.” - 14-18 NOW.

    11 November 2018

  • Skyran Moon

    Skyran Moon

    Stromness Academy hosted Skyran Moon by Luke Jerram with music by Dan Jones, as part of Orkney International Science Festival. Orkney was the first Scottish venue to host this work on its National Tour.

    06 September 2018

Public Art

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