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Renowned Japanese artist’s work on show at Sabhal Mòr

An exhibition by the internationally renowned Japanese photographer, Takeshi Shikama, will open at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig this Friday (20 September) at 7pm. Takeshi has been based at Skye Gaelic college for the summer months through the residency programme of the Jon Schueler Scholarship.

The exhibition of platinum palladian prints on hand-made Gampi paper is the culmination of work from the 3-month residency at SMO which has had a profound effect on the way that Takeshi works. The exhibition runs until 2 November and can be seen at Àrainn Chaluim Chille at SMO. This exhibition follows on from an earlier collection of pictures which Takeshi showcased at Sabhal Mòr, which were taken during the artist’s time on the Japanese island of Hokkaido and which were entitled, ‘Silent respiration of Forests’.

According to Takeshi, “Since coming to Skye I have been fascinated with the sky, especially the dramatic cloudscapes. It is a completely new experience for me to photograph in a landscape where the winds vary so much from day to day. This has had a huge influence on my work. I started to make my prints using the actual light, outside, rather than a chemical light in the studio which until now had been my usual practice. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity of discovery, that has opened my eyes to a new way of looking. I will treasure this experience. It will remain with me and influence my work for the rest of my life.”

Having experienced the music and language of the Gael at first hand and talking of the connections between Skye and Hokkaido, Takeshi added, “I expected that I might see some similarities in the landscape of the two far apart lands. However, it was beyond my imagination that they also bear a great similarity in their history and culture.”

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Arts Development Officer, Kath MacLeod, said: “It has been a great honour to host Takeshi here at SMO as the first recipient of the Jon Schueler Scholarship. His residency has engaged with many people from other artists, students, visitors and members of the local community here, to a wider audience such as those who packed into a recent talk given by Takeshi at Edinburgh University’s New Media Centre. The Scholarship is a unique international partnership between Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language, Culture and the Arts (Scotland) and the Jon Schueler Charitable Trust. It has been a fascinating exchange of artistic and cultural ideas.”

The Scholarship was established to celebrate and remember the life, work and artistic influence of internationally renowned artist and abstract expressionist painter, Jon Schueler (1916-1992), and in recognition of his very special relationship with the landscape and environment of the Sound of Sleat. The scholarship is offered each year to a different artist and will run from 2013 – 2016.

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