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Off-Site Exhibitions

Tom Kidd - Shetland


Tom Kidd - Shetland
Weaving Shed Gallery, Hillswick, Shetland
9th November - 17th November 2019

Opening and Q+A with Tom Kidd, 2pm Saturday 9th November. Prints for sale and to order.

Tom Kiddʼs ʻShetlandʼ presents a fascinating photographic insight into life in the Shetland archipelago in the 1980s at a time of change with the effects of the oil industry on the traditional life of the islands. Candid and sympathetic, the images show that aspects of traditional island life managed to take its place in the modern world without losing too many of the customs and traditions which gives Shetland it’s special character and ethos. 

In 1980 Kidd’s Life in Shetland was published by Paul Harris, an enterprising photography publisher based in Edinburgh at the time.

The Shetland photographs featured in the exhibition Scotland's Far North alongside Chick Chalmers and Glyn Satterley, which was exhibited at Street Level in 2017 and is a Street Level Photoworks touring exhibition.

This exhibition at Weaving Shed Gallery has been organised by Tom Morton and Northmavine Community Development Company.

Tom Kidd was born in Edinburgh in1953 and studied photography at Polytechnic Central London and Napier (College) Edinburgh. He was awarded a Kodak Bursary to take photos in Shetland and worked as a labourer on building sites and as a removal van driver in Shetland to keep making the work at the time. He was encouraged, helped and inspired by Richard Hough, Mike Edwards, David Pashley of Stills Gallery and Napier, Lesley Greene and Lindsay Gordon of the Scottish Arts Council, and his close friend Chick Chalmers. This resulted in the book 'Life in Shetland' in 1980.

Since the late seventies he has variously been a community photographer in Craigmillar, a part-time lecturer at Napier, photographer in residence at Aberlour House School (circa 1978), and served on the Board at Stills in Edinburgh in the mid-80s. He has worked as a newspaper photographer for 25 years and is now a helicopter pilot living in Dunbar. 

The Shetland photographs were resurrected in the late 90s by Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetlands and in the co-authored book with Tom Morton ‘Black Gold Tide – 25 Years of Oil in Shetland’ in 2004. This work was more recently featured on Document Scotland’s website and presented in one of their Salon events in 2013.
Previous exhibitions at Stills have included a joint show with Karl Blossfeldt and his photographs from Aberlour House School, both in the 80s. His work was acquired for the collections of the Scottish Arts Council and the V&A.

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