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Orkney the source of inspiration for aspiring Gray’s design student


Orkney has provided more than just a home to a Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Gray’s School of Art student who is using the land and seascapes of the island as the source of inspiration for her final year work.

Anna Younie (23), who is studying Three Dimensional Design, will showcase her work as part of the Degree Show 2018, which takes place at the art school from June 16 -24.

Anna made the decision to leave Orkney for Aberdeen to interview for Gray’s Communication Design course, but while visiting for an interview her mind was changed and she veered towards 3D Design.

“Growing up in quite a remote area, there was very little to choose from when it came to further education, particularly in the area of art and design,” she said.

“Although the college on Orkney offers a range of courses, they are very fine art based and from studying art and product design in high school I always knew I preferred the area of design.

“Initially coming for an interview to the Communication Design course, the fact that there are a range of specialisms offered on the 3D course really appealed to me – particularly since I was not 100% sure what it was I wanted to focus on when I first came to Gray’s.

“Being shown around the studio spaces and workshops when I came for an interview also encouraged me to choose the 3D course as I felt it would give me a chance to gain a wider understanding on the various materials and processes taught and would eventually lead me to discover what area it was I wanted to focus on – which it has.”

Refining her craft during her first three years at Gray’s, for her final year Anna chose to base her project on the picturesque land and seascapes of home.

“Orkney has always been commended for its wealth of scenery and being away from home over the years really made me appreciate just how inspiring it was. Looking at both the Neolithic stone circles at Brodgar and Stenness, combined with researching the wide ranges of textures found along the coast, I am producing large scale ceramic vessels that reflect both of these areas.

“The simplistic, large forms inspired by the standing stones and the detailed surface texture applied to them reflects the way the sea has eroded the land over the years.”

Looking to life after Degree Show and graduation, Anna is planning on heading back to her homeland and develop her craft even further, using the vibrant craft scene on the island as a further source of motivation.

“After graduating I am planning to move home again in the hopes of setting up my own practice one day. Orkney has an extremely vibrant craft scene that does particularly well for being such a small county and a lot of crafters and makers thrive from the endless amounts of inspiration Orkney has to offer.

“Especially since my work is also inspired by its landscape and has a different style/aesthetic to most craft that is already available at home, I hope that my work will appeal to both the locals and tourists that come to Orkney and I’ll be able to share with people, the skills and techniques I have learnt at Gray’s that now allow me to produce pieces I am extremely proud of.”

The Gray's Degree Show is an annual highlight in the arts calendar, showcasing the work of RGU’s graduating students. For more information on this year’s show please visit – www.rgu.ac.uk/degreeshow.

Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries