Saturday 15th June saw the opening of 'Isle inspire': two local artists exhibitions at Morven Gallery in Barvas. Gill Thompson's 'Beachcomber' collection of collagraph prints and Donald Libby's 'Salt in the blood' display of maritime sculptures sat alongside each other picking up the colours and atmosphere of the islands.

Gill said, "My work is inspired by the coast and moorland, the amazing skies and the rich palette of colours here in the Outer Hebrides. I am fascinated by the process of building printing plates using found materials or carving into card or lino to produce images that reflect the rugged environment of the natural world."

After retiring from teaching in schools and moving to Lewis, Gill has built her own studio and been able to focus on printmaking. 

Collagraph printing is made using a 'plate' that is collaged with a variety of materials to add texture and build up the desired image and then sealed with shellac varnish. Finally the 'plate' is inked up and the print made using an etching press and dampened paper.

Donald first exhibited his coastal sculptures last summer at Morven and has been busy creating his latest pieces.

He said, "About eight months ago I started collecting wood from the Newton Basin shore and from the decommissioned boats on the shore of Goat Island, as you may be aware Goat Island is going through major changes and I just had the notion to use the wood to create new artwork so that the old boats would not be gone for ever but take on a new life in my Driftwood sculptures, the centre piece and focal point of the exhibition will be four large driftwood mirrors and I will also have various smaller pieces, this is the most ambitious project I’ve ever taken on." 

The exhibition will be running until mid July, Morven Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10.30am - 5pm.