Above: Gunnie Moberg at Kilmory Chapel, Argyll
‘Swedish artist makes her home in Orkney’ was the title of an article in The Orcadian newspaper in July 1976 detailing a Stromness Shopping Week exhibition ‘which linked Orkney most convincingly and charmingly with Scandinavia’.
Gunnie Moberg’s Batik work had first been show in Orkney in the old County Library in Kirkwall a year earlier, in 1975. Her Pictish, Celtic and Norse batiks had gone down well, The Orcadian newspaper enthusiastically reporting: ‘Wall hangings like these could be adapted for the tourist trade. With sympathy and skill Gunnie Moberg shows what can be done to counter the tawdry and depressing image of the average plastic and tartan Scottish souvenir.’ The article finishes with the hope, ‘that this will not be her only exhibition in Orkney’. And it wasn’t, the 1975 exhibition was to be the start of a long career of exhibiting, both in Orkney and elsewhere. But batik would not be the medium that would come to be associated with the artist.
Many people may not know about Gunnie Moberg’s work outside of photography, so here is a chance to wind the clock back to Gunnie’s arrival in Orkney and her batiks. Scroll down to see images of Gunnie’s batik wall hangings.
The newspaper article is also part of Ernest Marwick’s collection of papers.
THE ORCADIAN 29 JULY 2013. Link to The Orcadian here
Batiks by Gunnie Moberg.
Price list from the 1976 Exhibition during Stromness Shopping Week including had-written thanks to ‘Mr & Mrs Harray of Wattle Farm, Birsay, whose generous help made the exhibition possible, Gunnie Moberg’.
Hand made exhibition poster for the 1975 show at the County Library. The Library has since moved to Junction Road and the building also houses the Orkney Archive, which in turn houses the Gunnie Moberg Archive.
Batik by Gunnie Moberg depicting the meeting of St Paul and St Anthony.
Report in The Orcadian of the 1975 exhibition taped to a piece of paper and written in Gunnie’s hand ‘Please send back!’ Also written on the paper was a list of previous exhibitions, this has been invaluable material to help build up a chronology of all Gunnie Moberg’s exhibitions in Orkney, across Scotland and abroad.
Images of Gunnie installing the exhibition at The Saltire Society, Edinburgh Festival 1970.
Photographer unknown, possibly May-Won Nilsson.
Exhibition catalogue from 1971 Richard Demarco Gallery. Showing alongside Gunnie that December – Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Gunnie at batik work.
Batiks above and below by Gunnie Moberg