A dark sky broods over a field of ripening barley, a fencepost in the foreground is clustered about by red clover.


A new exhibition has been installed today at the Orkney Library & Archive. A chain of images, one a response to the one before it. Gunnie Moberg’s photographs from the archive and a contemporary response.

George Mackay Brown in the background out of focus curls an arm around his cat who looks sharp in to the lens.

A woman in sihlouette stands on the shore.

Above:image Gunnie Moberg, George Mackay Brown & Gypsy / Below:image Anna Younie

In late autumn last year, students in Art & Design from Orkney College UHI studied the work of Gunnie Moberg. The students were invited to choose an image from a selection from the archive. Then, using photography, they each made their own response. The project was intended to give the students a starting point from which to explore their own creative use of photography. The students worked with themes suggested by Gunnie’s work such as simplicity in nature, darkness & light, people & place and water, earth & sky.

An aerial photograph of grassy islets in a muddy tracked rich soil with dots of sheep microscopic.

Sea worn glass sits like green islands illuminated from behind.

Above:image Gunnie Moberg /  Below:image Indigo Branscombe

Response is the exhibition of Gunnie Moberg’s photographs and the student’s responses to them. Now open at Orkney Library & Archive, Kirkwall the show runs to the end of March.

A dark sky broods over a field of ripening barley, a fencepost in the foreground is clustered about by red clover.

An eerie pink sky is refleced in the pools beside a vibrant green seaweed covered rocky shore.

Above: image Gunnie Moberg / Below: image Inga Gaudie

The Students have echoed something they saw in the Gunnie Moberg photograph they chose, perhaps a tone, a shape, an expression. Sometimes the echo is recognisable and sometimes fainter but in each the students own voice is clear.

A chef stands in a kitchen smiling with hand raised to his head, above him ladels and spoons hang shiny and metallic in this black and white photograph.

Seamus Heaney in mid conversation, animated, head to one side, mouth and eyes smiling, drink in hand.

A young girl smiles from the far left of this black & white photograph, her face in shadow while a strong window light picks up her hair and moulds the side of her face.

Above:image Norman Cockett / Middle: image Gunnie Moberg, Seamus Heaney / Below: image Beccy May


 The Gunnie Moberg Archive hopes to go on sparking off ideas in people, promoting creativity and conversations, using this remarkable collection as a resource. Within the archive there are letters, book mock-ups, working notes, contact sheets, diaries and many other items that make it possible to look at how the artist worked and how her life and work merged. Once the cataloguing process has been completed this will be made available for people to study and enjoy. In the meantime, to allow access to the collection, there are exhibitions and events.

A sea misted view of the Hoy hills, a low light picks up the rock shelf on the shore under a slate sky coloured with blue, the dark waves are capped with white, a storm brews.

Black and white image of a white foaming sea with cow parsley shimmering in the foreground.

Above: image Gunnie Moberg /Below:image Rowan Pierce

The artists Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Russian composer, and Viktoria Postnikova, Russian pianist, in dark raincoats, his back facing the camera and his head turned as he links arms with Viktoria who smiles eyes closed facing the camera hands in pockets.

Hair totally obscures the face in this black and white photograph of a woman caught in the action of shaking her head.

Above:image Gunnie Moberg / Below:image Matheus Lopes Martin

Poppies sunlit lie on top of each other, transluscent petals overlapping in a double exposure.

On top of a black and white worked image of leaves sits a shocking pink flowers drifting off the bottom left of the photograph.
Above:image Gunnie Moberg / Below:image Kathleen Keldie



5 thoughts on “Response

  1. Pingback: A found kiss | The Gunnie Moberg Archive

  2. Pingback: Go West | The Gunnie Moberg Archive

  3. Please copy me in on the Gunnie Moberg Archive exhibition, I’m a contributor to the book that is going to press end of this month, knew her very well, and published her 4 times… you can find me on FB — Sarah Fraser, Eygalières, France (to be sure it’s the right Sarah Fraser–: my profile photo is of my dog and a stone/wood sculpture)

  4. Pingback: ‘The catholicity of time in the work of George Mackay Brown’ | Jason Goroncy

    • These images are copyrighted. Permission is required for the use of Gunnie Moberg images. Please contact us through the contacts page if you wish to use any Gunnie Moberg images.

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