Great you could drop by. We’ve now had well over 30,000 visits to the Gunnie Moberg Archive site. Come past again, the kettle is always on and the bannocks are always fresh.
The couple in this photograph (Douglas and Annie Craigie of Vinbreck, Sandwick, Orkney) appear in one of Gunnie’s books but instead of being round the table they are outside with the caption ‘Peat stack, piled high, ready for winter use’.
We themed the show currently on at Tankerness House, Orkney Museum in Kirkwall, around Gunnie’s books and with such a wealth of material it could be an ongoing theme. If you want to see the photograph of the couple as they appear in print, check out The Orkney Story (1985) page 107. You can drop by the gallery and browse the selection of books there.
What you will not see in any of Gunnie’s books is her bold and beautiful tag. Prints mounted by the artist all bear this stamp of authenticity, there’s nothing discrete about this script, it’s large and welcoming, rounded and warm, and often without a surname, just ‘Gunnie’.
For the exhibition Gunnie’s signature has been translated in to a vinyl wall piece to greet you as you walk in to the gallery space.
For more details on the exhibition see this press release from Orkney Islands Council.
Orkney Museum has opened ‘In Print’ the much anticipated exhibition of Gunnie Moberg photographs.
The well-known photographer was published in over sixteen book titles in a publishing career that spanned travel literature to artist books. In this exhibition there is a focus on these published works and the images are lifted off the page.
Eight new prints have been made from Gunnie Moberg’s Shetland books and some of these have never been exhibited before. Over a dozen images from Gunnie Moberg’s first solo book ‘Stone Built’ will be shown. This 1979 publication, produced by her husband Tam’s ‘Stromness Books & Prints’ contains some of the most poetic and remarkable images of the Orkney landscape. Moberg’s Maeshowe from an islander plane, thrown into relief by a light dusting of snow, is an image that imprints itself.
A full set of the photographic plates from the limited edition hand-printed book ‘Stone’ from 1987 will form the centre of the show. These beautiful studies of the shoreline are like portraits of the stones, intimate images of the curves and folds of long-loved bodies. This rare book, published by Colin Hamilton & Kulgin Duval, was a combination of Gunnie’s photographs and George Mackay Brown’s words. The exhibition also shows works from the 1996 book ‘Orkney Pictures & Poems’ where George Mackay Brown wrote poems inspired by the photographs, brought to his house and sat on an easel by Gunnie. Another featured book in which both poet and photographer shared space is the 1988 ‘Portrait of Orkney’.
Alongside Orkney and Shetland, Gunnie’s other favoured island group, Faroe, is depicted. Gunnie extensively travelled around Shetland and Faroe for the books made with writer Liv Kjørsvick Schei. This collaboration ran to several reprints of their work and their book on Orkney, ‘The Islands of Orkney’, was published in paperback in 2007.
Tom Muir, Exhibitions Officer at Orkney Museum, said: “To complement the exhibition there will be ongoing screenings of the film ‘Gunnie’ made for the Pier Arts Centre by Mark Jenkins. As well as her books and biographical material there will be newspaper clippings to browse in the Orkney Museum library room adjacent to the gallery.”
The two-year Heritage Lottery funded project to establish the archive runs to the end of March 2015 and this exhibition is a celebration of the collection. Rebecca Marr, project officer, commented:
“The Gunnie Moberg Archive, as you can imagine, holds many wonderful images and it also holds the letters, diary entries, business correspondence, invoices, film processing notes and contact sheets relating to those images. There is an extraordinary level of detail in this artist’s archive; a picture develops of a responsive, present, vibrant artist. This exhibition will display some of that material including Gunnie’s cameras used to make the photographs displayed. For those who only know a digital age, the world of a film photographer has a particular fascination.”
‘In Print’ will run at the Orkney Museum, Tankerness House, from 6th December 2014 – 31st January 2015. The Orkney Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10:30-12:30 and 1:30-5:00. Admission is free.