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Published: 04 September 2021

By Andy Ross

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Greetings from Shetland!

After twenty years of life in Shetland, everything in the islands looks familiar and strange at the same time. 

Since our last visit in May the islands have become lush once again. The plant life must have really enjoyed the summer because the land is verdant green and even the little garden at the studio is bursting with life and vitality. Of course, it is nearing the turn of the seasons so things have started to slow down a little, and the bird song that fills a Shetland summer is absent. No matter. It is good to be back and to contemplate the passage of time that I have been lucky enough to spend in these islands. 

So what is on the horizon? Well, for three weeks I am here and holding Open Studios. I shall be in Sellafirth from two today, two tomorrow, and then eleven to 4 from Tuesday 7th (next week) until Friday, eleven to four on Sunday 12th, and then eleven to 4 Tuesday 14th through to Sunday. After that we will close again for the winter although the studio may be opened up by appointment. 

During the various lockdowns and disruption work has continued on making a future for the studios. We have been planning to convert part of the building for artists and craftspeople to use in future residencies and that work should start next year, all being well. We have applied to funding to bring in a new manager and a technician and that will also start next year. Alexa and I are working on new cloths for The Shetland Tweed Company, and I am going to be restarting the Faebook and Instagram posts after a long hiatus. It is all looking positive and the future for GlobalYell is looking much brighter than it was a few months ago. 

The Big Job is to continue sorting out all the things in the studio. There are books to be taken to the charity shops, textiles to give away,... you know how it goes! I think this move must be amongst the most stressful things I have ever done, but it is all for a Good Cause. Once we get to New Zealand, I shall be secure in the knowledge that twenty years worth of work in Shetland has not been for nothing and that I will have helped to repay a debt to the islands who have cared for me for so long. I shall continue to work with and for these special lands of the North, but in the meantime, hope to see some of you over the next couple of weeks. Onwards!