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Published: 04 July 2015

By Andy Ross

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Taatit rugs at Shetland Museum

The exhibition of taatit rugs at Shetland Museum is absolutely fantastic! See it if you can.

On a bright and cool day in Lerwick, a visit to the Museum came up trumps and not only fora row out on the harbour in one of the boats from the collection, Vaila Mae. Thanks to the enthusiastic effort of Trevor, we went out to the harbour mouth and back, looking at Lerwick from a vantage not normally enjoyed and going right near the enormous ships currently anchored in the harbour itself. A brilliant adventure and one which you can enjoy morning or afternoon in the summers in Shetland. 

But it is the rugs that were the highlight of the visit. 

Excellently curated by Carol Christiansen and telling the story of these heirloom pieces in an engaging and visual way, the show is in Da Gadderie, the exhibition space in the Museum, with examples of the rugs which formed an important part of a family's belongings. Some rugs were made with motifs to ward off evil and nightmares, some were made for weddings, and all are captivating and striking. Beautiful colours show the artistic craftsmanship of the dyeing which has been extensively tested through this project, and the exhibition tells about the stories of the rugs, displays some of the dyeing techniques and tools, and links the tradition with other parts of the Scandiavian world.

 It has been an enormous project and is one of the best shows that I have seen at the Museum. On until 19th July, the exhibition is a must-see if you are in Lerwick. We may even make a special trip down to see it again.Congratulations Shetland Museum and thanks for a splendiferous day oot!