Saturday 18 April 2015

Sylvia Wishart Papers Now Catalogued!

Orkney Archive reference: D136/1/11
Double exposure - Sylvia and geraniums.

A little over a year ago, we received a donation which pleased us greatly. A small collection of the personal papers of Orcadian artist Sylvia Wishart (1938-2008).

The single box contains many invitations to private views of work, her own and others, some personal photographs, teaching materials, press cuttings, poems by friends and correspondence.

A very modest woman, there are only a couple of examples of writing by Sylvia Wishart herself about her own work process and one of these was written in answer to a letter from a schoolchild:

'...I prefer others to talk about my pictures - feeling that I've had my say!... But whatever method you adopt or develop it is only the vehicle to carry your idea. I would advise you to try all sorts of things with a "let's see what happens" attitude; and if three times out of every ten you surprise yourself, that's a good ratio to be going on with!'

The collection also contains a folder of blue-prints showing the renovation of a Stromness pier property into a flat and studio. That same building now houses the Pier Arts Centre.

The most delightful thing about this collection, however are the lovely pictures:

Orkney Archive Reference: D136/1/3/2 A Christmas print.

Orkney Archive Reference: D136/1/5/3
Melsetter Farm - print made for local business calendar, early 1970s.

Orkney Archive Reference: D136/1/5/3
West Pier, Kirkwall - print made for local business calendar, early 1970s.

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