• Gulls by Laurie Campbell

    Northern Flights - A View from Shetland



28 September 2022 - 13 November 2022


Free entry


Wednesday - Sunday (10am - 4pm)


Waterston House, SOC Headquarters

This joint exhibition presents the work of two artists who chose to make Shetland their home and whose work is deeply informed by their environment. Both also share a talent for printmaking, woodcuts in particular, and these form the core of their exhibition.

Howard Towll, originally from Edinburgh, has live and worked on Shetland for 30 years. A self-taught artist, Howard studied ecology and also works as a ranger for Shetland Amenity Trust. His art practice is based on observational drawing and painting, as well as studio-based printmaking. As Howard explains: “Shetland is a great place for wildlife and I don’t have to go far to find subject matter! From the shoreline below the house, I regularly see Otters, Read-breasted Mergansers, Arctic Terns and Eiders. In the hills beyond, I encounter Mountain Hares, Ravens or Red-throated Divers. Slightly further afield, I can reach several large sea birds colonies and observe scarcer breeding birds such as Arctic Skua and Red-necked Phalaropes.”

Paul Bloomer was born and brought up in the heavily industrialised Black Country of the West Midlands and his work as an artist was initially informed by this industrial landscape imbued with a strong autobiographical narrative. Moving to Shetland 20 years ago changed his work dramatically, with the ever-changing light and wild landscape calling for a new approach. He explains: “Working directly from nature is a constant battle in looking and feeling my way through a myriad of unnameable colours and changing shapes. I am something of a hybrid artist, part urban part rural. I am interested in the harmonies and tensions between the world of nature and the world of man, and no subject is out of bounds.” Woodcuts rely on a strong sense of composition and in the hands of these two artists they deliver striking interpretations of the natural world from the decorative to the spiritual. 

More work by top wildlife artists can be found in our online art shop


SOC brings together like-minded individuals with a passion for birds, nature and conservation through a programme of talks, outings, conferences and via the Club’s quarterly journal, Scottish Birds.