Knitwear design inspired by iconic Orcadian artist

A special partnership between the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness and Orkney-based knitwear designer Hilary Grant has led to the creation of a limted edition knitted blanket, inspired by the paintings of iconic Orcadian artist, Sylvia Wishart.

The 'Seaward' blanket by design partnership Hilary Grant
The 'Seaward' blanket by design partnership Hilary Grant
Much of Wishart's work was influenced by the view from her home overlooking the shore at Warebeth and the wild seas of Hoy Sound, and it's those paintings that have in turn provided inspiration for Hilary Grant, a design partnership based in Orphir.

The finished product, a blanket knitted in the Borders from a fine Geelong Lambswool, is aptly named 'Seaward', reflecting the relationship between Wishart's work and the views from her house.

‘We were delighted to be approached by the Pier Arts Centre to design this piece,' said Hilary Grant. 'The tapestry-like way in which Sylvia Wishart threaded a constrained palette of colours throughout her paintings creates such atmospheric effect and we have tried to represent this in the blanket design.’

She continued ‘To create this effect, the blanket was designed as a single composition of stitches, using only 3 colours of yarn, which blush with varying degrees of intensity and hue.’

The blanket will be available to buy exclusively from the Pier Arts Centre shop and Hilary Grant's online outlet from Saturday 18 November.

Meanwhile, the Pier Arts Centre's Annual Open Exhibition will go on display from Saturday 18 November until December 23. The exhibition is open to anyone living in Orkney and reflects the wide variety of subject matter that inspires artists and makers in the county. With all works for sale, the exhibition offers an unparalleled opportunity to revel in the breadth and joy of Orkney’s artistic expression.

The Pier Arts Centre will also be hosting a special Christmas Family Afternoon, with the focus on festive art and crafts activities, on the afternoon of Saturday 9 December. Free of charge, the activities are for all the family and everyone is welcome to come along. No booking is necessary - just drop in anytime between 2-3.30pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

In addition to the normal opening times (Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am – 5.00pm), the Pier Arts Centre will be open from 12 noon until 4pm on Sunday 19 November as part of Stromness’s Mulled Wine and Discount Sunday and until 7pm on Wednesday 29 November for the Stromness Christmas Tree Lighting. Admission is free.