Work painted by pupils of Shetland in the 1960s on display in a new £ 56million school


Shetland Islands Council

THREE murals painted by schoolchildren from the 1960s and 1970s have been installed in the new Anderson High School in Shetland.

The £ 56million school was built by Morrison Construction and delivered by the North Scotland hub, accommodating up to 1,180 students.

Two of the paintings, which were in storage until recently, were painted in 1963 by Ian Coutts and Ian Guthrie, then sixth-year students.

They had been asked to create something for the new meeting room and the dining room of the old school that had just been built.

The boys, who both became art teachers, painted the artwork in their free time with the help of fellow students John Mouat, Brian Tait, William Goodlad and David Johnston.

Shetland Islands Council

The mural painted by Ian Coutts is a composition showing the history of Shetland from Neolithic times to the present day, including various images of fishing and crofting. The other, by Ian Guthrie, shows a Shetland regatta scene, painted in a bold colourist style.

The two murals are painted on wooden planks with a total length of about ten meters and are now suspended overlooking the dining room of the new school.

Shetland Islands Council

The third mural now on display in the canteen area of ​​the new school was painted by Martin Emslie, a former art teacher at the old Anderson High School. The mural is approximately six meters long and shows various scenes from “Old Lerwick” in a collage style, including The Old Tollbooth, Commercial Street and Market Cross.

It was painted in 1979 and has been on display at the Freefield Center in Lerwick for many years., before it closed in 2013. Martin Emslie recently helped restore his original mural before it was installed in the new school.

Valerie Nicolson, Principal of Anderson High School, said, “I am delighted to see these works of art in our new school building. They are an important part of the school’s art history and they now take pride of place in a bustling part of the school, where they add a lot of color and character.

“We plan to add a new mural to the school in the future to ensure that current pupils can also leave their mark, reflecting Shetland life today.”

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