Fleet work gives Dundee graduate a window on Edinburgh
Published On Fri 24 Jul 2015 by Roddy Isles
If you happen to be in Edinburgh before the end of August, walk along Princes Street, glance at Edinburgh’s prestigious Jenners department store and you can be forgiven for thinking of a saga of land, sea and sky of the far North.
Ten of the large windows in Jenners are alive with original art and jewellery from Orkney.
Waves sweep and curl and the land stretches below a long blue sky of clouds into a sunset of glowing red colours. Look closer and you’ll see the Old Man of Hoy, Orkney’s famous monuments... and a Workshop by the sea.
Orkney’s well-known jewellery designer, Sheila Fleet OBE, is showcasing her work on a swirling, dynamic illustration of Orkney which has been created by her graphic designer, Gina Ramsay, a recent graduate of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, officially opened the beautiful window displays in Edinburgh this week.
Gina studied Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and has been working with Sheila for just over a year.
“The sheer size of the windows made this project a challenge and different to anything I have illustrated before,” said Gina. “I love to draw with great intricacy and include little discoveries for the careful onlooker. Having such a vast canvas lent itself well to being filled with all the life and beauty of Orkney - the very elements that have inspired Sheila to create so many stunning collections.“
Sheila Fleet Jewellery is celebrating 20 years in Jenners and the windows are just in time for the thousands of visitors arriving for the Edinburgh Festival. Sheila hopes the windows will increase awareness of Orkney and the fine quality of Scottish jewellery.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon praised the part played by Sheila Fleet Jewellery in promoting high quality Scottish products to visitors.
“These stunning windows by Gina Ramsay and the beautiful Sheila Fleet jewellery that they highlight, are fantastic examples of the skill and craftsmanship alive in Scotland,” said the First Minister. “I am certain that they will prove eye-catching to visitors to Edinburgh looking for something special to take home with them following their stay.
“Sheila Fleet Jewellery is a real Scottish success story, already one of the biggest employers in the rural countryside of Orkney and one of the island’s biggest and best-known exports. The fantastic display I have the pleasure of launching today can only serve to increase that success and bring this fantastic jewellery to the attention of many more people.”
Sheila Fleet grew up on a farm in South Ronaldsay, studied Jewellery and Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art, and went on to become renowned for her bold jewellery design and vibrant enamel colours. Last year her the Edinburgh College of Art, now part of the University of Edinburgh, awarded Sheila an Honorary Degree in recognition of her outstanding jewellery design and service to the rural community.
Sheila has created over 80 collections, many inspired by nature, by love and by spirit as well as those inspired by Orkney. The Sheila Fleet Jewellery windows in Jenners contain a new collection, iconic of Orkney, called Stone Circles inspired by the sun setting over Orkney’s great ceremonial circle, the Ring of Brodgar.
The Sheila Fleet Jewellery windows at Jenners in Edinburgh are on display from 20 July to 28 August.
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