A film commissioned by Orkney Arts Society to celebrate the life and works of Orcadian artist Sylvia Wishart RSA, one of Scotland’s leading contemporary landscape painters.

Sylvia Wishart was born in Stromness, Orkney in 1936. She studied Drawing and Painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen and later worked there (1969-87) as a lecturer until her retirement to Orkney in 1987. Her contribution to Scottish art was recognised when she was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 2005.

Sylvia was instrumental in the development of Orkney’s Pier Arts Centre. Her home and studio were on the top floor of the old pier building. She became a close friend of Margaret Gardiner, and convinced her to buy the building to open as a public gallery. Margaret’s private collection formed the basis of the permanent collection, and the Pier Arts Centre opened to the public in 1979. Sylvia served the gallery for many years as a trustee and it was fitting, therefore, that when the redeveloped gallery opened in July 2007, it was with an exhibition of Sylvia Wishart drawings.

In 2011 The Pier Arts Centre ran a 10 week exhibition of Sylvia’s work sourced from public and private collections across the country.  The lamp in the seaward window – the art of Sylvia Wishart attracted over 8,000 visits and an enthusiastic response from audiences from Orkney and beyond. This film, Reflections, ran for the final 2 weeks of the show and will continue it’s screening at the Royal Scottish Academy exhibition in Jan/Feb 2012 and at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen from 24 March until 20 April 2012.

Sylvia Wishart 11 February 1936 – 4th December 2008

Video frame from ‘Reflections’ – Mark Jenkins

‘Reflections – The Life and Art of Sylvia Wishart’

16m Widescreen Stereo


Joyce Cairns, Bill Connon, Ola Gorie, Yvonne Gray, Colin Kirkpatrick, Elsie Seatter, Billy Tait, Arthur Watson, Bunty Wishart.

Funded by:

Heritage Lottery Fund through the Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme, The Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture and Orkney Arts Society

This DVD is for sale. All funds raised will be used by Orkney Arts Society for the purchase of art works to be exhibited in public spaces in Orkney.


2nd edition DVD

The first run of ‘Reflections’ have now sold out. There is a second edition being made in conjunction with the release of a new book documenting Sylvia’s career. It will include a new essay by the writer and art critic Mel Gooding and many colour reproductions of rarely seen works. Copies will be on sale at the Pier Arts Centre from July 21st 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s