TWO artists inspired by the wilderness of Shetland are to be celebrated in a joint exhibition.

The work of Howard Towll and Paul Bloomer will be displayed at Waterston House in Aberlady, the headquarters of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club.

It highlights how both artists moved to Shetland and became inspired by the rugged beauty of the islands. 

The National: Bounding Hare by Howard Towll Bounding Hare by Howard Towll (Image: Howard Towll)

Originally from Edinburgh, Towll has lived and worked in Shetland for 30 years.

A self-taught artist, his work is inspired by his study of ecology and his work as a ranger for the Shetland Amenity Trust.

He said: “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, red-breasted mergansers, arctic terns and eiders.

“In the hills beyond, I encounter mountain hares, ravens and red-throated divers.

The National: Rain Geese by Howard Towll Rain Geese by Howard Towll (Image: Howard Towll)

“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.

However, moving to Shetland 20 years ago changed his work dramatically.

He explained: “Working directly from nature is a constant battle in looking and feeling my way through a myriad of unnameable colours and changing shapes.

The National: Passage I by Paul Bloomer Passage I by Paul Bloomer (Image: Paul Bloomer)

“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.”

Both artists share a talent for printmaking, woodcuts and etchings and these form the core of the exhibition.

Northern Flights – A View From Shetland is on display until November 13.