Highlands & Islands

Caithness artist finds inspiration in Soviet-era labels

Russian fish box label Image copyright Ullapool Museum
Image caption One of the fish box labels that influenced artist Joanne B Kaar

Soviet-era Russian fish box labels have inspired some of the artwork for a new exhibition.

Caithness artist Joanne B Kaar came across the labels while researching material about factory ships called klondykers at Ullapool Museum.

The boats from Russia and continental Europe anchored off Ullapool to process fish from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Art that emerged from Kaar's research forms part of this weekend's PortAble exhibition in the village.

Image copyright Ullapool Museum
Image caption The labels link back to visits to Ullapool by foreign fish processing ships
Image copyright Ullapool Museum
Image caption Another of the labels from Kaar's research

They include her own versions of the labels and also a fisherman's jacket printed with information about the klondyers.

Art for PortAble has arrived in Ullapool in 2m by 2m boxes having previously been posted in them to galleries in London and then Spain for display.

The 12 artists involved also include Ullapool's Charlotte Watters, Ian Stephen from the Isle of Lewis and Achiltibuie-based Marian Leven.

Ullapool arts centre An Talla Solais has organised the exhibition.

Image copyright Joanne B Kaar/A Talla Solais
Image caption Detail from artwork created by Joanne B Kaar
Image copyright An Talla Solais
Image copyright Joanne B Kaar
Image caption The fisherman's jacket decorated with slogans recalling Ullapool's klondyker past

Earlier this year, photographs of a controversial football match played in Ullapool in 1984 were put on public display for the first time.

Dubbed Scotland versus the Soviet Union, the game saw the Eastern Bloc crewmen borrow boots from local people so they could play.

Held at a time of heightened tensions in the Cold War between the East and West, it was criticised because it was seen as a threat to western society.

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