Agricultural Shows take place across Orkney clustered together over one week. The islands of Shapinsay, Sanday, the South Ronaldsay & Burray (‘Hope show), and East Mainland and Dounby in the west, each have their show day during the week leading up to Saturdays’ County Show held in Kirkwall. In 2007, the year of the Art & Agriculture residency, Sanday show was the only one with cows and sheep. A Foot & Mouth outbreak down south led to a ban on animal movement and only horses, dogs and poultry were present at the other shows. Some of the shows that year (‘Hope Show and Shapinsay) had to be cancelled because of the restrictions on proximity of the show grounds to farms.
An exhibition of photographs from the Sanday, East Mainland and Dounby Shows was projected in the tea tent at the County Show.
THE SANDAY SHOW
THE EAST MAINLAND SHOW
The ban on (cloven hoof) animal movement came the night before the show. It was sad to see the empty cattle pens.
This series includes a Blackening, the pre-wedding custom, and Nail in a Bale, a game of luck and 5″ painted nails.
THE DOUNBY SHOW