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Doors Open, by Orcadian artist Martin Laird

This weekend sees the release of a short animated film about art called Doors Open, by Orcadian artist Martin Laird. The film was created for Doors Open Days 2022, supporting Scotland’s Year of Stories.

Doors Open is a surreal tour through an imaginary art studio and gallery space. It explores some of the sources of artistic inspiration, referencing other artists, Orcadian history and culture, St. Magnus, and the phenomena of the ‘Caledonian antisyzygy’. This is the supposed dual nature of the Scottish character, often exemplified by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but in this case by the Orcadian Jack Renton, the so-called “white headhunter”.

The film is narrated by Graham McConnell, and features both animated and filmed sequences. It incorporates many of the projects Martin has been involved with, such as the illustrated history book Rebel Orkney (written by Fiona Grahame), along with imagery created specifically for the film.

Martin is currently working on a series of short films for the Orkney News and Museums Galleries Scotland, entitled Orcadian Stories. These will tell the personal stories of local people involved with invaluable community organisations and projects including the St. Magnus Festival, Orkney Men’s Shed, the Stronsay Limpet, and others.

You can attend the premiere of Doors Open on YouTube at 12 noon, Saturday 17th September 2022, at the following link:

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