Aries Gallery

Alan, a former chemist, and Norah, an IT consultant, visited Orkney in 1997 and have lived in Birsay since 2001, having bought a plot of land overlooking the Brough of Birsay and Marwick Bay in 2000.

Alan had an interest in photography from an early age, but his career never allowed the time to do anything serious about it. Over more recent years, they have both travelled extensively with their cameras, as independent travellers, making up their own itineraries, and with professional photographers to Africa, North America and Europe, learning and sharing some great experiences in some spectacular and off the beaten track parts of the world. The results are some stunning landscape, seascape, wildlife and night sky images.

Machine embroidery started as a hobby for Norah (she says she doesn’t have the patience for hand embroidery), and with the acquisition of multi-needle machines she has been able to expand her repertoire.

They have combined these interests to open a gallery in Harray where visitors are invited to browse their photographic display boards, view a range of embroidered goods, see both Alan and Norah’s work in progress, and to discuss custom ideas or commissions over a cup of tea or coffee.

At the gallery, Alan reproduces photographs using a large format printer and offers these for sale on a variety of photographic papers and canvases, and in a variety of sizes. Stretched canvases, mounted prints and rolled prints, for ease of transport, are all available. Norah’s embroidered goods include soft furnishings, wall art and delicate lace products and jewellery, as well as greetings and occasions cards. She has an extensive portfolio of designs, and the full range of Madeira threads to choose from for made to order items.

From time to time, guest photographers or artists will also be displaying their work at the gallery