Frances Pelly RSA is a sculptor and printmaker based in Orkney.


Pelly’s practice often involves natural materials local to Orkney and features aspects of the island’s landscape. Pelly studied Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, and lectured at the college and as well as at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen. Several travelling scholarships and prizes awarded during this time took Pelly to France, Italy and Greece. In 1987 an Artist in Residency post at Highland Park Distillery brought Pelly to Orkney, a major turning point for her and her career. In 2019 Pelly retired from commissioned work to concentrate on her sculpture and stretch ideas through printmaking.



'I am a traditionally trained sculptor and know the craft of making things and the joy of using my hands.'


'I love to experiment with materials and combine them in new ways. This is solitary work and I sometimes counterbalance this by collaborations with other artists, poets and craftspeople.


'My research involves adventures into land and seascape, plant, animal and human forms, weather and archaeology…all things on my doorstep. Ethical and philosophical reasons encourage me to use materials which are close at hand and natural. New pieces incline towards abstraction from the natural world and utilise the contrasting techniques of modelling, carving, casting, assembling and printing.’