The vibrant colours of Karachi, ancient boat building skills and transcendental smoke firings all play a part in this year’s Craft Scotland showcase at Collect. Ten makers working in Scotland were selected by writer and curator Corinne Julius, National Museum of Scotland Design Curator Sarah Rothwell and Jo Scott, Head of Programmes here at Craft Scotland. I’m particularly excited by how these makers have pushed the boundaries of the materials they are working with, pioneered new techniques and found ways to expand our perceptions of what contemporary craft looks like.
Different worlds collide as makers mix up disciplines with rewarding results. Visitors to the showcase will discover furniture made in scagliola by SHY Studio, playful Kidult dolls carved in glass from Korean artist SUH MOONJU and large-scale textile wall hangings created by artist Kate Owens using an adapted block printing method, where the block is replaced by a wooden sandal, combining print with choreography.
The power of colour is also evident in this year’s selection. Inspired by visual literacy and colour theory, jeweller Elizabeth Jane Campbell’s study of contrasting colours has resulted in statement pieces, while Mariam Syed’s exquisite double woven wool and silk textiles take the clamour of colours from her birthplace of Karachi in Pakistan and apply them to woven grid patterns creating striking scarves, woven rugs and fabrics for interiors. Also inspired by home, Eve Campbell’s large-scale screen printed one-off linen wall hangings are an extension of her sketchbook and drawings. She creates one-off designs that capture the colours, shapes and patterns of Scotland's West Coast nature, landscapes and architecture.
Discovering new material juxtapositions is always a delight and Iseabal Hendry’s intricate leatherwork combined with steam bent ash created using the boatbuilding skills passed on through her family sees two traditional crafts reimagined in contemporary works. Fusing ceramics and glass Charlott Rodgers’ foam glass combined with parian clay result in pieces that play with your expectations of both materials.
Great craft has always had the power to still the senses and the work of two of our selected makers access a deeper place. Inspired by Lucie Rie’s Moon Jar in the British Museum ceramicist Ruth Elizabeth Jones has created a series of her own moon jars each imbued with yogic chanting as they have been fired while Borja Moronta’s ceramic compositions channel the slow pace of life in the villages of Northern Spain combined with a minimal architectural aesthetic creating a calming visual harmony.
There is a rising global appetite for Scottish contemporary craft and this year’s showcase of Scotland-based craft talent at Collect is set to continue to enhance the reputation of our nation’s makers. www.craftscotland.org"Irene Kernan is Director of Craft Scotland.
Collect 2023 runs from 3 - 5 March Previews 1&2 March at Somerset House, London and online at Artsy.net