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Which Craft?

Seed head, Lucy Woodley at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery

Scotland’s crafts industry is in the midst of redefining it’s relevance for the 21st century, presenting bold initiatives such as craftscotland’s C-Word campaign, to challenge our perceptions and present the diverse and expanding world of crafts. Craft Festival Scotland, the first of its kind, offers a number of surprises as it displays work from the Borders to Shetland, inviting people to participate, debate and enjoy Scottish crafts in all their varied forms.

Displaying the exciting and edgy, this festival illustrates how developments in technology, combined with creativity and talent, can produce exceptional and diverse crafts throughout Scotland. Galleries across the country will transform into live laboratories, studios, project space and installations from May to June and there are many opportunities to get involved and turn your hand to crafts, be it hats, felt or jewellery.

How We Live in the Suburbs, Stephen Bird 2009 at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

The first solo show in the UK by international Australian artists Chicks on Speed will interrogate the boundaries of art, craft, fashion and music in Dundee, from 5-8 June. The punk-inspired performance merges traditional techniques with new research in technical innovation – and includes loom weaving, lectures, film screenings and workshops, not to mention Theremin tapestry, which emits electronic sounds controlled by the first wireless high-heeled shoe guitar.

Chicks on Speed at DCA, Dundee

More traditionally, the Scottish Gallery’s presentation is on ideals of folk art with a solo show by leading international ceramicist, Stephen Bird. Throughout the Highlands, a mini-festival managed by Hi-Arts with the Highland Council presents the work of four local makers, while in the Scottish Borders, textiles is in the spotlight, with a range of exhibitions, shows and workshops exploring the rich textile industry in Hawick.

At the Dovecot in Edinburgh, a series of short exhibitions for Maker/Curator will run throughout the festival with furniture maker Jim Patridge and Liz Whalmsley curating the space throughout June.

The work of jewellers Hazel White and Jayne Wallace investigates space and aims to break down distance barriers using objects in our home. With a series of objects that respond to stimuli and interactive jewellery this exhibition in Shetland’s Bonhoga Gallery, blends technology and crafts in a unique and practical way.

Telling Tales: - Hamefarers, Hazel White at Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland

Craft Festival Scotland is the result of a five-year research project, Past, Present & Future Craft Practice, led by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, to explore new directions in Craft.

Compromise, Inge Panneels at Lindean Mill, Galashiels Photo: Kevin Greenfield Dr Helen Bennett, Head of Creative Industries, Scottish Arts Council said:

“The craft sector in Scotland is in the midst of rapid change and the Past, Present & Future Craft Practice research project has demonstrated impressive vision in imagining and researching the future roles and directions of crafts practice. Scottish Arts Council recognises what has been achieved and has been delighted to support Craft Festival Scotland as a national showcase for the talent and potential of the crafts industry here.”

For more information about what’s on near you, visit: www.dundee.ac.uk/djcad/cfs/

see also
* The c word
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