Craft Feature: Highland Graduates (August 2010)
Challenging Creations by Highland Graduates
Ingenuity, imagination and skill shine from the jewellery, textiles and fashion created by the 2010 Highland graduates from the Scottish art colleges.
In response to our culture and environment they explore topical subjects such as the 2012 Olympic Games, vanity and re-cycling, challenging perceptions and expressing their views.
A trio of jewellers who studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee explored three very different subjects.
Anne Sutherland from Dingwall, who won second place in the Marcia Lanyon Innovative Design Award, was influenced by her dissertation on the gold trade and how people profit from it despite damaging human health and the environment. She made it her mission to find raw gold from the site of a gold rush in 1868 at Kildonan, Sutherland and spent two weeks panning for gold, an experience she described as “quite intense once you start, and then your back starts aching”. She used the small flakes she found in a locket neckpiece in her collection which captures the stages of growth and decay in nature.
Maria Maclennan, also from Dingwall, turned vintage items into mementoes. Inspired by her Grandad who wrote letters to her Gran when he was on duty in the war, she took the idea of sending and receiving letters, combining handwriting, ribbons from charity shops and tea stained textiles to create altered books, making precious something that would otherwise have been discarded. Her silver matchboxes which conceal vintage treasures are metaphors for the enjoyment of opening letters.
Vanity was the inspiration for third jeweller Nicola Reed who wanted to make women think about the absurdity of beauty routines. Taking make-up from a 50’s boudoir she devised ways to laser cut powder compacts and face powder making necklaces and brooches engraved with famous quotes on vanity.
A placement at Linton Tweeds in Carlisle, who weave fabrics for Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Marc Jacobs, led to national recognition for Ingrid Garrioch from Orkney, who graduated from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen.
The opportunity to have four designs woven which she then made into garments led to her applying and being shortlisted for Scottish Fashion Graduate of the Year 2010 at the Scottish Fashion Awards. She was very inspired by the experience of attending the awards event and said it was “Such a brilliant opportunity to meet people I admired.” Fascinated by the possibilities of pattern, colour and texture in weaving, she translated photographs and drawing of the built environment into her woven fabric collection. She is now going to take an MA at Glasgow School of Art in fashion and textiles, and plans to return to Orkney afterwards to set up in business.
The 2010 World Cup and the 2012 World Olympics were the inspiration for another graduate from Gray’s School of Art, Emma Cowie, from Buckie. Captivated by the drama and passion these international events evoke, she initially recycled swimming costumes and remoulded sports protective wear such as goggles, involving children from the local gymnastic school in the process. She looked at construction, different fabrics and materials, and issues such as the attention wags attract.
The final outcome was re-cycling footballs into statement garments to create the same visual excitement and impact as a sporting event. She is now going to develop this work exploring the technology and design through an MA in textiles at the Royal College of Art in London completing it in time for the World Olympics in 2012.
Tina Rose, August 2010
- Maker of the Month – Anne Sutherland
- Maker of the Month – Maria Maclennan
- Maker of the Month – Nicola Reed