John Walter Lindsay's travel journal is almost 60 years old. Pic © The Glasgow School of Art
Exhibition preview: Awaken, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, January 24 – February 28 2009
When the Glasgow School of Art opened its new Archives and Collections centre in October last year, it used the occasion to invite designers to re-interpret the historic material for contemporary textile-related design work. Awaken, opening on Saturday, reveals new textiles inspired by the school’s 140-year past.
A resin cast by Susan Telford features. Pic © Susan Telford
“Many previously unpublished and unmediated items have been used as departure points,” reveals Jimmy Stephen-Cran, exhibition curator and departmental head. “The divergent creative journeys taken by individuals who unknowingly used the exact same starting point are particularly tantalising.”
A textile design notebook belonging to Daisy M. Anderson, a GSA student between1931 and 1936. Pic © The Glasgow School of Art
Their subjects include handwritten and typescript documents, drawings, prints, sketchbooks, architectural plans, ephemera such as pamphlets, photographs and posters and textile and clothing-related pieces.
Finished works include plush knitted lampshades, knitted wall tiles using a blistered surface technique, floral wall tiles in 3D moulded Perspex, printed chairs and cloth posters.
Elaine Bremner and Helena Britt's digital print on cotton. Pic © the artists
A scrapbook recounts architectural student John Walter Lindsay's travels following the award of the Haldane Travel Scholarship 1950, and a textile design notebook from the early 1930s is reconsidered alongside a new digital print on cotton influenced byartefacts from the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia collection.
Assemblage of work in progress by Alan Gallacher. Pic © Alan Gallacher
“It is not unusual for designers in industry to trawl archives for inspiration, especially when a brand requires to be awakened,” observes Stephen-Cran, who pins the focus on contemporary angles rather than historical artefacts.
“In a sense this is exactly what each participating designer has been asked to do for this exhibition – to give new life to the institutional brand of GSA concealed in its repositories.”
Print croquet on paper by Joanna Kinnersley Taylor. Pic © Joanna Kinnersley Taylor