(Detail of Skyform (Tern) by AJ Simmons and Scotland Craft & Design makers Photography by David N Anderson)
This year I was represented by Craft Scotland, supported by Emergents in, Scotland: Craft & Design at Collect 2018, Saatchi Gallery, London. I was one of 17 makers that were taken to the show from Scotland, representing many mediums, selected by Craft Scotland, Christina Jansen (Director, The Scottish Gallery) and Pamela Conacher (Director, Emergents). I exhibited 3 brand new works made especially for the show which continue on from themes researched on residency at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness. This part of the research comes from a discussion with an Environmental Research Institute scientist concerning renewable energy sources and how they affect sea birdlife.
"While all of the contributors to Scotland: Craft & Design have mastered the use of materials and processes that are deeply rooted in craft traditions, the desire to push these practices to the limit has resulted in groundbreaking work with a distinctly modern character. Amanda J. Simmons, for example, produces her glass objects using an unusual technique of forming glass by firing it in a kiln. This allows her to create pieces that are free formed by gravity, which varies the translucency of the material as it stretches. "
Alyn Griffiths on Collect 2018, Craft Scotland Website (Alyn Griffiths is a journalist based in Scotland, his work focuses on architecture, craft and design. His work has been featured in CRAFTS, Frame, Port and Icon.)
Skyform (Tern) by AJ Simmons - Large kilnformed glass vessel made with glass powders and a gravity forming technique.
Collision Risk (Gyrfalcon) 2018 Large kilnformed glass Gyrfalcon duo set.
Collision Risk (Tern) - Large kilnformed glass vessel
My first visit with Liz Masden, Research Fellow at the Environmental Research Institute was interesting as I was able to see how a scientist carries out her research, a position I could have been if my path had continued in Toxicology research (but glass found me). We chatted about her line of research in seabirds and renewable energy sources and about the very data heavy work of 'modelling'. This involves taking collected data and creating a program that enables the viewer to predict behaviour and a tool to be able to change parameters such as collision occurrences, prey (food), nesting and flight paths. Four large seabed turbines have gone into the Pentland Firth around Stroma (the first in the country so far) and this type of program is instrumental in the design of these machines to help cause the least disturbance to the seabirds in the area. The species most vulnerable in Scottish waters are the Common/Black Guillemot, Razorbill, European Shag, Great Cormorant and Atlantic Puffin.
Scotland has approximately 5 million seabirds and has many inland and offshore turbine developments. Protected habitats exist on land but there are no areas at sea and the numbers of seabirds are declining fast due to shortages of food, habitat problems and climate change (increased storms). One of the negatives of banning the practice of discarding catches when over limits was the available food for seabirds, already in competition with commercial fishing.
Liz has published many papers alongside other scientists concerning specific species of seabirds and their behaviour and the assessment of tidal stream turbines and wave energy devices.
I would like to thank all those who worked on this project from selection, set up and all the marketing work by Craft Scotland and Emergent Creatives as part of Scotland:Craft and Design.
#craftscotland #emergents # craftscouncil #collect2018 #saatchigallery #kilnformedglass #bullseyeglass #renewableenergy #gryfalcon