9th March 2020

North Lands Creative has just completed a successful run at Collect, the international art and craft fair. This year, the Caithness-based arts organisation was selected to show with 40 other galleries from the UK and around the world at Somerset House in London to show a breadth of work made in the studio in Lybster by the visiting residency and associate artists.

The contemporary craft and design fair brings together work by makers and artists from more than 25 countries around the globe, and is a big draw for museums and galleries seeking to acquire the latest in ceramics, glass, metal, wood and textiles.

North Lands Creative at Collect 2020 celebrated the outstanding Scottish and International creativity in glass.

All the exhibiting artists have a connection to our Alastair Pilkington Studio and the work has been inspired by their immersive time on our artist in residence programme or as a collaborative process with our associate artist projects. Our 2020 Collect artists are Emma Baker (UK), Alberto Lago (Italy), James Maskrey (UK), Alexandra Mureșan (Romania), Laura Quinn (Ireland) and Martin Janecký (Czech).

North Lands Creative at Collect 2020 was supported by Creative Scotland and included the Origin project sponsored by Salviati Furnace and Scuola Del Vetro Abate Zanetti, Murano and British Council Scotland.

The Centre for Excellence for Glass, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, also gathered interest from international collectors and buyers with Victorian Obscura: High Society – A Ghost Appears Near Woolwich by James Maskrey being acquired by Sotheby’s London. All six artists were offered substantial new opportunities and sales from international curators and collectors.

Karen Phillips, Director, said ‘We are just delighted to showcase the work being made in our studio. It is a real achievement and testament to all the hard work that our fabulous team and artists put in. We’re really lucky to have such brilliant local support, and we have had huge international press coverage– it is amazing to be able to tell the many stories of this wonderful part of the North East of Scotland which is a huge draw and inspiration to artists and our cause to build a stronger glass community for the benefit of the local economy’.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister for State for Digital and Culture visited the stand and met with the staff and listened to artists explain their passion for the material and its application to sustainability and innovation in the craft sector.

North Lands Creative, which has seen huge growth with collaborations worldwide, was praised for its commitment to sustainable business practices, community engagement and investment in people as a key employer in the area.

Material innovation and co-production are two ways we see craft evolving over the coming years and we want North Lands Creative to be at the heart of this research. Co-production is becoming more common across the creative industries and craft is no exception, with more makers working in collaboration. We currently have EU Creative Europe and British Council Scotland projects running involving international partners in Italy, Japan, Germany, Latvia and Ireland. We are looking to how we can reinvigorate local skills in glass making and provide a number of opportunities in our 2020 programme through skills training, scholarship and training opportunities.

We plan to showcase some of the work later in the year at our Alastair Pilkington Studio and Gallery in Lybster but for those who cannot wait all the work of the artists can be viewed on North Lands Creative new online gallery by visiting landshttps://northlandscreative.co.uk/collect-2020-gallery/.

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