24th June 2020
Scotland’s arts links with Japan are being supported by over £100,000 from a partnership between British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland. Following an open call for proposals, which drew 24 responses from individuals and organisations working across the Scottish arts sector, North Lands Creative was selected to receive a share of the funding. The successful bid covers several art forms including glass, film and cross-disciplinary practices.
UK in Japan is a major bilateral campaign that started in September 2019 at the same time as the Rugby World Cup. It will be extended into 2021 with the culmination of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The British Council will lead on cultural activities in Japan, bringing in work from
across the UK in collaboration with a range of partners. At the same time the Japanese government will lead on reciprocal activity in the UK.
Highly motivated by the encouragement of the whole glass community, North Lands Creative team has decided to rebound in the face of the adversity caused by COVID-19 and the postponement of our event at the Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan and launch the inaugural edition of the Glass, Meet the Future festival online.
“The British Council/ Creative Scotland Partnership is delighted to see the Glass, Meet the Future Festival come to life, as part of North Lands Creative project with Japanese partners Toyama Institute of Glass. In a time when creative sectors across the world are enduring enormous challenges and are reimagining their work within a very different world, this digital festival spotlighting glass artists’ intersection, does exactly that. The initiative also demonstrates that the strength and vitality of Scotland’s creative links with their Japanese counterparts remains very much alive, giving us much hope for what’s to come when we come out of the current pandemic context.”
The festival launches on the 3rd July and runs for two weeks showcasing a cross section of international diverse and engaging series of short films curated and directed by 26 female artists using glass as the predominant feature. ‘The Soul of a Statute’, a film on the work of Martin Janecký by filmmaker Thomas Hogben featuring their collaborative time at North Lands Creative in 2019 will also premiere during the festival run with a focus on the emergence of glass art film.
“We have spent a great deal of time considering curating programmes that reflect the diverse interests of our audiences,” said Karen Phillips, Director of North Lands Creative.
This project emphasizes identity, community, and the variety in the cross disciplinary approach emerging from the field of international contemporary glass in the last few years.
‘The British Council Scotland – UK in Japan 2019-20 campaign has had a vital and valuable impact on North Lands Creative and our relationship with Japan. While we have postponed our exchange trip and festival at the Toyama Glass Art Museum until 2021, the film residency and dig-ital programme has enhanced and accelerated the project immensely.
Adding a new strand with our online festival has made the experience far more powerful. The relationship with Toyama Institute of Glass Art has given North Lands Creative a starting point for conversations with the wider Japanese glass community and audiences and has inspired far deeper and more fruitful conversations.’
Participating in the project, Martin Janecký, considered being one of the best glass sculptors working today. Among his most recognized strengths is an ability to master the glass moulding technology of so-called blowing and sculpting “inside the bubble”, a technique used to create startling original works.
“First of all I am very thankful for this opportunity. I like the international aspect of the project because my aim has always been to promote glass craftsmanship and glass art worldwide. Working with Thomas was great. He is very talented and our cooperation continues. During the residency at North Lands Creative I made two art pieces. A portrait of a man with a hand underlying his head in a gesture of being immersed in deep thoughts and a portrait of an old man. It’s essential for me not only to embody my ideas into glass but moreover express some emotions through my work so that it communicates with the audience.”
Thomas Hogben, filmmaker was delighted to be afforded the unique glass/ film residency at the Alastair Pilkington Studio in Caithness. “Having the opportunity to collaborate with North Lands Creative, and one of the worlds leading glass artists, as part of the residency is a fantastic chance to capture something truly unique in one of the most inspiring landscapes Scotland has to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the studio in the North of Scotland and working with Martin Janecký. I look forward to sharing the final results with an international audience in Japan next year.”
Jin Hongo, Head Professor, Toyama Institute of Glass Art “We are very pleased to collaborate with North Lands Creative on the special project, Glass, Meet the Future. Glass is not only a traditional craft material steeped in rich history, but is also a continually evolving, cuttingedge medium for contemporary artistic expression. In recent years, applications of glass as an expressive medium have diversified concurrently with the development of technologies and new materials. Collaborations with other fields of research and cross-platform applications within the art are expected. Glass, Meet the Future recognizes this trajectory and signals the coming era of diverse new creations and creators”
The British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland partnership is a longstanding agreement between the organizations to develop international relationships in order to ensure Scotland’s creativity is recognized internationally.
The GMTF Festival launches from Friday July 3rd and continues until July 17th. All the screenings are free by visiting northlandscreative.co.uk website.
Considering the world situation, the fact that we received so many open call submissions, we are very proud to be screening many powerful and never-before-seen films with glass artists and filmmakers from around the world.
The Festival is dedicated to presenting a selection of new films pivoting around the medium of glass and to highlight the global glass community during this unprecedented time. The films include narratives, documentaries, experimental, and hybrid genres – telling stories about how art is made,