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Art of Glass

Wednesday 14 March, 2018

A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland will examine the diverse work of 15 established and emerging glass artists in Britain today.

Art of Glass

Friday 6 April to Sunday 16 September 2018
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh


A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland will examine the diverse work of 15 established and emerging glass artists in Britain today.

Presented in partnership with The National Centre for Craft & Design, Art of Glass will explore how artists are embracing the medium of glass in innovative ways, pushing the boundaries of techniques and challenging the perception of glass as merely a material for creating functional objects.

The artists featured in the exhibition are based around the UK, from isolated rural studios to busy urban locations. Their work uses glass in a wide variety of ways, from neon to stained glass.

Since the Studio Glass Movement of the 1960s, Britain has had a significant impact on how glass is perceived as an art form. Both national and international artists have based themselves here, drawn to the teaching and world-renowned facilities the UK offers.

Glass can be worked in a variety of ways, whether it’s manipulated in a hot glass studio, or cast in a kiln, while new technologies such as waterjet cutting and 3D printing are opening up exciting possibilities for artists.

The exhibition will highlight the work of contemporary artists leading within the field of glass, such as the Filipino-American artist Jeffrey Sarmiento, whose work draws on personal narratives, and the renowned English sculptor Emma Woffenden, shortlisted for the V&A Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017, whose evocative pieces have a sense of the surreal.

Edinburgh-based Geoffrey Mann has created The Leith Pattern, which explores the myth that the archetypal wine bottle was designed and produced by the Leith Glassworks. For his piece Mann captured the voices of Leithers to create a ‘living’ bottle that resonates with tales of the past.

Also on display will be emerging artist Erin Dickson’s recent body of work - a collaboration with leading international glass artists to reinterpret a historical urn - as well as new work by Scottish artist Karlyn Sutherland, who is influenced by the environment and quality of light found in the far-north of Scotland where she is based.

Perthshire-based Pinkie Maclure has created Beauty Tricks for the exhibition. A strikingly modern piece of stained glass which critiques the human and environmental impact of the beauty industry and the pressure women sometimes place on themselves and their daughters.

Sarah Rothwell, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Design at National Museums Scotland said:

“Glass is exceptionally versatile, and artists in the UK are exploring its potential in new and exciting ways. This exhibition showcases some of these outstanding artists – highlighting their inspirations, processes and techniques – and features pieces which re-evaluate our understanding of the role of glass as an artistic medium.”

Art of Glass draws on a significant investigation of artists in glass working in Britain today, carried out by National Museums Scotland and The National Centre for Craft & Design.

The exhibition is supported by Art Fund through a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant. The exhibition will be showing at The National Centre for Craft & Design from 20 October 2018 – 19 January 2019.

For further information and images contact Alice Wyllie, Press Office, National Museums Scotland, 0131 247 4288,

Notes to Editors

  1. National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
  2. The National Museum of Scotland is the most popular museum in the country outside of London (source: Association of Leading Visitor Attractions). The National Museum of Scotland was awarded ‘Gold’ Level Green Tourism Visitor Attraction status in 2016. 
  3. The National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire is the largest venue in England entirely dedicated to the exhibition, celebration and promotion of national and international craft and design. Under one roof, our gallery spaces host up to 20 world-class exhibitions every year from the most innovative, challenging and accomplished artists to new and emerging talent. The Centre aims to stimulate greater understanding of contemporary craft and design and provide enriching arts and cultural experiences for everyone through a dynamic programme of high-quality exhibitions, participatory learning, events and retail.
  4. Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 123,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by The Hepworth Wakefield in 2017) and a range of digital platforms. Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at 
  5. Bheireadh Oifis nam Meadhanan eadar-theangachadh Gàidhlig den bhrath-naidheachd seachad do bhuidhinn mheadhanan bharantaichte. Cuiribh fios do dh'Oifis nam Meadhanan airson bruidhinn air cinn-latha freagarrach.

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