Creative Encounters

Our Journeys in Design have allowed us time with extraordinary individuals across Scotland and beyond. Sharing our enthusiasm for their creative talent, we offer you these short conversations, set within our programme themes.

The encounters are pre-recorded to watch as your time allows.

Our other events are bookable via our dedicated Eventbrite pages. 

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Illustration and Product Design with Sue Shields

Illustrator Sue Shields talks with curator John Ennis about her career in Communication Design. Sue has balanced a life working across varied spheres including with retail giants M&S and Liberty, the Welsh Tourist Board, Newport and Cardiff Art Schools and in creative collaboration with the MaP group of textile designers. Sue illustrated Linen Millie for Journeys in Design and is currently working on a product range for St Faggan’s House Museum.

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Fashioning Seaweed with Jasmine Linington

Designer Maker Artist and 'Seaweed Girl' Jasmine Linington discusses her journey in design with curator John Ennis. Jasmine shares how an early repulsion of seaweed morphed into material fascination, from early days in North Devon to the east coast of Scotland: the pair first met in Leith, Edinburgh's port at design hub Custom Lane. Jasmines SeaCell textiles and seaweed embellishments have featured widely, including Country Homes to CRAFTS magazines.

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Dutch Design and the Sea with Nienke Hoogvliet

Designer and passionate advocate of ocean welfare Nienke Hoogvliet discusses the intriguing potential of seaweed with curator John Ennis. The pair remember their Dezeen Day meeting in October 2019 and the Post Plastic Panel discussion. With a base in the Hague, Nienke reflects on how design is nurtured in The Netherlands and on local projects including on the Dutch island of Vlieland. With the Sea Me projects, Nienke channels her advocacy into inspiring seaweed textile and natural dye projects. John and Nienke look forward to future potential collaboration linking Scotland and The Netherlands.

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Warp, Weft and the Sea with Susan Redman

Hand loom weaver Susie Redman discusses the influence of the sea on her practice, with curator John Ennis. Susie is based at Platform Studios Burntisland, in former railway station buildings overlooking the Firth of Forth, and the pair take a walk out through the local boatyard along a short stretch of the Fife Coastal Pathway. Constantly experimenting with colour and weave, Susie's progressive practice uses natural materials including linen. In recent months, this has included experiments with seaweed in canny combination with Japanese paper. Susie's work will be represented in the upcoming CLOTH#20 selling event at Dovecot Studio, organised by James Donald.

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A Journey to Isle Martin with Julia Barton

Sculptor, environmental artist and ecologist Julia Barton discusses her career-defining exploration of the shoreline with curator John Ennis. Julia has developed an intimate relationship with that zone linking land and sea in her body of work called "littoral: sci-art project". With intense study of beach litter and its effects, Julia raises awareness through active community engagement projects co-designing shoreline walks, litter collection and display of artworks, most notably a series of #litterCUBES​. Disentangling from plastics, Julia has joined with others looking out to the Summer Isles, creating the Isle Martin Seaweed Festival.

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Maritime Knowledge Transfer with Amy Gair

Design and brand development manager Amy Gair, discusses her role at the Montrose Rope and Sail Company, one of Scotland's oldest registered companies, with curator John Ennis.  Amy's own journey in design to Montrose has been a skilful tack and jibe, training at University of Highlands and Islands on Shetland, Heriot Watt University in the Borders and at Glasgow School of Art.  Key in this progress has been as Associate on a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership between MRSC and Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University under the watchful eye of Josie Steed, and with the support of her fellow KTP associates.

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Maritime Salvage with Mark Cook

Talented maker and Orkney devotee Mark Cook, discusses his studio and workshop initiative, 'Afrayedknot' with curator John Ennis.  The pair discuss the phenomena of Ghost Fishing, a specialist diving technique employed by volunteers worldwide to help clear the oceans of discarded fishing kit.  Mark traces his love of knotting as a child in Clacton-on-Sea via many a maritime route to Stromness. As a maker, he uses old fishing rope washed up on the shores of Orkney or donated by local fishermen to create something useful using traditional knotting techniques.

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Art Activism and the Sea with David Cass

Artist and activist David Cass talks with curator John Ennis about his work and inspiration. David developed techniques employing recycled materials while at Edinburgh College of Art and his journey since has refined and developed this approach. Intensely engaged with themes of rising sea levels, maritime ecology and climate change, David discusses the essential collaborative elements of his work, in both research and dissemination phases.

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Taigh Chearsabhagh with Andy Mackinnon and Simon Hart

Art curator and filmmaker Andy Mackinnon and development director Simon Hart, welcome curator John Ennis to the vibrant maritime culture hub of Taigh Chearsabhagh (pronounced Ter Kersova) on the Outer Hebridean island of North Uist. Simon offers insights into the new pace and priorities he is managing as a recent arrival to this welcoming part of Scotland. More water than land, Andy takes us on a journey across the North Uist and beyond to more distant islands including Venice. The plight of buildings and communities subject to rising sea levels is given focus by the artwork Lines (57'59'N, 7'16'W) and we hear how a "message in a bottle" arriving from Greenland inspires further work. We look forward to a collaboration with artist David Cass destined for the Venice Biennale 2022.

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Scotland, N.Ireland and the Sea with Bruce Clark

Author, journalist and committed cultural historian Bruce Clark discusses the intimate maritime links between Scotland and Northern Ireland with curator John Ennis. Bruce offers context with reference to early Christianity, long standing trade routes and popular pleasure sailing today.  These links are given sharper focus by discussion of his father Wallace Clark's deep love of seafaring as evidenced by two key voyages in reconstructed vessels: 1991 in a Medieval Galley and 1963 in a Currach to mark the 1400th anniversary of St Columba's journey from the shores of Derry in the north of Ireland to the Scottish island of Iona.  In Scotland, currach were used most memorably by loggers guiding rafts on the River Spey. The Currach Project by Journeys in Design is a community co-design project taking shape in Grantown on Spey, with a goal to launch our prototype vessel in 2023, marking to 60th anniversary of this 1963 crossing.

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Scottish Maritime Museum with Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott, Exhibition and Events Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, discusses her professional journey to Irvine via London and Glasgow with curator John Ennis. The pair describe some of the gems from SMM, including the extraordinary brick boat shed itself moved from its original site in Govan. Boats on site include Spartan MV, a puffer ship well remembered by many in Glasgow and the Western Isles, which forms an exhibition space of their latest display. Current challenges for this maritime culture hub are met well and Nicola and John look forward to the Salvage Scotland programme this year and next.

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Making Millie with Carla Campbell

In this encounter, Carla Campbell from N.Ireland, takes us on a personal journey, tracing her linen lineage, great grand daughter of a Linen Millie, and her experience growing up the linen town of Comber. Carla offers some hints and tips about Making Millie from the linen Millie Tea Towel designed by Sue Shields for Journeys on Design.

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Linen Links with Robert Martin

Director R Space and Linen Biennale NI, Robert Martin talks to curator John Ennis about his professional journey to the town of Lisburn and about material cultures, linen in particular. R Space displays Making Millie NI 2020, the focus of an exploration of the working lives of women in the linen industry, part of Our Linen Stories 2020 from Journeys in Design.

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Talking Photography with Mhairi Bell Moodie

Introducing the final Rainbows on Show exhibition with a nod to past and present photography from Journeys in Design. Curator John Ennis discuses creative practice with Photographer Mhairi Bell-Moodie, creator of the acclaimed exhibition 'Nevertheless, She Persisted' (Edinburgh May 2018, London October 2018). Mhairi discusses her work with projects from Scotland and beyond through professional and personal challenges and we look forward to journeys to come.

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Rainbow Cultures and Broadway with Marc Routh

Join seven times Tony Award winning Theatre Producer Marc Routh talking LGBTQ+ culture and Broadway with curator John Ennis. Location of the early gay liberation movement and the HIV crisis and home to so many LGBTQ+ icons, New York has this Rainbow Culture in its core. Marc takes us on a journey through cherished productions including Angels in America and Hairspray, promising revival and hope as we turn Back to the Future.

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Colour and the Conservator with Helen Creasy

Paper Conservator Helen Creasy joins curator John Ennis to discuss the challenges of conserving colour and the joys of working to conserve the nation's cultural artefacts. From her base at the Scottish Conservation Studio in South Queensferry, Helen journeys to the Highlands and Islands with her work including to the billiard room of the 'big hoose' on Canna Island, restoring a story of maps with National Trust for Scotland.

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Design Activism with Renee Neblett

Educator, sustainable product designer and entrepreneur Renee Neblett talks colour and design in Ghana. Reflecting on West African resourcefulness, Renee offers a redefinition of 'literacy' as a broader capacity to read our environment. We are offered hope in how we might emerge from current challenges: Renee envisages how this new, shared global reference point might inspire new global solutions based on a shared understanding of our relationship with the environment.

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Colour and Curatorial Practice with Richard Ingleby

Gallerist Richard Ingleby joins curator John Ennis to discuss colour and curatorial practice.  Richard reflects on spaces for art and current challenges for the business of art. We journey in gallery design across three iterations of Ingleby in Edinburgh and to other sites of art and design practice in and around Scotland's capital. Ingleby collaborate with artists Ian Hamilton Finlay, Garry Fabian Miller and David Batchelor. With reference to these three key practitioners, we discuss art, colour and curating and that magical journey of artworks from studio to gallery and beyond.

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Colour, Design and Spirituality with Anu Sahu

Join artist and colour enthusiast Anu Sahu in conversation with curator John Ennis, discussing tribal painting and the colours of ceremony and calendar in India.

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Colour and Exhibition Design with Andy McGregor

Designer Andy McGregor joins curator John Ennis to discuss colour and non-colour across his varied portfolio of projects including collaborations with National Galleries Scotland, Royal Botanic Gardens and Historic Environment Scotland.  Andy shares the joys, challenges and colour cannundrums of exhibition design, working across media including light, perspex and paint. Our journey in design takes us from Summerhall in Edinburgh to Scotland's Forth Valley and onward to including the work with artists Sharon Quigley, Alison Watt and Bridget Riley.

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Talking Rainbows with Mary V Mullin

Join doyenne of design, Mary V Mullin in conversation with Journeys in Design curator John Ennis, discussing words, the oral tradition and the culture of rainbows in Ireland and elsewhere.  Mary V. Mullin is Chairman of the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee, Trustee of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation and Regional Adviser to the World Design Organisation. She has served on numerous professional bodies including ICOGRADA, ICSID, Crafts Council Ireland and the DIA. She ran her own consultancy in design and special event management in London from 1981 to 1998, including working with the V&A's "Boilerhouse”, precursor to the Design Museum. In 2017 she was Awarded the RSA Bi-Centenary Medal "for encouraging and Promoting Design Across Education and Industry

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Design Education with Alison Harley

In conversation with design educationalist and author Alison Harley  Alison Harley has worked in art and design as Head of the School of Design, Glasgow School of Art (2000 - 2005); Dean of the Faculty of Design at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2005 - 2008); Professor and Head of School, Textiles and Design, (2008 - 2013) and Creative Director, Textiles and Design, Heriot-Watt University (2013 - 2016).  Since 2016 she has worked as an independent researcher, curator and writer, developing her particular interest in creative practice and material culture through her international collaborations with designers and artists, for publication and exhibition.  Alison is the Founding Trustee of the Bernat Klein Foundation and one of four creatives in The Textile Collective. Alison studied textile design at Glasgow School of Art and also holds an MLITT in Dress & Textile Histories from the University of Glasgow.