CAST: Innovations in Concrete Exhibition featuring Gillespie, Kidd and Coia

thumb_9397_screen-shot-2013-10-04-at-17-31-06CAST: innovations in concrete , an exhibition which opens later this week at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, will explore the versatility and development of concrete. It shows how concrete has allowed designers to create complex, previously impossible, forms such as the flexible concrete diving platform at the London Olympic Aquatic Centre designed by Zaha Hadid.

Concrete is used more than any other man-made material on the planet and is perhaps thought of as a modern material but it can be found in the pyramids of Giza, was perfected by the Romans and has been continuously developed through the centuries to the point where it can be used to make everything from canoes and vanilla-scented concrete.

St Peter's Seminary, Gillespie, Kidd & Coia.

St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia

The exhibition – which takes a Scottish perspective – features the work of architect’s Gillespie, Kidd & Coia and uses images of their celebrated St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross from our archives.

The exhibition explores everything from the use of concrete use in defence, leisure and play to how it has been used to support the renewable energy sector and improving transport and communications in remote areas. It also looks at how the increased re-use and use of reclaimed materials in concrete is changing the perception of concrete in terms of its environmental sustainability. The exhibition will also give the visitor a chance to see how concrete is created and the impact it has on our culture, built environment and architecture.

A Seminar Programme examining the key themes has been designed to complement the exhibition. For information about related events and seminars visit the Architecture and Design Scotland website.

The exhibition opens on 11 October in Gallery 2, Level 2, The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, and runs until 28 November 2013. For more information visit the website.

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Hand, Heart & Soul – The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland

51RLW5RRIaL._SX385_Hand, Heart and Soul: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland, an exhibition at City Art Centre, Edinburgh (June to September 2007), which travelled to  Millennium Galleries, Sheffield (October to January 2008) and finally to Aberdeen Art Gallery (June to August 2008), looked at Arts and Crafts practice across Scotland between 1880 and 1939. More than 300 objects in a wide variety of media – from jewellery to furniture, ceramics and glass, textiles to architectural designs, and including a number of items from Glasgow School of Art’s archives and collections – were assembled from public and private collections. Some items were familiar, many others (and their designers) were new discoveries. Arranged through six thematic sections, the show presented fascinating facets of the movement from the design or decoration of buildings to studio crafts. Together they provided fresh insight into life and identity a century ago.

The story of the Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland is one of friendships, families and networks of art workers, architects and designer-craftsmen and women, all committed to the restoration of beauty to everyday life in the industrial age. At heart it was a middle-class city movement with its base in art schools and shared exhibitions. Arts and Crafts was an ideology which embraced modernity and progress but also the romance of the past. Part of the British movement, Scottish Arts and Crafts reflected and encouraged national dreams.

The exhibition curator, Dr Elizabeth Cumming, has kindly provided the exhibition guide and texts of the exhibit labels. These are now available on The Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey website. The book Hand, Heart and Soul: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland by Elizabeth Cumming has been recently reissued and is available to purchase from  Amazon.

New RCAHMS digital image library

RCAHMS, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, has recently made thousands of images available in a new online digital image library. Through active surveying and recording programmes, RCAHMS adds new online images to the Canmore database every day. These include interior and exterior views of buildings and archaeological sites, aerial photographs, and digital drawings, all of which may be of interest as inspiration for artists, architects and designers.

RCAHMS also maintains an active digitisation programme of its Collection items, copying photographs and historic views, photograph albums, original architects’ drawings and new survey drawings, engravings and sketches, books and maps, and also receives material from external depositors and accessions.

When you search Canmore for buildings or archaeological sites of interest, anything from the Collections that has already been digitised will be shown (excluding copyright restricted images). There are already 200,000 digital images available online.

Furthermore, all images can be purchased as digital images, photographic prints or poster prints by clicking the Order Image link below each image.

Portobello Pier in Edinburgh was opened in 1871 and demolished after 1918. From the Photograph Albums Collection. DP137192. Image credit: RCAHMS

Portobello Pier in Edinburgh was opened in 1871 and demolished after 1918. From the Photograph Albums Collection. DP137192. Image credit: RCAHMS

Scots at Work: Celebrating Scotland’s Extraordinary Working Archives

A new exhibition called Scots at Work: Celebrating Scotland’s Extraordinary Working Archives is currently running at The National Records of Scotland. Celebrating Scotland’s extraordinary working archives, the exhibition including rarely-seen documents and objects from Scotland’s archives and museums, as well as the National Records of Scotland.

From Antarctic adventure to tartan, from banking to engineering, and from coal to the world’s best-selling whisky, this exhibition celebrates the diverse heritage of Scotland’s businesses, and their products and services. Scotland’s working archives provide fascinating evidence of the nation’s companies, consumers and employees at home and abroad over hundreds of years.

Six key areas represent the lives of Scots at work. They highlight Scotland’s precious archival legacy, and the special role that archives play in preserving it for the benefit of all.

  • Distilling and brewing
  • Finance
  • Fishing and agriculture
  • Heavy industry and manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Textiles

For artists and designers the textiles section may be of particular interest.

working-archive-logo-transparent-largeThe exhibition is part of the Working Archive awareness campaign, which aims to encourage archives, their users and the public at large to celebrate the heritage of Scotland’s businesses; the records of the products and services they delivered; and the legacy of working Scots of all kinds – whether in business, farming, healthcare, education, the church or government.

The campaign also seeks to illuminate how archives themselves work. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the special role that archivists play in communities, and on behalf of the organisations and users they serve. In short, the campaign is a celebration of Scotland’s extraordinary ‘working archives’.

A fantastic gallery of images is available to view online and is an excellent resource and possible source of inspiration.

The exhibition is at The Adam Dome room in General Register House at the National Records of Scotland. It’s on now and runs until Friday 21st June. This free exhibition is open Monday – Friday 9:00 to 4:30 (closed 6 May).You can find out more about the exhibition here