Design Exhibition Scotland (4 stars)

Design Exhibition Scotland

Curtain by Rachel Adams / credit: Roberto Apa

Exhibition exploring Scottish design in Lyon & Turnbull's New Town showroom

Working with a stated aim 'to invite debate and champion excellence and exploration',
Design Exhibition Scotland brought the work of twenty Scottish designers to the interior of
auctioneer Lyon & Turnbull's showroom on the edge of Edinburgh's New Town, a former
church space which is particularly well-suited to certain types of site-specific art show.
Over a long weekend, curator and producer Susanna Beaumont gathered a number of
new commissions which offered a fresh perspective on design work from this country,
many of them by recent art college graduates.

In many cases the pleasing shape of each item was of secondary interest to the material
of its manufacture. For example, Dundee-based French designer Aymeric Renaud had
made a sleek, circular side table from draff, the 'wet grains' left over from the gin distillation
process; the Fife-based Ffion and Steven Blench made an imitation marble stool finished
with Intonaco, a type of plastic devised in 1843 by Scot Margaret Marshall (who lived very
near this site) and forgotten since her death in 1850; Ellie Carr-Smith produced a seat
made from woolarch, an experimental substance which combines wool and potato starch,
and whose fused-together coarse cylinders in this case resembled an upturned sheep as
much as a quirky piece of furniture.

Other pieces relied simply on the singular nature of their design to make an impression.
David Watson, whose studio is in Port Glasgow, has made the 'Govan Orkney Chair', an
oak and tweed Orkney chair whose boxy design is inspired by the Finnieston Crane; Harry
Morgan introduced Brutalism to the home with a glass and concrete pillar; Andrew Miller's
distinctive fir and steel benches were made in response to this gallery space; and pieces
made from the new resinous substance Mirrl (also the name of the design group behind it)
could be seen. Sadly only on display for a short amount of time, this was nevertheless a
show filled with creators to follow up on, and hopefully it will return with more soon.

Lyon & Turnbull, Edinburgh, run ended.

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