Tag Archives: Sinclair Girnigoe Castle

International Conference 2011 – Touching the Past

Touching the Past was the theme of this year’s International Conference. The North Lands Conference is unlike most other conferences. Its aim is to bring together the best of glass, art and craft to explore expansive themes in an inspirational environment.

What you get is a multi-layered experience encompassing eloquent speakers covering an eclectic mix of topics, stimulating conversation and discussion with a wonderfully diverse range of delegates. All this set in a truly inspirational environment and landscape, with warm and friendly local people.

The Conference doesn’t focus exclusively on glass although features artists including Master Class leaders talking about their work and inspiration. The other talks are wide ranging in subject matter, this year saw topics of an art historical approach to jewellery, the local history of herring fishing and the women workers and their gansey knitting, African traditions of commemorative printed textiles, and a presentation from keynote speaker Jane Pritchard of the V&A about Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes and the challenges of creating an exhibition which brings theatrical material to life. You can see the full programme here

Added to the mix was traditional entertainment in a Conference party come Scottish ceilidh, and a tour of the impressive Sinclair Girnigoe Castle ruin.

The Conference is a remarkable and once tried, never forgotten experience in a wonderful location.

You can see more photos from the event in our Flickr set

If you were there, we’d love to see some of your photos in our Flickr group pool

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Touching the Past

Not to be missed this year is North Lands Creative Glass annual international conference, bringing together the best of glass, art and craft to explore expansive themes in an inspirational environment .

This year’s conference takes place on 3rd and 4th September. The theme is ‘Touching the Past’ and includes speakers covering a broad range of topics exploring art, craft and curatorship. Artists present personal journeys and engage in contemporary creative discourse and discussion. You will also see demonstrations in the Studio by artists including conference speaker Cappy Thompson.

There is a packed programme with networking opportunities and social events including a conference party and castle visit.

Here is a breakdown of the 2 days.


9.30 Welcome. Opening Remarks

9.45 ‘Diaghilev in the Museum’ Keynote Presentation
Jane Pritchard, co-curator of the exhibiton ‘Diagilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929’, is Curator of Dance at the V&A. She has had a distinguished career recording and promoting many aspects of contemporary and historic dance.

10.45 Morning Coffee

11.15 ‘Following a Pattern – in Life and Death’
Award winning journalist Louise Tait will show how her fascination with the stories of the Ganseys of North East Scotland informs her new work.

11.45 ‘Out of Thin Air’
Michael Rogers title for his lecture, ‘Out of Thin Air’, refers to the impetus for his work and where it comes from. These are all the passing moments of life, which he seeks to capture and preserve in his work.

12.45 Lunch

14.00 ‘You can’t lay down your memories’
A new approach to how jewellery is considered by art historians and almost everybody else. Marjan Unger is an art historian and a publicist. She was head of ‘Free Design’ at the Sandburg Institute, the post-graduate course at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and in 2010 she received her doctorate in art history on the subject of jewellery.

15.00 ‘My mytho-poetic impulse’
Cappy Thompson says: ‘As a glass painter, I combine two ancient lineages in my work – that of the medieval artists who painted on stained glass and that of the Greek artisans who painted on clay pots. The panel and vessel forms I paint on pull my work in opposite directions.’

16.00 Tea and a guided tour of Sinclair Girnigoe Castle former seat of the Earls of Caithness.

19.30 Conference Party


9.30 ‘Long live the President’
Design, memory and propaganda. Paul Faber is an art historian, writer and senior curator of Africa at The Museum of the Tropics in Amsterdam. Paul will speak about prints, created after independence in Africa, that are fascinating examples of contemporary design, social communication and historical documents in one.

10.30 ‘Creatures born of the Bohemian Forest’
Ivana Šrámková’s colourful cast glass sculptures often depict fantasy animals. Ivana will offer us insights into her work, her motivations for making art, her thoughts about glass as a material and her lifelong joy in making.

11.30 Morning Coffee
Demonstrations in the Alastair Pilkington Studio including enamel painting by Cappy Thompson.

13.00 Lunch

14.15 ‘Borrowings’
Philip Eglin habitually references an eclectic array of historical and contemporary sources in a variety of media. His talk will focus on how through these ‘borrowings’ he endeavours to reinterpret and reinvigorate a broad range of art historical subjects, giving them a contemporary twist and thereby new meanings.

15.15 ‘A Time for Reflection’
Tessa Clegg is an applied artist firmly rooted in Modernist thinking. Over the years the attitude and approach to applied art have undergone significant and important changes. Tessa will discuss some of these changes, which in her opinion are both many and ominous.

15.45 Question Time
Panel discussion, led by Tina Oldknow Curator of Modern Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.

16.30 Concluding remarks and drinks.

The Conference is sponsored in part by the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning USA.

Accommodation, bookings and general information:
Lorna MacMillan: Telephone: +44 (0)1593 721 229 Fax: +44 (0)1593 721 850
e-mail: info@northlandsglass.com

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