A Capsule of Hope for a New Way of Living

Collaboration can be transformative and in Meet Make Collaborate, an AAS touring exhibition at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery of new works by Scottish makers with their counterparts in Mexico, Thailand and Canada, this coming together of different cultures and knowledge was a catalyst for experimentation and new thinking about sustainability.

Weaver Cally Booker (Scotland) and visual artist Andrea Tsang Jackson (Canada), who both come from families with a history of migration and established their own lives through relocation, were motivated by questions of identity, community and belonging.  They applied the lens of animation to explore the spatial framework of textile design to explore transformation.

In her work Cally took a locally produced Scottish wool fabric and combined it with offcuts from a Nova Scotia rainwear manufacturer of an innovative textile made from recycled plastic bottles. The ancient technique of hand-knotted pile was applied over a computer-controlled multi-shaft handwoven ground to create a visual narrative of new experiences being integrated into what was before.

Unknown, Fragments, Andrea Tsang Jackson Photo Ewen Weatherspoon

Andrea grouped together objects created using remnants and waste material from the same manufacturer to capture movements and consider how we approach new entities in our lives. Read more on the residency in Cally’s blog.

Bird of Passage, left hand wing Carol Sinclair, right hand wing Rebecca Hannon Photo Ewen Weatherspoon

Ceramicist Carol Sinclair (Scotland) and jeweller Rebecca Hannon (Canada) each created one wing scaled up to human size and made up of 59 individual components.  Adapted from the wings of the Siskin, a bird that lives in both countries, they represent the natural environment that connects Scotland and Canada.  The colours are from the natural and built environments of each maker and the materials were chosen with sustainability, recycling and repurposing in mind. 

Rebecca was supported by Arts Nova Scotia and challenged her established artistic practice by incorporating craft materials and processes suggested by Halifax makers in response to the Scotland inspired colour palette making each feather a module of research.  Read more in Carol’s blog.

The New Kind of Rock, Stefanie Cheong and Kawisara Anansaringkarn Photo Ewen Weatherspoon

Jeweller Stefanie Cheong (Scotland) and designer Kawisara Anansaringkarn (Thailand) focused on the global problem of e-waste.  They looked to nature to mimic rock cycle processes that could help transform the non-precious metal elements of e-waste into a new usable material and kinds of rock. Imagining them as future fossils from the Anthropocene, the material was then manipulated by each maker to design a collection of jewellery and objects.

The New Kind of Rock, Stefanie Cheong and Kawisara Anansaringkarn Photo Ewen Weatherspoon

Combining plastic, metals, wires, glass, with natural materials such as sand and rocks they produced materials they hope will have visitors wondering what they were made of and why they were produced. Read more in Stefanie’s blog.

EL SONIDO QUE MUEVE EL MUNDO: un celular y un pájaro (THE SOUND THAT MOVES THE WORLD: a cell phone and a bird) Photo Ewen Weatherspoon

Cultural sustainability and the significance of sound influences three handwoven rugs developed during a residency in Mexico by  Lynne Hocking-Mennie (Scotland) with Ana Ruiz, Procoro Ruiz and Fermina Ruiz (Bii Dauu Collective) and  Dalila Cruz.  Lynne worked with this collective of artisan rug weavers in Oaxaca, using recordings to co-create a collection of rugs with textile patterns inspired by the personal and emotive sounds around them which include a baby son’s laugh, a daughter counting to ten in the native language of Zapotec and the singing of a chachalaca bird alongside a cell phone. Read more about this residency.


The Meet Make Collaborate exhibition is open until 19 June 2021 at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.   Visiting is by pre booked slots through the museum website.

Read more about the project and participating makers.

The Meet Make Collaborate exhibition is part of an international project by Applied Arts Scotland SCIO in partnership with Dr Sandra Alfoldy Craft Institute, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, The British Council Crafting Futures programme including British Council MexicoBritish Council Thailand and the British Council Scotland.

The exhibition is delivered in partnership with High Life Highland Exhibitions Unit and Museums Galleries Scotland.

The project is funded by Creative ScotlandEdinburgh College of Art and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Image: Identity Shift by Cally Booker (front), Meet Make Collaborate exhibition at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Photo: Ewen Weatherspoon


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