On the occasion of Glasgow International 2016, Outset Scotland was delighted to deepen its ongoing relationship with The Bothy Project by supporting Roving Machines & Middlemen, a collaborative project with artist Corin Sworn; Alec Farmer, founder of design label Trakke; and project curator Katy West.
In the Gardener’s Bothy in Bellahouston Park, Bothy Stores (a curatorial and retail extension of The Bothy Project) presented two projects, which explored Glasgow’s post-industrial history and culture. As their starting point, both Sworn and Farmer took Glasgow’s legacy of shipbuilders and merchant classes – traders in chemicals, tobacco and cotton – as well as the culture and style of people in today’s city, to create new products for Bothy Stores.
Trakke’s Maker’s Ditty is emblematic of labour, as it functions as a container for the very tools that made it, as well as an exemplar of the owner’s skills. Originally, ditty bags would have been made by sailors to hold their most important possessions and tools, and proudly display their own craftsmanship. After researching the sailor’s ditty bag as an apprentice piece, Farmer updated its design to fashion a tool bag for universal usage.
The images on Corin Sworn’s chiffon scarves are ‘stills’ from a zombie movie that Sworn is in the process of making. The visible, decaying hands suggest a stranglehold, with such a startling image evoking the complexities inherent in hidden labour and capitalism, speaking particularly of the veiled histories of women in Glasgow. Sworn’s chiffon scarves can be seen to either caress or repress the wearer, thus serving as dual symbols of domestic labour and public leisure. Like Farmer’s ditty bag, Sworn’s Bothy Stores commission turns intangible legacies into tangible artefacts.
Alec Farmer lives and works in Glasgow. Farmer studied Visual Communications at the Glasgow School of Art (2011), during which time he started the business Trakke in his spare time. Five years on, Trakke is among an elite of luxury goods brands. The outdoor lifestyle brand is based at SWG3 in Glasgow, where a range of high-quality bags is produced. The company uses predominantly British-made materials to fabricate products that are equally at home on and off the mountain, and built to last a lifetime. Though designed specifically for Glaswegian winters, their equipment has also been proven on adventures around the world.
Corin Sworn (b. 1976 in London, England) lives and works in Glasgow. Sworn studied a BA in Psychology at University of British Columbia, Vancouver; a BFA at the Institute of Art & Design, Vancouver; and an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art. Sworn is the recipient of a 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize and currently on research leave from her lectureship at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. She was also the recipient of the Max Mara Prize for Women (2013-15). Recent exhibitions and screenings include: a solo exhibition at Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2014), 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, Australia (2014), The Rag Papers, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2013), Artists’ Film International: Corin Sworn at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2012), and Art Now: Corin Sworn, Tate Britain, London (2011).
The Bothy Project was initiated by artist Bobby Niven and architect Iain MacLeod, who created their first art residency bothy – Inshriach Bothy near Aviemore – in 2011. Sweeney’s Bothy on the Isle of Eigg was realised in 2013, followed by Pig Rock Bothy, which sits in the grounds of the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, in 2014.
Bothy Stores is a new curatorial strand of the Bothy Project, conceived in collaboration with designer and curator Katy West. Bothy Stores aims to commission and promote well-crafted, design products. The landscape of Scotland, and the pragmatics of off-grid living, will inspire these commissions. Bothy Stores uses social and geographical contexts, along with available resources, to commission work that expands on the narrative of the Bothy Project. Each project will be specific to its context and participants, and collectively these projects and outcomes will feed into Bothy Stores, an online store that presents objects and stories about the Bothy Project. The online store will launch in Autumn 2016 with The Pioneers, a range of six commissions from artists and designers based in Scotland that consider notions around Survival – Protection – Comfort. These products will be produced in Scotland and available in limited editions.
Glasgow International is a world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art. Glasgow International showcases the best of local and international art for wide-ranging audiences. The next edition will happen in the city in April 2018, again under the guidance of Director, Sarah McCrory. The festival will continue to showcase Glasgow as a unique major centre for the production and display of contemporary visual art. Taking place in various venues and locations across the city, including Glasgow’s major art spaces and cultural institutions, the festival will be comprised of an ambitious programme which includes exhibitions, events, talks, performances and projects by international and Glasgow-based artists.