Here at KS HQ we were honoured to be invited to take part in the current exhibition – ‘Form & Function – Eight Orkney Makers’ at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness. A treasure trove of art and a beautiful gallery space itself, the Pier Arts Centre is a place of continual inspiration and community where we enjoy visiting an ever evolving collection and changing exhibition programme.
At KS HQ we design, make and work with an incredible team of manufacturers and makers to produce a Knit & Print collection with an ever expanding range of designs and products. Choosing how to represent this in a gallery context was an interesting way to explore what we do.
An abundance of new products including new developments within our existing collections was our start however to be a true representation of our studio we knew that getting across our hectic creative energy was key. Working in a busy creative environment, it’s rare that you give yourself the time or space to delve deeper into your own practice, that requires looking back and goes against the grain of progress.
Within our studio space is one wall which we use to display research material, drawings, design developments, samples, ideas, and final samples. An ever changing space of continual creative progress. It gives us distance from our work. The only question was how can we represent this within a gallery context, luckily they agreed to let us recreate this wall within our space.
Taking this to the gallery was a challenge. It’s not often we completely deconstruct and gather all of our source and development material to reconstruct in a different space. Working in a busy creative environment, it’s rare that you give yourself the time or space to delve deeper into your own practice, that requires looking back, goes against the grain of progress. The process of constructing the wall was in theory simple – just start in the middle with our most recent source of inspiration – the sea – and progress out to print on the right, knit on the left. This part took most of our setup time to display. Initially starting from our initial research into the sea, evolving outwards with grouped pieces that had been explored in a variety of materials and processes from marbling to painting to drawings. Mix in fabric samples and the odd studio post-it note.
Working with a vast team of skilled people, studios and manufacturers we are always trying to find new ways to show you how we make our collections and the variety of skills and craftsmanship at the core of what we do. The final piece of our exhibition puzzle to complete our process and emphasis the creative energy within everything we do. A studio full of tools lent itself to a simple display, but with manufacturers across Britain, we knew to bring the full experience to the gallery some short films were needed. Films, GIFS and clips are something we have enjoyed playing with for a while now and this was a fun way to gather lots of these together into more cohesive stories about our collections.
Thank you to everyone at the Pier Arts Centre for all of your help throughout the exhibition process, we have really enjoyed putting this exhibition together and hope that you enjoy visiting.