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Streetwise II 2004

Alison Kinnaird (born 1949, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

Alison Kinnaird has been known as Scotland’s leading glass engraver for many years. In 2002 she received a Scottish Arts Council ‘Creative Scotland Award,’ worth £25,000, allowing her to spend nine months on research and experimentation. Using new technology to notable effect, Kinnaird introduced colour into her work. She went on to create her ground-breaking ‘Psalmsong’, which was purchased for the new Scottish Parliament. The ingenious lighting method in this work was inspired by the use of coloured gels in theatre spotlights. Optical fibres from a concealed light source shine through coloured slips of dichroic glass to provide integral coloured light. This is a dramatic departure from the cool effect of traditional engraved glass. The nocturnal urban landscape provides the artist with a lively narrative of city life. Distinctive figures, graffiti-like inscriptions, shop windows and neon lighting are brought together in a tableau, and the theatricality of such night-time scenes is evoked, against a shadowy, atmospheric backdrop. This part of the work was created by projecting light through the engraved glass panel, digitally photographing the shadow cast, and then screenprinting it in black and white on a linen banner (work undertaken by the Galashiels Textile College)

Acquisition Details

Acquired from the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 2004
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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