The Opening of the V&A Design Museum in Dundee

Right now there is a huge buzz in Dundee, as the brand new Kengo Kuma designed V&A Museum has opened! It is the second Victoria & Albert museum in the world, their first time branching out from their extensive museum in London. This one is all about the design, and in particular, Scottish design. Dundee is the UK's first UNESCO City of Design, and the museum showcases some of the reasons why we were given that title.

What reasons, you ask? Well, Dundee used to be famous for Jute, Jam and Journalism as we were an industrial town that exported jute and other cloth all over the world. DC Thompson is a Dundee publisher that is pretty famous here in Scotland, but international folks might have read the Dennis the Menace comics when they were younger. We invented delicious marmalade! We are also famous for video game design, and have a thriving art scene. Also, a lot of medical research goes on here in our 2 Universities.
Here is a really informative article that explains a little of Dundees history, and the different industries and specialisms historically based in the city.

10 years ago, when I was in first year at University, I remember attending several lectures and presentations about the big plans for the Dundee Waterfront Redevelopment. Hungover and thoroughly living in the moment, the plans were exciting to hear about, but it was all very far off in the future and nebulous to me. For the past few years now we have all watched with fascination as Kengo Kumas building took shape before our eyes. The redevelopment is well and truly underway now, and actually pretty true to what they initially presented a decade ago.

I was so, so lucky that I managed to get into the building on the opening day, and get shown around too. It is such an impressive building, with an awesome team working behind the scenes. Click to make full size…

I can’t wait to go back in once all the crowds have died down just a bit, and spend some quality time in the design gallery. There will be temporary design exhibitions, too: the one on right now is called Ocean Liners. The cafe and resturaunt look great, and there is a programme of events you can check out on their website.


This one is of Primal Scream, who headlined the 3D festival on Friday night. Other acts performing were Tallia Storm, Be Charlotte, and Lewis Capaldi. There was also lots of dance and various activities going on throughout.

The second day of the 3D festival was opened with a powerful and chilled out set by SHHE. I wasn’t there for the rest of the acts (had a time slot for entrance to the building!), but it looked like a great time, and was packed with people enjoying the festival.

Well, hope this was interesting! It has been an action packed weekend, and the city is still mega busy!

August 2015 - 2016, Or what I've been working on in the past year

I have pretty busy over the past year (yes, it really has been a year since I wrote here... what a neglected blog!). I've had several shows and projects on the go, whilst working at my various other jobs and studying, all whilst trying to make new work! Time flies. I thought I'd try to make a summary of what I've managed to do here, for anyone interested:

1. Made lots of new work, which I'll dedicate another post to soon. They are a series of vessel prints, using a variety of printmaking methods.

2. Worked hard on a new collaborative project called Riso Soup. As the name suggests, it is a project where artists use the limited colours/ rough around the edges process of Risograph printing. We have made lots of zines and a perpetual calendar so far. The project has been to Barcelona, all around Scotland, and we have ambitions for lots more. I'll update with more as it happens.

Riso Soup in the Print Studio

Riso Soup in the Print Studio

3. Shows!

► My work got exhibited in China in the show The Silk Road with Dundee Print Collective, at the IMPACT International Printmaking Conference in Hangzhou last year.
► I had work in a few group shows in Perth, WASPS Meadowmill, and the Print Space at Dundee Contemporary Arts. (I actually have a print there right now if you're in Dundee and want to see.)
► Generator Projects asked me to create a print in response to archive material from the old Seagate Printmaking Studio Archive, earlier this summer. It was for Print Festival Scotland. It was a hectic and rewarding project and I will also dedicate another blog post to this particular project. More to come!
► My Vessel #1 print got chosen for the RSA Open 2016. You can see it right now in the Royal Scottish Academy on Princes Street, Edinburgh. :)

4. Studied hard for Japanese lessons... 日本語を勉強しました。難しいです。I think I'll probably be studying it for a long time to come, but I'm having a lot of fun doing so.

Got my home studio all organised. I start many of my drawings on Photoshop, and I now love working on my clean, spacious desk. A long way from the shabby children's desk that I used to use, haha. It is really amazing what your work space can do for your productivity and motivation. There's still a lot I want to do with regards to studio space, but with the way I work, a clean starting point free of distractions is vital. I even did some cable management, although it partially fell down just before I took this photograph. Sigh.

6. Worked on Risograph and monoprint research/development in the DCA Print Studio. amongst other stuff, I've taught several zine/riso classes this year, and we have lots more planned for the future. ♥ I have been working there a lot lately, and it's always fun.

7. Travel.
At the start of the year Paul and I set ourselves the goal of seeing a lot more, even if it was 'just' within Scotland. We have a lot of beauty all around us. It's so important to leave your work behind every so often (even if you love it!). It's a lot of fun! This past year a lot of friends have been through really tough situations in their work environment. My heart really does go out to anybody feeling bad purely because of work. It's important to take what breaks you can manage, as your health should always be a priority (in an ideal world) ♥

I think I will also post separately about our adventures this year, as this post is getting a little long. More to come...

Whew, that was actually a lot! If you are feeling like you haven't done much in the past year, I recommend you sit down and write down everything you can remember. Even if the things you've done seem insignificant, or you don't think it will sound interesting enough. I guarantee that you will surprise yourself.