Thursday August 22, 2013 | by Vaughn Watson

Final weekend for botanical glass exhibit in Edinburgh

FILED UNDER: Events, Exhibition

Keiko Mukaide, Glass Plants, 2013. PHOTO: SHANNON TOFTS Keiko Mukaide, Glass Plants, 2013. photo: shannon tofts

Pop Up! Edinburgh, a UK-based nonprofit arts group, is currently displaying its first exhibit, entitled “Grow!“ which runs through Sunday, August 25th. Though the organization originally started as master’s coursework for graduate students at the the Edinburgh College of Art, it has quickly developed into a creative organization and curated its first of hopefully many public exhibitions. An experienced team including Alison McConache, former head of the Edinburgh College of Art’s glass department, and Elinor Gallant, the exhibitions manager of the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) curated the series, which features glass works from 15 international artists. The project owes an unacknowledged debt to Dale Chihuly who pioneered the synergy between botanical gardens and glass beginning with his 2002 exhibition entitled A Garden of Glass in Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. Since then, Chihuly’s glass works have inhabited botanical gardens from New York to Missouri, and is on permanent display at Chihuly Garden and Glass, which opened in 2012 in Seattle. “Chihuly in the Garden,” the latest installment in his garden series, will debut in November at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and will run through May of 2014.

What’s unique about the Edinburgh project is the grouping of diverse artists and their separate approaches to the marriage of glass and gardens and the Royal Botanical Garden’s multiple glass greenhouses. Among these artists are Keiko Mukaide, a Edinburg-based Japanese artist whose work Ancient Words of Plants features the DNA sequences of popular plants etched on microscope glass slides, Lisa Sheppy, a Worcestershire-based British artists whose work In Domo Vitrea (In a Glass House) displays precious metals encased in glass shrines, and Alisoun Howie, who created a glass-stained window entitled Be a Guiding Star Above Me for the exhibition. Emma Butler-Cole Aiken revamped her piece Searching, which originally debuted at trove, a collaboration between The Scottish Glass Society and The Perth Museum and Art Gallery, features colorful and beautiful handcrafted blue glass guinea fowls. Other artists include Goshka Bialek, Juli Bolaños-Durman, Robin Crawford, Rachel Elliott, Shaun Fraser, Rhian Haf, Kate Henderson,Vicky Higginson, Jessamy Kelly, Karen Lawrence, and A. B. Rushing.

While the exhibit closes fairly soon, Grow! serves as proof for Pop up! Edinburgh’s potential as an arts organization and will make the organization one to look out for not just on the Edinburgh scene but on the international scene as well.

More information available here.

—Vaughn Watson

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.