India Street (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

India Street

Stunning contemporary textiles by Scottish and Indian artists at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Gabriella di Tano

Another of the numerous art events happening this summer which tie into the theme of the Commonwealth and its history, this contemporary textiles exhibition at Edinburgh’s Gayfield Creative Spaces offers an insight into the shared industrial history of Scotland and India which may not be familiar to many. The story begins on the titular India Street in the Vale of Leven in Dunbartonshire, now a derelict industrial site, but formerly the largest producer of fabrics dyed in the Turkey red style in the UK. A couple of scraps of Turkey red cloth are visible here, a burning, voluptuous colour which reminds more of its origins in Turkey than it does the west of Scotland.

The starting point for this show, says the associated material, was the Bombay Sample Book, one of 200 sample books of Turkey red fabrics held in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland. Using this book for inspiration, seven textile artists from Scotland and India (Emlyn Firth, Lokesh Ghai, Charlotte Linton, Raw Mango, Laura Spring, Gabriella di Tano and People Tree, under the curation of Katy West) create new patterns which are vivid and contemporary yet rooted in tradition. They’re displayed here alongside a wealth of information about both their creators’ process and the history to which they’re referring.

Gayfield Square, Edinburgh, until Thu 11 Sep, free.

India Street

  • 4 stars

Gayfield Newly commissioned textile designs from Scotland and India provide a critical response to The Bombay Sample Book in the National Museum of Scotland's archive. The exhibition also examines Scotland's boom-to-bust Turkey red dye industry through contemporary eyes.