8th June 2007 at 01:00
New work by some of the finest craftmakers in Scotland features in a touring exhibition that starts this week at the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock.

The Cutting Edge showcases jewellery, ceramics, silverware, glass, textiles and furniture by more than 20 people who are widely recognised as being at the cutting edge of their chosen field.

The exhibition, which runs in Kilmarnock until mid-July, has been organised by Aberdeen City, East Ayrshire and Glasgow City councils and the National Mu-seums of Scotland, with the aim of bringing work that would normally be viewed in specialised galleries to a much wider audience.

The show at the recently refurbished Dick Institute includes massive ceramic dishes by Sarah-Jane Selwood, which look as if they have been carved from stone and polished to a soft sheen. Malcolm Appleby's silver platter features the face of George W. Bush in the middle of a swirling hurricane, demonstrating that craft work can be both decorative and political.

Jewellers, including the internationally renowned Peter Chang, show that found objects, recycled material, plastic and even lumps of coal can be used to create stunning work.

Gillian Cooper's fine, machine-knitted textile "blanket", flecked with lurex, will send a chill down everyone's spine. Called "Vigi-lance", it bears a CCTV image of a young child in the arms of a shaven-headed man and is part of a series on the theme of "Protecting children in to-day's society."

The exhibition is complemented by excellent filmed interviews with three of the featured artists, in which they are shown working and talking about what they do and why they became craftmakers in the first place. In addition, visitors can listen to more than 20 audio recordings of interviews.

The Cutting Edge catalogue, pound;14.99, would be a useful resource for art departments in secondary schools and colleges.

T 01563 554343


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