Glass artist Alison Kinnaird is combining traditional techniques with modern technology to add light to her sculptures.
Alison was angry when she created ‘Unknown’.
As an artist working with glass, Kinnaird channelled her rage into creating a piece that summed up her horror at the continuing wars around the world.
‘I started working on it about three years ago,’ explains the Borders artist in 2014. ‘At that point, I hadn’t twigged the centenary of the First World War was coming up. I was just horrified at the path the world was going down again – we don’t seem to learn do we?
‘We seem to go over and over the same mistakes. I thought glass was a fantastic medium to talk about the fragility of life during wartime.’
Kinnaird set about creating 48 glass figures, which were water-jet cut, sandblasted and wheel-engraved, before being arranged into rows and illuminated with LED bulbs.
The figures, each of which is 45cm tall, are a mixture of soldiers and civilians.
Unknown has been seen all over Scotland, starting at the Scottish
Parliament building in Edinburgh during October 2014. With help from former National Trust for Scotland director Lester Borley, who is a fan of the work, the piece went on tour until December 2016, taking in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh for Remembrance Sunday, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Culloden, Elgin Museum, Fort George, the Black Watch Museum in Perth, Culzean Castle, Kellie Castle and Kirkcaldy.
More than 2,000 people saw the full piece at a pop-up gallery opposite St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh during the Fringe in 2013.
‘Some of the comments in the visitors’ book were really touching,’ says Kinnaird. ‘Some of the visitors were moved to tears.’
Kinnaird published Reflections, a collection of photographs of her work taken by her husband, Robin Morton.
Find out more at www.alisonkinnaird.com.
This feature was originally published in 2014.