Orkney designer commissioned for design exhibition

Orkney designer commissioned for design exhibition

Orkney knitwear designer Hilary Grant has been commissioned to produce new work for a high profile exhibition being staged at this August.

The exhibition, Local Heroes, which is held at Edinburgh Airport,aims to take a snapshot of contemporary design in Scotland, working with an exclusive list of 10 Scotland-based designers whose work represents quality and originality.

The designers - hand selected by curator Dr Stacey Hunter and a panel from Creative Scotland – have been commissioned to produce a contemporary travel accessory that challenges local and global perceptions of Scottish design in textiles, fashion, jewellery, product and graphic design.

Hilary said: “For many visitors to Scotland and Edinburgh, their only impression of Scottish knitwear is what they see on the Royal Mile.

“My aim was to create a knitted travel blanket that would challenge the common perception and expectations of Scottish knitwear, which is often seen as parochial and very traditional.”

Hilary drew on traditional Fair Isle knitting, famous for its undulations in colour and tone, as an inspiration for her travel blanket.

She said: “I've been developing this technique for a number of years now and Local Heroes has given me the opportunity to really push and test its limitations outside a purely commercial context.” 

“I wanted my design to be bold, graphic and hold on to the viewer's eye from a distance. But it also works on two scales - on closer inspection the pattern offers all the intricacy and detail that is expected from Scottish knitwear.”

The pattern, appropriately titled Archipelago, is made from repeated triangles which each have a different pattern gradient. Towards the centre of the design they become darker and more intense, which at a distance create a much bigger effect.

Hilary’s blanket and the other specially commissioned Local Heroes products will be exhibited in a custom built pop up gallery, designed by Old School Fabrications and situated at the Entrance Plaza on the land-side at Edinburgh Airport throughout the month of August.  

The exhibition officially launches on 2August with a screening of short films featuring the products and their designers.


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