Originally set up on a temporary basis in 1978, The Travelling Gallery is still going strong 36 years later and is currently hosting V&A Dundee’s first touring exhibition.
Travelling Gallery Curator Alison Chisholm said the current Design in Motion tour is a rare move away from the group’s roots in contemporary art.
She says: “Travelling Gallery started in 1978 as a pilot that the Scottish Arts Council set up. It toured the Borders for a few months and was so successful that they decided to get a custom-made vehicle.
“It was first set up to give people in areas that don’t have art galleries access to what artists were doing, and that’s more or less what we are doing now. There are still lots of areas in Scotland that don’t have access to contemporary art.”
Design in Motion was developed in partnership with V&A Dundee and generously supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, The Mathew Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, The Scottish Government, and City of Edinburgh Council.
Now on its third vehicle, the mobile gallery started its latest tour in February, its bus decked out in livery displaying an image of the spectacular new V&A Museum of Design Dundee. It also features a reworking of William Morris’ Strawberry Thief pattern, which inspired the computer game of the same name by designer Sophia George while she was Game Designer in Residence at the V&A. Her game is one of seven exhibits in the Design in Motion exhibition, which is visiting more than 70 locations across Scotland before heading to London in June.
Other featured designers include fashion designer Holly Fulton and product designer and artist Geoffrey Mann, whose 3D printed sculpture was inspired by capturing the movements of a moth in flight around a light.
Alison says: “Design in Motion is unusual for us because it’s design-based rather than showing contemporary art. We worked with the V&A Dundee team to come up with the exhibition, which showcases seven different contemporary Scottish designers. What they have in common is that they all use digital technology to push the boundaries of their discipline.
“Whether they are a fashion designer, a game designer or a jewellery designer, they all use digital technology to expand their processes and develop their work in truly innovative new directions.”
The Travelling Gallery’s next show starts in August and will be dedicated to Scottish artists who have won the Turner Prize. Organised association with the Tramway in Glasgow, which is hosting this year’s Turner Prize, it will run until December.