Set in Stone: Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland

Set In Stone: Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland Stèidhte sa Chloich: Beachdan air Clachan Snaidhte ann an Alba In Scotland, carved stone monuments are all around us. They shape our sense of place and identity, and tell us much about past peoples, their identities, beliefs, tastes, technologies and lives. But how would you […]

Origins of Art: The Provenance Project

Reach 09 – Origins of Art: The Provenance Project ‌Tùs Ealain : Pròiseact Tùsachd Have you ever found yourself standing before a beautiful work of Chinese art, admiring its colours, tones and textures, with your feet are firmly planted in the UK? If you’ve visited the Burrell Collection, the National Museum of Scotland, or the […]

Making Soundwaves: Developing Parat+

Reach 09 – Making Soundwaves: Developing Parat+ ‌A’ Dèanamh Thuinn-Fhuaime – A’ Leasachadh Parat+ Creating sound using computer technology is just like playing a musical instrument, according to Nick Fells. Whilst computers provide musicians great opportunities for creating and controlling sound, they also present constraints and limitations just like instruments – as any musician will […]

Are We Really Dying Well?

Reach 09: Are We Really Dying Well? A bheil sinn ga-rìreabh a’ bàsachadh gu math?‌ That may sound like a strange question, but death is nonetheless  an important part of all of our lives which we don’t like to talk  about. Perhaps we don’t even know how. Ben Colburn, a Senior  Lecturer in Philosophy at […]

The Radical Film Network Festival and Unconference

Reach 09: The Radical Film Network Festival and Unconference Fèis Lìonra Fhilmichean Radaigeach agus Co-labhairt Fhuasgailte The Radical Film Network (RFN) Festival and Unconference were held at Glasgow University and in venues across the city from the 29th April – 2nd May 2016. Glasgow seemed like the perfect host for a radical film event. It […]

ReX 6: Applied Enlightenment

Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor of English Literature
Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor of English Literature and Pro-Vice Principal of Special Projects at the University of Glasgow.

Re: Enlightenment is an international research network founded in 2009-10 by New York University in association with New York Public Library. It holds its regular meetings (called Exchanges) annually, and the meeting in Glasgow is its sixth, following previous meetings in New York, London, California, Virginia and Oslo. It is still run from New York University with a steering committee based at the universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Oslo, California at Santa Barbara, London and the British Museum. Read more about ReX 6: Applied Enlightenment

Photography © Rachel Walisko

Reach 08: Africa in Motion

Africa in Motion | Afraga a’ Gluasad

Dr Lizelle Bisschoff was a South African postgraduate when she came to Scotland to study African Cinema. It wasn’t until her research began that she realised just how difficult it would be to source African-made films. When she contacted the then UK Film Council asking for some statistics on distribution of African cinema she discovered that a regrettable nine African films had been on general release in this country between 1995 and 2005. Bisschoff had to make do with the few VHS tapes and DVDs she could purchase, at extortionate prices, otherwise her only other option was to travel to Parisian archives to see African voices and stories, produced and directed by Africans, on the silverscreen. Read more about Reach 08: Africa in Motion

Reach 08: Build n Burn

Build n Burn | Tog is Loisg Dr Kenny Brophy’s perspective on his own place within the field of archaeology admittedly perplexes some of his colleagues. Brophy’s research is largely concerned with prehistoric monuments from the British Neolithic period, and yet rather than referring to himself as a ‘prehistorian,’ he considers himself a ‘contemporary archaeologist’ […]

The Big Questions: Philosophically engaging with illness, disability and identity

Philosophers are not sitting in dusty old offices writing books in dense, archaic language for a specialized academic audience, although ‘philosophers can be their own worst enemies’ in that respect, insists Professor Michael Brady. As a professor of philosophy particularly interested in the philosophy of emotions, morality and human suffering, Brady sees philosophers as having […]

Reach 08: Situating barkcloth production in time and place

A’ Suidheachadh Dèanamh Clò-Rùisg a’ Chuain Shèimh ann an Tìm is Àite

Barkcloth
Misa Tamura (centre) Research Conservator, displaying barkcloth at a Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Arts History open dat, 18th March 2016. Photo by Sarah Foskett.

Barkcloth has been used to make clothing, furnishings, garments and ritual masks in the tropical islands of the Pacific, such as Samoa, the Cook Islands and Hawaii for around 5000 years. It was made by beating the raw tree bark until it became a soft, tactile, non-woven textile. Although Western styles and fashions are now more common in the Pacific, the material is still used across the region as an expression of cultural identity. Yet very little is known about the material itself, and about how best to display, store and preserve barkcloth collections.

Frances Lennard, a Senior Lecturer in Textile Conservation, is leading a new AHRC funded project to study bark cloth as an art form. Lennard’s team includes Misa Tamura, a specialist in the conservation of ethnographic collections, material scientist Dr Margaret Smith who is studying the material properties of the cloth, and art historian Dr Andrew Mills who will be placing the artefacts in their historical context. The broader aim of the project is to ‘find out whether materials, techniques and designs originated from particular islands, how they were transmitted around the region and the effect of globalisation on this tradition.’ Cutting edge techniques will also be used to try and identify which plants were used to make the barkcloth, including protein and DNA analysis and isotope analysis. Read more about Reach 08: Situating barkcloth production in time and place