I recently visited the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. I picked out five exhibits from the National Museum of Scotland and three exhibits from the Scottish National Gallery that I found the most interesting and that also inspired me the most.
National Museum of Scotland- Exhibit One
Grand Piano: Piano by Steinway, case designed by Robert Lorimer, woodcarving by Scott Morton & Co 1909, decorated by Phoebe Anna Traquair, 1910.
In the “design for living” section in this museum I was immediately drawn to this old but beautifully designed piano. I specifically loved the amount of detail on the piano and made me realise the amount of time and effort that was put in to the creating and designing process. This exhibit is something that I feel could be admired by many because of the design around the side of the piano. When I found out what the design was I loved the exhibit even more. The design is inspired by the three sources through the themes of music and love. The Willow sonnets represent the ups and downs we feel about love, the Song of Solomon from the Old Testament is to represent the love for the Divine and the Greek god Pan represents beguiling eroticism. I like when a design has a meaning behind it as it makes the object etc more interesting and allows the viewer to not only learn about it but even make their own interpretations as well. This was definitely one of my favourite exhibits in the museum as I liked the meaning behind the design.
National Museum of Scotland- Exhibit 2
Emblem on Red by Graham Sutherland
This exhibit is a lot more modern than the previous one I have mentioned but that’s the reason why I picked it. I admire traditional designs as well as modern and this chair is something I see as very modern due to the colours and striped pattern used. I think the striped pattern and the block red really compliment each other and helps the chair stand out especially against the black background. The chair design is unique as it only has three legs and one arm rest, it makes the chair look very different and out there compared to an ordinary chair. This chair has really inspired me to design things that are a bit out there and out of my comfort zone as this isn’t your usual chair design. I do like how simple the chair is but yet it still creates a visual impact due to the block red colour and striped pattern. It looks so simple but at the same time so busy due to the pattern on the seat of the chair and it just shows how effective this design is.
National Museum of Scotland- Exhibit 3
Dress by Hussein Chalayan
Fashion design was always something I had loved at school so I felt right in my element when there was a whole section in this museum dedicated to fashion design. This dress is something I loved straight away before I even found out what the design on it was. I liked how simple the dress was, it wasn’t trying too hard to be different like most fashion tries to do, it was just different in its own way.
The design on the dress is pixelated flowers (as seen in the close up image above), I thought this made the dress a bit quirky as it is taking a popular floral design and making it look so different. This dress was made in 1996 and it showed the technology that was available during this time, it showed a new way of fashion and how it can look more abstract. What I love about the design of this dress is that it’s not a typical floral design and you can really see all the different tones used to create the shape of the flower.
National Museum of Scotland- Exhibit 4
Mojito shoe, by Julian Hake
This was another exhibit in the fashion design section that had caught my attention due to the fact that there is no middle part to the shoe that holds your foot. The design is very unique and a well thought out structure to hold the foot without actually having a support in the middle. I can imagine these shoes on a run way as they are very high fashion not something you would see someone wearing every day. I like how this designer has pushed the boundaries and created something so different from everything else in the market. This shoe is inspired by the impression of a footprint in the sand, you can see the inspiration of this through the formation of the shoe and how it flows. This shoe was created by the use of 3D printing and it just shows how much technology helps design to develop. These shoes I can’t imagine being too comfy but they fit their purpose of being high fashion and they will definitely be praised by myself and others for their unique design.
National Museum of Scotland- Exhibit 5
This exhibit isn’t something that is very out there and different but just something that I find quite effective. Dressing tables are used by everyone on a daily basis and this design just reminds me of home as I always get ready at my dressing table. I like the simple repetition of squares beside and under the mirror as it adds to the simplicity of the overall design. This dressing table is something that is fit for its purpose as it has a mirror and drawers like a normal dressing table design, it also is quite popular these days to have old/antique furniture and I feel this could fit into that category. Since this is something that millions of people use every day it is seen as effective and that is something I would like to design someday. Even though this dressing table isn’t something that people are going to consider amazing and brand new to the market it does its job and that’s why this really inspired me and caught my attention as for something to be successful it doesn’t need to be loud and something unimaginable it just need to be a design that works. Sometimes when designs are too complicated it’s off putting as you don’t know what it is/does so sometimes playing safe and keeping it simple is the way to go.
Scottish National Gallery- Exhibit 1
At school, I really loved art so in this gallery I loved the paintings but this piece really stood out as it was a bit different from the rest. This piece wasn’t created by putting paint to paper but instead using different card and patterns to create the shapes of the objects. This was really interesting to see a artists take on a simple still life because I had never thought about using card to cut out the shapes then sticking it onto a white canvas. This piece of art is very simple but really striking, since it is very 2D it is quite flat but the colours and patterns really stand out and that’s what really caught my attention instead of it being a perfectly drawn still life.
Scottish National Gallery- Exhibit 2
This exhibit was something a bit different but as soon as I saw it I couldn’t stop thinking about how clever it actually was. This design was an artist in their studio with paint splattered all over the wall, paintings, canvas’s and paint brushes lying on the floor and the artist sitting right in the middle drawing away. I interpreted this as what is around the artist is what is going on in their head, what colours to use? What canvas to work on? I just thought this was a bit different because it shows the process of an artist creating something, it isn’t always going to be perfect first time, they are going to make mistakes and maybe even start all over. It gives people a small glimpse of what it’s like to be an artist.
Scottish National Gallery- Exhibit 3
I chose to talk about this painting as first off, I loved all the different colours used but I also liked it because people can easily interpretate this painting into so many different things. When I look at this painting on the left I see what looks like a roller skate but maybe no one else will look at it that way. That is why I like this piece so much and art and design in general as everyone doesn’t need to like it or see it the same way.
Overall my time in both museums were very enjoyable and really opened up my eyes to all the different designs out there. I really enjoyed walking around the fashion exhibit in the National Museum of Scotland as you could see how much fashion has evolved over the years. I also really enjoyed looking at all the different materials artists and designers used and feel this will help inspire my own work.