‘Adjust/Adapt’, a major new group exhibition showcasing and celebrating the transformative power of creativity and craft to transcend challenging times and presented by a partnership of The Scottish Furniture Makers Association (SFMA) and Visual Arts Scotland (VAS), was due to open on 27th March at The City Art Centre.

Reflecting the show’s core thematic narrative, due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions the exhibition moves to a digital space with the planned physical show at the City Art Centre no longer taking place.

Running from 27th March – 24th April 2021, the exciting new members exhibition is now presented online via The Scottish Furniture Makers Association and the City Art Centre websites, showcasing work by makers, designers and artists working across Scotland with a creative response to how domestic interiors are being adapted in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and climate emergency.

Angus Ross – Sutherland Chair and Anna Nichols

The curated digital exhibition explores how our homes and outdoor spaces are working harder for occupants as multigenerational sanctuaries, workspaces, classrooms, fitness and entertainment settings.

The major exhibition also marks the 20th Anniversary of The SFMA’s founding and features selected work from 25 SFMA members including Isabelle Moore (winner of the inaugural, SFMA Annual Furniture Awards, both for Design Innovation and for Craft Excellence. Moore was also presented with the Craft Scotland Annual Prize). Daniel Lacey, Chris Scotland, Duke Christie, Angus Ross and Gavin Robertson – with VAS member participants to be announced in February 2021.

The extensive show includes a hugely diverse range of bespoke pieces, from ‘isolation chairs’ to ‘love desks’ and from drinks cabinets to room dividers with each expertly crafted piece seeking to enhance and possibly distract from the external and internal pressures felt as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Many of the works also focus heavily on the need for a shift to sustainable materials in an effort to tackle the growing global climate crisis, with many pieces crafted using local, sustainably sourced materials.

‘Adjust/Adapt’ is accompanied by a series of online events featuring a range of industry representatives which each set out to explore, engage and empower on key issues facing the creative industry including: Covid recovery, early-stage career development and sales. Full details on the events will be available via the City Art Centre website.

Jack Sheahan – GO Table

Full list of participating SFMA members: “Tom Addy, Duke Christie, Nicholas Denney, Rob Elliot, Stephen Finch, Simon Harlow, Alice Holttum, Daniel Lacey, Kirsty MacDonald, Max McCance, Adrian McCurdy, Eoghann Menzies, Isabelle Moore, Janie Morris, Anna Nichols, Ronnie Payne, Angus Richardson, Angus Ross, Jonathan Rose, Gavin Robertson, Chris Scotland, Jack Sheahan, Alasdair Wallace, Simon Whatley and Mike Whittall.

Isabelle Moore said; “The Scottish Furniture Makers Association exhibit is a great opportunity to show work with my peers, celebrating traditional skills, contemporary design and sustainable furniture making. The exposure from the exhibition will build new and nurture existing relationships to generate opportunities for sales, commissions and collaborative projects.

“SFMA membership offers an invaluable network of resources, contacts and opportunities to its membership, in addition to the annual showcase of members work.”

Mike Whittall, Scottish Furniture Makers Association Chair said; “The last year has been challenging for all artists and makers so we are delighted to be staging this exhibition both to showcase the excellent pieces our members produce and also to celebrate our 20th anniversary as an Association. One big social positive from the last 12 months has been the building of new and strong alliances such as our partnership for this show with Visual Arts Scotland whose members will also be exhibiting their work.

“In addition, the enforced switch to a virtual platform has actually opened up new and innovative ways for us to present the exhibition and will I believe provide a very welcome positive response to the pandemic.”

Isabelle Moore – Woven Oak Stool and Folded Steel Chair (photo credits-Rebecca Wall and Shannon Tofts)

Simon Whatley, Scottish Furniture Makers Association, Exhibition Curator, said; “Scotland is home to many world class artists, designers and makers. The Scottish Furniture Makers Association is a members-led organisation of 70+ stretching from the Scottish Borders to Orkney & Shetland that has worked to promote and represent the interests of those in the sector for the past two decades.

The quality and diversity of work that will be showcased digitally via City Art Centre and SFMA websites, speaks volumes about the immense creativity within the contemporary Applied Arts scene in Scotland. The show will demonstrate the profound benefits gained by choosing to commission a local designer-maker to create a unique piece of furniture for one’s home and/or place-of-work.”

Sarah Calmus, Visual Arts Scotland President said; “Visual Arts Scotland is delighted to be working in partnership with SFMA to produce an online exhibition that explores how our spaces have altered to meet our changing needs in these tumultuous times. We are energised by the prospect of inviting the world to view our Scotland based creatives, showcasing a huge array of innovative creatives and makers in this exciting group exhibition.”

‘Adjust/Adapt’ opens on Saturday 27th March and runs until 24th April 2021 via www.scottishfurnituremakers.org.uk

Opening image – ‘Tales Fro the East’ – Mike Whittall