Research Output

The Cutting Edge Scotland’s Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, National Museum of Scotland & Tour

  Inner Light exhibit was one of nine commissioned artworks by The Cutting Edge, Scotland’s Contemporary Exhibition Partnership (National Museums of Scotland, Aberdeen City Council, Glasgow City Council and East Ayrshire Council) and awarded £4K.

This was a major exhibition showcasing thirty renowned makers at the forefront their practice, celebrating the most innovative, challenging and skilful craft work, and the use and exploitation of cutting edge techniques and tools being produced in Scotland.
Inner Light, a 2.5m x 1.2m piece, is a programmable light-emitting textile incorporating newly developed, digitally etched light-emitting paper yarn. The textile utilises newly commissioned LED lighting devices with DMX (digital mix) technology. The exhibit promotes alternative colour and lighting as novel, time-based aesthetics. It builds on core research investigating the combination of textiles and new technology and the culmination of new research over a year following a Scottish Arts Council Creative Development Grant (£7K) and an Arts & Humanities Research Council, Research Leave Award £21K. (Total AHRC match funded project value £42.5K).

Research focussed on fibre optic technology, exploiting the capabilities of both light guide and mechanism in conjunction with laser technology and through the medium of weave. It questioned whether the use of light sensitive yarn, laser etching techniques and new lighting mechanisms in conjunction with digital programming would further exploit time-based light-emitting textiles and enhance colouration and structural detail within weave.

The research encompassed a review of current practice; direct liaison with industry; systematic testing and evaluation of yarn, structure, applied technique, light-emission, new technology; and, design development and fabrication. The artwork promotes new aesthetics, new material concepts as both fabric and yarn and new mechanisms for generating enhanced colouration as light-emitting textiles. These developments have significance in terms of contemporary craft practice and design, product designers and industry, particularly in the field of textiles and lighting.

Inner Light is featured in the illustrated exhibition publication from National Museums Scotland (ISBN 978-1-905267-07-1). This includes essays by leading figures on the contemporary craft scene and includes interviews and biographical portraits of all the participating makers with illuminating details about their practice, techniques and work.

The Cutting Edge exhibition opened at the National Museum of Scotland from 26 January to 29 April 2007 and toured until April 2008 at the following venues: The Dick Institute, Kilmarnock (26 May to 30 June 2007); Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (20 September to 25 November 2007) and Aberdeen Art Gallery (9 February to 12 April 2008).

  • Type:


  • Date:

    26 January 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    740 Drawing & decorative arts

  • Funders:

    The Cutting Edge, Scotland’s Contemporary Exhibition Partnership; Arts & Humanities Research Council; Scottish Arts Council


Taylor, S. (2007). The Cutting Edge Scotland’s Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, National Museum of Scotland & Tour. 26 January 2007 - 12 April 2008. (Unpublished)



Textiles, digital, light-emitting, colour-change,

Monthly Views:

Available Documents