College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Glass artworks reflect on flora and fauna

Glass decorated with diamonds, images of rare wildlife and words from writer Alasdair Gray feature in this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival.

Artist Siobhan Healy’s eclectic exhibition is the result of research into endangered plants and animals during her year-long residency at Edinburgh College of Art.

Cabinets full of more than 30 intricate glass artworks will be on display at the Edinburgh College of Art Fire Station from 26 July until 26 August.

Intricate designs

The sculptures’ shapes and hand-painted designs have been inspired by an array of protected flora and fauna found in the UK.

These include the scarcely seen ghost orchid, coral found in reefs off the west coast of Scotland and a rare species of comma butterfly.

Adorning the glass with precious materials – such as diamond dust, crystals and silver –underlines the importance of treasuring these species and emphasises the threat of them becoming extinct.

Artistic collaboration 

Ms Healy has collaborated with the acclaimed artist and writer Alasdair Gray, whose words are emblazoned across a number of glass vessels.

His original writings call on humankind to act now and help save the environment we live in.

Science and nature

A number of glass shells created using 3D printing will also feature in the collection. All slightly different, they reflect each organism’s uniqueness.

The Biodiversity exhibition has been influenced by Ms Healy’s work in Edinburgh’s Geddes Garden – an urban wildlife sanctuary that encourages protected species to thrive.

The artist has also collaborated with scientists from across the University.

My work often crosses the boundaries between art and science. I am delighted to have worked with so many inspiring people to create this showcase. I have an ongoing relationship with Alasdair Gray, and his input has been invaluable. I hope that the cabinets of curiosities will encourage people to reflect on our environment and the beauty found there.

Siobhan Healy Artist in Residence,  Edinburgh College of Art Artist in Residence 

Related links

Edinburgh College of Art 

Siobhan Healy 

Edinburgh Art Festival