North Lands Update

Posted On: 30/06/2017

North Lands Creative Glass has recently completed a major re-structuring ahead of an exciting development phase. This will consolidate and build on its unique position as an international centre dedicated to the study and development of glass as an art form, whilst subsuming a wider remit for the creative industries and culture across the far north of Scotland.

Re-branded North Lands Creative, as well as glass art and design based creative learning the organisation, located in the delightful village of Lybster in Caithness, is positively seeking to expand on its curatorial practices whilst adding cultural tourism, creative spaces and major commissions to the portfolio.

A full time Director, Karen Phillips, previously in charge of RUA RED, Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary arts centre, took up post at the end of 2016.

Karen Phillips said:

‘North Lands Creative is one of the most respected and much-loved glass organisations internationally. It’s a huge honour to be Director and take on an extraordinary legacy, not just in terms of the quality and reputation of the programme, but also the organisation’s work transforming the way we think about education, audiences and supporting glass as an an artform and artists at every level. I’m very excited to build on those values and the vision, which feels more vital and relevant than ever. ‘

Alistair Murray, Chair of North Lands Creative Board of Trustees, said:

‘I am delighted as North Lands Creative new Chair person to also welcome four new board members, Michael Rogers, Nadania Idriss, Phil Slater and Stacey Toner to work with Karen and the team to take the organisation forward respecting both its past while forging an innovative exciting future. The new structure and knowledge will equip North Lands Creative for the challenges and opportunities as one of Scotland’s leading arts organisations.’

North Lands Creative is now at a point where, with its solid history of 21 years and its continued renewal, it can look forward to an exciting future and the orgnisation will move towards the use of flexible specialist curators and artistic project managers.

The incumbent Artistic Director, Jeffrey Sarmiento, has left his post to concentrate on existing commitments, including Reader in Glass at the University of Sunderland, and focus on what he loves most, working on his own artistic career. This includes exhibiting at the British Glass Biennale, COLLECT and presenting at the Minkoff Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass, New York and the International Glass Symposium 2018 in Novy Bor, Czech Republic. North Lands Creative wishes Jeffrey well and is looking forward to interacting with him in a different guise.

Meanwhile two appealing tasters for next year’s North Lands Creative programme include an east meets west symposium headed by Michael Rogers, Professor in the Glass Program at Rochester Institute of Technology and North Lands Creative board member, involving major artists from China, Berlin Glass and the Rochester Institute of Technology, whilst Silvia Levenson will be hosting a Master Class followed by Artist in Residence activity. The following comment by Rogers speaks to the organization’s current aspirations, ‘North Lands Creative is committed to increasingly being a place where dedicated artists and arts enthusiasts are brought together to exchange diverse ideas, share unique cultural heritage, and formulate new and progressive creative approaches.’

New board member Nadania Idriss, founder and Managing Director of Berlin Glas, says ‘Glass is more than a wonderful material to use in one’s practice: artists and organisations foster a special community centred on the sharing of knowledge and creativity. I look forward to being part of the North Lands family’.

Further information on North Lands Creative programmes will be released at the summer Conference in Lybster on 16th July 2017. Anyone interested in attending should call 01593 721229 for more information.

North Lands Creative is supported by Creative Scotland and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.


Eleanor Hargrave on 01593 721229 or

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