Except, as the partners (in both life and work) behind the project, Hugo Macdonald and James Stevens, explain, the word “glamour” has different roots from what you might think. “It’s not about feather boas or hen parties,” Macdonald laughs. “It’s about something otherworldly, or even transcendent in some way.” (It turns out the word “glamour” can be traced back to early modern Scotland, where it was used in reference to witchcraft as a kind of magic spell or charm.) The “grit” element of the show, though, was a little easier for their collaborators on the exhibition to interpret. “The grit is about the graft and hard work and effort and bloody fingers and smashed pots—all the things that go into craft behind the scenes that people rarely see,” says Macdonald, matter-of-factly.
At first, the title of the first exhibition from Edinburgh-based shop and gallery Bard—“The Grit and the Glamour”—may catch you by surprise. The cult homewares destination, which launched in November of last year, has developed a distinct identity around its meticulously curated offering of the very best of Scottish craft and design, from mottled, wonky ceramics thrown in a Galloway potter’s studio to lambswool blankets woven in the textile heartland of the Scottish Borders. Essentially, Bard is a beacon of earthy, rough-around-the-edges tastefulness—not exactly what you’d associate with the glitzy visions prompted by the word “glamour.”