27–28 June 2015


The programme of events included artist’s screenings, talks and conversations.

Erica Kotze, Senior Conservator, University of Aberdeen Special Collections, talk Deteriorating Surfaces on the Friday evening.

Tours and talks.

Bespoke Atelier printed pattern bag workshops on Saturday and Sunday.

The café and the gardens were open thanks to Hospitalfield's Garden Club.


Bespoke Atelier

John Smith
Stephen Sutcliffe

READING SURFACE:- The interior surfaces of Hospitalfield House are designed, patterned, embossed, moulded and carved; wood, leather, stone, paper. Layers of use build up and wear away; marks and grime, a patina that offers a narrative, alternative to the more fixed story offered by the paper archive of letters and minute books.


The weekend started with a talk about deteriorating surfaces on Friday evening by Erica Kotze. On both Saturday and Sunday designers Bespoke Atelier led workshops to print and sew a bag inspired by the pattern and surfaces within the house.

In the early evening of Saturday the influential artist film maker John Smith screened his work Home Suite (1993-4) with evening discussion and dinner. Artist Stephen Sutcliffe contributed to the Saturday evening’s events by screening Our Mother’s House (1967) which led to a discussion with John Smith over brunch on Sunday. Sutcliffe included in this brunch session an excerpt from Word for Word, the 70s BBC book program presented by Robert Robinson, in which Ian McEwan’s literary agent Tom Maschler, Auberon Waugh and Julian Gloag talk about the plot of McEwan’s ‘The Cement Garden’ and its notorious similarities to Gloag’s ‘Our Mother’s House’ which was published 15 years earlier.


It was free to come to explore the house and attend the screening and discussion events. As the John Smith events ran late into the evening and across two days we are offering some hospitality, camping and beds.


Since 1972 John Smith has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been shown in independent cinemas, art galleries and on television around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. He is fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word. Often rooted in everyday life, Smith’s meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.

The film, Home Suite, takes us on a real time tour of the home from which the artist is being evicted, chronicling the history of the everyday items he has lived with and bringing them back to life. The space gradually fills with its history: complex, eccentric, funny, until it has become a kind of monumental environment, about which epic stories could be told for ever more. The work serves to remind us about the complexities of the history of even simple spaces and objects.


Glasgow based artist Stephen Sutcliffe creates film collages from an extensive archive of British television, film sound, broadcast images and spoken word recordings which he has been collecting since childhood. Often reflecting on aspects of British culture and identity, the results are melancholic, poetic and satirical amalgams which subtly tease out and critique ideas of class-consciousness and cultural authority.

He has shown widely in the UK and internationally and has recently completed a residency at BBC Scotland.



Bespoke Atelier is based in Glasgow within an ex-industrial building which was once a glue factory. The space now is home to their design studio, print room and archive. As surface and textile designers Bespoke Atelier work on a commission basis designing patterns and forms for a wide variety of applications from architectural installations and furnishings to bespoke fabric for costumes and products.

During our open weekend, participants were invited to join collaborative designers Bespoke Atelier to seek out and screen print patterns onto cloth then make a bag with the fabric they had created.

We invited Bespoke Atelier to set up their practical design studio in the 1901 Studios at the back of Hospitalfield House for the duration of our open weekend. They ran in-depth workshops between 11am and 1pm on Saturday 27 June and between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday 28 June.


All weekend:

Display of Bespoke Atelier materials and resources.

Display of marbled papers made by Timmergreens Primary School pupils and books selected from our library which have marbled end-papers, covers and edges.


Saturday 27 June, 11am – 6pm

11am – 1pm: Bookable pattern printed bag workshop with Bespoke Atelier (Studio and exploring the house for pattern inspiration).

12pm – 1pm: Heritage Tour (Main Entrance).

3pm – 4pm: Heritage Tour (Main Entrance).

4pm – 6pm: Screening of John Smith’s Home Suite (Picture Gallery).

8.30pm to late: Screening introduced by Stephen Sutcliffe (Picture Gallery).


Sunday 28 June, 11am – 5pm

11am – 1pm: Brunch discussion with John Smith led by Stephen Sutcliffe who will also show excerpts of his own work.

12noon – 1pm: Heritage Tour (Main Entrance).

1pm – 3pm: Bookable pattern design and printed bag workshop with Bespoke Atelier (Studio and exploring the house for pattern inspiration).

2pm – 2.40pm: Talk by Graham McNicol about the leather wallpaper in the Dining Room and the room which was stripped out in order to create the Warden’s ‘flat’ (Study Room which used to be Patrick Allan-Fraser’s bedroom).

3pm – 4pm: Heritage Tour (Main Entrance).


This event was part of Print Festival Scotland which celebrated the community, culture and diversity of print-based art with a programme of events, exhibitions and activities from 26 June to 5 July across 20 venues.


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