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Dunoon, Scotland


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Project: Practice, place and pedagogy

Robert Stewart: a hidden design narrative

The book Robert Stewart Design 1946-95  by the art historian Liz Arthur


Gillian Stewart, Robert Stewart's Friends & Family 

Robert Stewart was a Scottish based designer of international standing. He worked across creative disciplines from the 1940s until his death in 1995.


Stewart was the head of Glasgow School of Art's (GSA) Textile and Design departments for over 30 years. He facilitated innovative collaborations between students and industry with organisations including Pringle, Dovecot Studios and Liberties, whilst maintaining a personal practice that included the production of ceramic home-wares, textiles and installations.


During his time at GSA Stewart lived on the rural Cowal peninsula.  He commuted daily by car, ferry and train into Glasgow, a journey that impacted on his life and work.

Right: Stewart's tiled mural now located in Dunoon Burgh Hall

Today Robert Stewart's design legacy is still visible at GSA.  Artifacts created by him are preserved and exhibited in the school's archive. A collection of his textile's, some named after locations in Cowal, such as Otter Ferry and Ardentinny, are digitally reproduced and sold by the institution.  The book Robert Stewart Design 1946-95  by the art historian Liz Arthur documents the significance of the designer's work and teaching practice. However Stewart's long standing association with rural Cowal has not been documented or explored in full.

Tacit-Tacit is working with the Illustrator and Book Binder Gillian Stewart, Robert Stewart's Grand Daughter and other members of Stewart's family and Dunoon Burgh Hall, to find new ways of articulating Stewart's design legacy across Cowal. The project includes the production of new textiles to create a dialogue around the issue of contemporary design practice in a rural context.

left: #Random Jumpers, new designs produced by Tacit-Tacit inspired by Stewart's legacy. Hand Flocked and finished.