All posts by Simon Ray

Beyond Likeness

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“Beyond Likeness” is an exhibition of the portraiture of Victoria Crowe at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Having worked with Victoria  on her Leathersellers tapestry design with Dovecot Tapestry Studios, we were excited to return to her studio to discuss her approach and concerns in portraiture.

Victoria was in the early stages of a portrait of art historian and critic Duncan Macmillan.  The portrait was still shifting and emerging under Vicky’s brush and Duncan’s personality and the conversation between them were somehow part of what was being recorded on the canvas.

It was a privilege to delve into the experiences, people and ideas that have shaped her process. Vicky’s commitment to get past the ‘polite veneer’ of acquaintance through her research, careful observation and importantly the conversations with her sitters in which mutual curiosity and vulnerability lead somehow to images that confront us with an honest intensity that seems to characterise her work.

The short film includes some of these insights into Victoria’s process and footage of Duncan Macmillan’s portrait in progress. Various edits were produced for use by National Galleries Scotland in the Portrait Gallery alongside the exhibition and online.

Radiating Rug

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Usually artworks on the weaving floor at Dovecot Studios are there to be translated into tapestry. I remember noticing a big fluorescent riot of a painting and thinking ‘surely this is just on display? Part of an exhibition? Surely this can’t be translated into textile.’ …Of course it can. The wild abstract expressionist painting was the design for a large scale tapestry – a wall mounted rug commissioned by the Perse School in England to sit within a new Performing Arts Centre.



The design is by Glasgow based artist Victoria Morton whose abstract painting celebrates creativity, growth and the students of the school.  The painting presented unique challenges in translation to the tufter Kristi Vana, who worked closely with Vicki to find ways to keep the expression of the painting alive in a completely different medium. Translating the quick, gestural marks, layers of translucent colour and the chance effects of the paint into the certainty of loops of coloured wool was part of the challenge.  Kristi also wanted to capture the essence of Vicki’s style – the ‘handwriting’ of her particular gestures and marks and striking colour sense.
…All with a pneumatic wool-shooting-gun…




The short film follows the making of the Press Rug with a discussion between Vicki and Vana about the process and the design and a score by the artist (Vicki is also a musician and composer)





A Tapestry for the Leathersellers

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Dovecot Studios produced their longest tapestry to date for The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, one of the City of London’s ancient and enduring guilds.  The 40m tapestry wraps 3 sides of the Dining Hall and looks right at home within the sumptuous fit-out and amongst the other art and craft treasures the Guild holds.  This collaboration between Dovecot, architect Eric Parry and the artist Victoria Crowe, is one of a number of collaborations we have been excited to film over the last 12 months.  Other collaboration films include one with photographic artist Garry Fabian Miller


Art, Antiques & Automatons

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This month we returned to the Showroom at Lyon and Turnbull, Edinburgh’s oldest auction house, to film with Specialist Douglas Girton who was joined by a Banjo Player, a Cymbal playing chimp and a Ballerina.  Automatons are mechanised figures from the turn of the century used at the time as curiosities and in retail displays.  A collection of these features in Lyon and Turnbull’s next auction and we were called in to help show off these quirky characters in film.



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Lyon & Turnbull logo build

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Mens 10K

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We were working again with GSI events on their new promo advert for the Glasgow and Edinburgh 10K which they’ve rebranded this year. Was great to be working with William Robertson on this and hear about his personal journey from 21 stone. Check out his story in the Daily Mail Online. Look out for this Ad on your Facebook news feed!



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It was quite a weekworking on Skye with the R.House team – award winning architects and builders who’ve developed an innovative way of building homes for the Highland and Islands.  The brief for the film was something that showed the process and encapsulated the values but wasn’t pushy or a ‘hard sell’.  It was great to be able to capture aerial footage in such beautiful locations.

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Float is an online cashflow management tool that lets users manage budgets and cashflow, make informed business decisions and … well … see the future! We worked with Edinburgh based tech startup Float Yard on a motion graphic that outlines what their app offers.