Weaving closer ties with India

Fiona Hyslop with Murji Vankar, a weaver craftsman from Bhuj, Gujarat

Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs visited Heriot-Watt's Scottish Borders Campus to find out more ReSide, the University's collaboration with Indian textile artists. The ReSide project is a collaboration between Scottish and Indian textile artists and is part of Creative Scotland €™s Creative Futures programme.

We are delighted to be hosting the Scottish part of this exciting residency exchange project, which has tremendous potential benefits for both participating countries.

Professor Alison Harley, Head of Heriot-Watt University's School of Textiles and Design

During the visit she announced that she will travel to India next month to promote the world-class culture, education, tourism and business opportunities on offer in Scotland.

Ms Hyslop said: "Scotland and India have many long and lasting links, with a rich shared culture and heritage and passion for innovation. This visit is an ideal opportunity to build on these strong ties and promote Scotland as one of the world €™s most creative nations and an internationally competitive and innovative business location.

"India is one of the world €™s fastest expanding economies and is an important investor in Scotland, providing approximately 5,000 Scottish jobs. Our nation €™s strengths in technological innovation and cutting edge research and development mean that Scottish companies are ideally placed to take advantage of this growing market.

"There can be no doubt that cultural collaborations are helping to forge new alliances between our two countries. I am delighted to meet textile artists on exchange from India as part of the ReSide project. This is a fantastic example in our Year of Creative Scotland of how we are sharing our creative talent on a world stage."

Professor Alison Harley, Head of Heriot-Watt University's School of Textiles and Design, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the Scottish part of this exciting residency exchange project, which has tremendous potential benefits for both participating countries. We are able to share working practices and cultures, and the core research project investigates the link between traditional craft skills and 21st century design thinking.

"In Scotland, contemporary crafts are very much alive but there is a burgeoning interest in traditional skills and origins of crafts, whereas in India an amazing range of traditional craft skills are not necessarily positioned well for a 21st century market. That €™s where India €™s and Scotland €™s interests in the project meet. On a day-to-day basis our students are benefiting tremendously from engaging with our ReSide residents' on different national working practices and cultures."