V&A Dundee

Plain and Ornamental of Every Description

  • Dates

  • Scottish Design Galleries

  • Free

A compelling piece of graphic design that unpacks the wider context around a 19th century trade catalogue by cast iron manufacturers Walter MacFarlane & Co.

The work is the first in a series of commissions inviting emerging artists and designers to respond to themes explored in the Scottish Design Galleries.

We asked graphic designer Maeve Redmond to engage with the international context of Scottish design. She chose to focus on Walter MacFarlane’s ornamental cast iron, which was exported around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Elaborate bandstands, fountains and balconies were sent as far apart as Canada, Brazil, India and Australia from their huge foundry in Possilpark, Glasgow.

Maeve was fascinated by the way MacFarlane’s marketed themselves through their widely disseminated trade catalogues. Extracting text and images directly from this source material, and including contemporary photographs where possible, the work has MacFarlane’s stamp at the centre of the composition. This would have been applied to each piece of cast iron sent around the world.

We asked Maeve a few questions about her compelling commission over in our Stories section.

Key objects

Maeve Redmond detail

Maeve Redmond detail

Maeve Redmond detail