Exhibition: Arigatai/Arigatou

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A brand new artist commission for Lybster by Japanese born, Scotland based artist Keiko Mukaide is unveiled in June.

A special display and installation of glass and mixed media sculpture will be shown at different locations on Lybster Main Street from 20th June to 3rd July with a linked exhibition in the North Lands Creative Glass Gallery.

This commission is part of a series of artist commissions, North Lands 20, which are being developed to mark the twentieth anniversary of North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster.

North Lands 20 has been developed by curators Susanna Beaumont and Amanda Game and is funded through Creative Scotland Open Projects Fund and Spirit of Caithness – A Fourteen Community. The Fund is administered by Foundation Scotland.


Arigatai/Arigatou is the Japanese word for thank you but it also contains a more complex register of giving thanks for something: being aware of the preciousness of life and acknowledging the traces of other in our lives.

Keiko Mukaide has considered this word, and idea, by inviting over twenty Lybster residents (aged between 6 and 88!) to share memories of both living in Caithness and their experience of North Lands Creative Glass (known locally as the ‘glass factory’)

She has linked this to her own memories of this place and its people as an internationally renowned glass-maker who has regularly visited North Lands Creative Glass. She is fascinated by the ways in which the past twenty years has seen North Lands Creative Glass gain a pre-eminent global reputation as a place to visit and work bringing an international audience to this part of Scotland.

As the artist reflects, ‘Glass is what first brought me to Scotland over twenty years ago. My work here has developed a strong connection to the history and landscapes of Scotland, through the medium of glass: in all of my work I try to capture a spirit of place and the way that human activity and memory activates that.’

Keiko is creating individually designed windows on the Main Street of Lybster. Exploring all the different connections between North Lands and its community and the gallery installation shows her direct response to this and to the qualities of light and landscape in this unique coastal environment.

As the artist goes on to say: ‘I am really excited to have been invited to do a special commission for North Lands which has been such an important place for so many artists. I have learnt much more about both North Lands and Lybster in this recent residency and am excited by hearing more local stories. One window is inspired by a conversation with a butcher’s wife, another window is inspired by a book written by a local resident.’


An nteractive world map will be set up to invite visitors to put pins on the places they have been and to show where their relatives now live showing the global connections of both Lybster and North Lands.

The exhibition will run for 2 weeks from 20th June to 3rd July Lybster Gala day in July. The window exhibitions are open all day and the exhibition in the gallery is open Mon-Fri 9:30 – 4:30.

Keiko Mukaide is recognized for her unique ability to work with glass in this place sensitive way. Her ‘Light of the North’ installation at Tate St. Ives reflected the combined histories of seafaring and artistic activity of that part of Cornwall.  She finished an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1993, travelled to Edinburgh to work at the glass department as an artist in residence, under Ray Flavell. She established a Scottish studio the following year and began to develop a working practice around site specific commissions in different locations: the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh (sponsored through the Jerwood); the Hill House, Helensburgh; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Tate St Ives; Anstruther Scottish Fisheries Museum in Fife and St. Mary’s Church, York.

Contact details:Eleanor Hargrave, Marketing Officer

Email: eleanor.hargrave@northlandsglass.com

Phone: 01593 721229



This project is kindly sponsored by:

Creative Scotland B&W Foundation Scotland Fourteen spirit of 2012