Kristina Merchant

Glasgow-based artist Kristina Merchant’s diverse work experience, including spells as a shop assistant, customer service advisor, and bartender, have cultivated a heightened awareness of her surroundings. They, together with her art studies, have led her to a practice that explores discarded cultural ephemera. Prior to attending The Glasgow School of Art, Kristina studied contemporary art at Perth College, her hometown. Here, she explored various mediums and disciplines, and became fascinated by Land Art. Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy's technique of scouring the landscape for materials that leave no lasting impact, she embarked on an artist residency on The Isle of Skye, Sleat, utilising discarded materials to create transient works that seamlessly reintegrate with the environment over time. In recent years, Kristina's work has been exhibited in galleries in Glasgow, London, Amsterdam, and Munich, in a contemporary visual art and jewellery context. She has upcoming shows in Rotterdam and Fife Contemporary Art's graduate showcase.

Artist Kristina Merchant’s SCOUR collection, comprises handmade wearable objects such as cigarettes, chewing gum, and bottle caps. A deep-rooted family history in the urban landscape spans generations, tracing back to her Nana, Irene, who worked in a cigarette factory before owning her own pubs across the globe. During Kristina's time at The Glasgow School of Art, Kristina balanced her studies with employment at a local pub, ‘The Bell Jar’, capturing the essence of British culture and social gatherings – drinks shared and cigarettes lit – which she translated into her jewellery that celebrates these overlooked remnants. Crafted with a narrative meant to provoke shifts in human behaviour, her approach resonates with the Speculative Design method that has substantially influenced her research and approach to making.