Instant Whip

Instant Whip focuses on a unique collection of textiles and papers held by The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) Archives and Collections. Donated by interdisciplinary artist Fraser Taylor in 2014, and spanning the period 1977–87, the collection comprises sketchbooks, slides, drawings, designs, printed textile samples, fabric lengths, garments and ephemera from Taylor’s undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Printed Textiles at GSA and the Royal College of Art (RCA) respectively. It also includes work produced by pioneering creative studio, The Cloth, which Taylor formed with David Band (d.2011), Brian Bolger and Helen Manning for their RCA Degree Show in 1983.


Instant Whip is a collaboration between Dr Helena Britt (GSA), curatorial practice Panel and Fraser Taylor, working in partnership with GSA Archives and Collections, Reid Gallery and open-access screen printing studio Print Clan. The exhibition centres upon Taylor’s developing practice, highlighting, through selected material from the archive, how previous work has informed new ideas and collaborations. It also gives insight into personal networks, perspectives, and influences on his evolving career – with a distinct focus on Glasgow. Against the disruptive socio-political context and economic gloom of the time, homosexuality was legalised, access to art schools opened up, and there was a youthful aspiration to be different from previous generations. Friendships, dressing up and going out defined Taylor’s art school experiences and his regular haunts, the Vic Café, Nico’s and the Rock Garden in Glasgow were important spaces for artists, designers, musicians, and hairdressers working in the city.

The Reid Gallery 
Glasgow School of Art
Images by Andrew Lee
Exhibition design by Rob Kennedy
Exhibition graphics by Graphical House

Film by Alex James-Aylin
Sound by Joe Loughrey

Textiles and Papers by Fraser Taylor and Rob Kennedy. Digital projection filmed by Kimberley O'Neill


Exploring recurring links to Glasgow as a centre of creativity, Instant Whip borrows its title from an independent Scottish magazine published in 1981, featuring GSA’s annual fashion show and ‘the latest in art, fashion and music.’ Drawing on such energy and newly flourishing sub-cultures, artefacts from the archive are arranged by theme and presented for the first time collectively alongside private loans and newly commissioned works. Revisiting ideas, images and methods of making, Instant Whip reveals more than an artist’s practice; it tells stories about the explosion of style and subcultural expression in the 1980s, honouring and celebrating the crossover between textiles, fashion, art, design and music in popular culture that defined this decade.

Fraser Taylors Studio
Publication and invitation images
Gordon Burniston
Design by Graphical House