To mark 125 years of its distillery in style, anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Whisky has collaborated with two of today’s most exciting upcoming artists, Kate Colin and Joachim King, who use traditional methods to create refreshingly vibrant and modern pieces – much like the whisky itself.
Each artist has created a special one-off piece inspired by the distillery’s story, and the two exceptional new Limited Edition expressions – anCnoc 16 Years Old Cask Strength and the new Limited Edition Peated whisky, which were created in celebration of anCnoc’s 125 year anniversary.
The works have been designed to celebrate the special occasion, highlighting anCnoc’s past, while also paying homage to their present and future – a piece of modern tradition. This sentiment is something that both artists share with anCnoc, using original techniques to create something unexpectedly and refreshingly modern. The one-off pieces will sit pride of place in the distillery for the next 125 years – a fitting way to celebrate such an important milestone.
Kate Colin works with paper, using geometric forms to create innovative and sculptural work – and was invited to collaborate on the project due to the unexpected twist which gives new life to the ancient art of origami. Her designs are created through intricate hand scoring and folding techniques, a fresh take on an art that’s been practised for centuries.
She unveiled a beautiful framed artwork, taking inspiration from anCnoc 16 Years Old packaging’s bright turquoise colouring, which she spray painted onto white paper. Kate also drew inspiration from the Black Hill, the distillery’s water source which features on the Limited Edition packaging – reflecting this in the peak and valley folds which make up the piece, and sixteen copper decals were added to these, representing each year the whisky spent maturing quietly in the distillery’s warehouse. The fluidity and movement evokes the breeze rustling through the leaves of the tree which sits upon the Black Hill. With her main focus being lighting, she also created a bespoke lampshade, to accompany the artwork and shine a light on the distillery’s award-winning whisky.
Joachim King works with wood, maximising structure and shape to create artful, intriguing pieces of modern furniture that wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery. His work may be contemporary, but his methods are rooted in tradition – just like anCnoc’s. Inheriting a passion for craft from his Finnish boatbuilding family, he has incorporated many of the skills and traditional methods passed down his father, grandfather and generations before them – like steam bending – to create fresh and modern pieces.
The whisky making process was as much of an inspiration for Joachim King as the packaging of the Limited Edition Peated expression was. Curved, like a whisky barrel, and featuring a striking diagonal cut linking back to the peat cutting process, his whisky cabinet is a functional work of art. Joachim also took cues from the deer, which is occasionally seen silhouetted on the landscape. The shapes and shadows the deer casts on the horizon can be seen reflected in Joachim’s playful use of lighting within the cabinet. Exposed bolts and rivets add an industrial feel to the finished piece, linking to the steam trains which provided vital transport links to the Great North Scottish Railway, which ran past the distillery – drawing its founder to visit the land – all those years ago.
anCnoc aficionados who wish to purchase their own piece of the distillery’s history can now commission a one-off replica of Joachim’s 125thAnniversary celebratory piece, available for £6,350. To register interest please email email@example.com.
Kate Colin, of Kate Colin Design said:’It was a real pleasure to be asked to work on such a flexible campaign, where I had free rein to come up with something entirely different to my normal work. The whisky, the packaging, and the rich history of the distillery itself allowed me to research so many different approaches, from various paper folds, to experimenting with colour, spray painting and foil work. When people look at my creation, I hope it transports them to the land surrounding the distillery, taking in the silence of the whisky warehouses, the breeze rustling the trees, and the impressive architecture of both natural and built landscape.’
Joachim King, of Joachim King Furniture said: ‘My instant thought was to craft a whisky cabinet. There were so many cues that jumped out to me in the whisky making process, as well as from the Limited Edition whisky and its packaging, which allowed me to create a piece unlike any other I’ve done before. It challenged me to explore new techniques in wood folding– I’ve invented a new method that I’ve never seen elsewhere before, and I like the idea that this new approach was rooted in traditional skills and inspiration. I can’t wait to see visitors to the distillery enjoying a dram or two from its shelves.’
Knockdhu Distillery, home to the award-winning anCnoc whisky, is a distillery like no other, using traditional production methods to craft a bold and modern single malt. Founded in 1894 by visionary John Morrison, the copper pot stills remain the same shape and style as they were when the distillery first opened its doors. Meanwhile, thedistillery proudly uses worm tubs to condense the vaporised alcohol – a rarity in this day and age. Ironically, it’s these traditional techniques which help to create the distinctive, modern flavour.
anCnoc has been sharing the process of both artists on social media, documented on story highlights for Instagram – follow @anCnoc_whisky for more.