Categories
Events Opportunities Projects

Opportunities: Two Festival Mentorships

The Stove is seeking two mentees to join our Nithraid team this Autumn. Two exciting opportunities have emerged for young people to get involved directly with the Stove’s project, and our festival delivery team.

Nithraid River Festival​ is an annual event celebrating Dumfries’ relationship with the River Nith. Due to the impact of COVID-19, instead of holding our festival on the Mill Green, we will be hosting an extended celebration of the River Nith across our online platforms, as well as focusing on the production of our 2021 Festival.

This year, we’re looking to work with​ a mentee in the redesign; build and installation​ of our Salty Coo launch mechanism. In consultation with local artist, Cara McNaught, we are exploring both a re-interpretation of the mechanism’s inner workings in order to launch the Salty Coo into our river Nith as well as up-cycling many of the unused materials into a musical instrument, that can be placed on site for our 2021 festival.

Alongside this, we are seeking ​a mentee interested in sound design, sound production, musical composition and instrumentation​, working with local musician and producer, Jenna Macrory, in composing, recording and producing an immersive soundscape, using the fabricated musical instrument in an innovative and exciting way.

The mentorships

These mentorships are available to young people between the ages of 18 and 25, and has been supported by The Holywood Trust to benefit young persons within this age group.

Production

Working alongside local creative producor, Cara McNaught, the mentee will help to redesign and construct our Salty Coo launch mechanism, as well as upcycling the unused materials into a musical instrument.

The mentee will learn first-hand how to construct, build, up-cycle and design the mechanism, learning and applying foundational skills in joinery, carpentry and product design as well as working to brief. This mentorship will suit a young person interested in up-cycling and repair, product design, joinery and carpentry, who enjoy a ‘hands-on’ approach to building and design.

Production Mentorship Fee: £250
Time required: 5 Days (35 hours total)

Soundscape Composition

Working alongside professional musician and composer, Jenna Macrory, the mentee will feed into the musical element of the launch mechanism’s redesign, as well as help to construct, compose, record and produce an immersive soundscape. This mentorship will suit a young person interested in musical composition, sound design and musicianship.

Soundscape Composition Mentorship: £250
Time required: 5 Days (35 hours total)

 

To Apply

To apply for one of the commissions, we ask that you submit an expression of interest. This should include:

  • A short introduction (max. 250 words) explaining why you are interested in this opportunity
  • A current CV

Please send an email to sal@thestove.org with a maximum file size of 10MB. Video files should be provided as a web link.
The deadline for submitting your expression of interest is 5pm, Thursday 13th August. 

We would like to make sure that our recruitment process is as open as possible, if you would like to discuss any accessibility requirements or have questions about this opportunity, please get in touch with
Sal Cuddihy via sal@thestove.org or phone 07497 406511 (Mon-Fri 10-4pm).

For more information on our previous Nithraid festivals, please visit www.thestove.org/nithraid.

Categories
Musings Projects

homegrown – a conclusion and a new beginning


Homegrown was an immediate response to the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown that saw the world close it’s doors and retreat into our homes. The Stove’s doors too were closed and months of programming, preparations for upcoming events and projects were put on hold.
In the final few days before the government enforced the lockdown, we looked for four themes to guide our direction and settled on solidarity, open heartedness, insight and perseverance1. The title for the project looked to create a platform to share the creativity grown from homes across the region, and further afield – and to help create a space to allow these creative reflections to flourish.

We re-grouped, via the now all-too-familiar ZOOM for our first meeting online, and started to investigate how The Stove could respond. The Stove has always been a future-facing and responsive organisation, but we made the decision to be watchful and listen to those around us, supporting the efforts of the council and other agencies, who took the lead on the immediate challenges facing many of our communities.
As the rug was pulled from under our feet, it quickly showed that the rug was all that was holding some of us up; the floor’s foundations were not equally distributed. Of our 600+ members at the Stove, we estimated that as many as half will be self-employed or freelancers, and the COVID-19 shutdown in March saw many people’s incomes wiped out overnight as events and regular contracts were cancelled. The homegrown project initially looked to draw on our resources to share a series of micro-commissions to support Stove members facing financial difficulties. This theme further developed into Atlas Pandemica – for (more detail about this project visit here).

Hope for Food Origin Awareness. For Helen Walsh’s Feathers of Hope series as part of her micro commission

Each week, we invited a creative response from one of our members (growing to two per week as interest developed) to one of our four key themes, and over the weeks we were able to share the work of 14 different artists from a variety of backgrounds and creative approaches. The aim of these micro-commissions was light touch; the proposals were focused on sharing perspectives and experiences of the sudden changes to our world, and giving each artist the time and support to develop something creative where many were finding the daily routine too overwhelming to allow for any reflection or creative focus. Each commission also gave us the opportunity to meet and find out more about our membership, some of whom were new to our team, or familiar faces that we were able to build new relationships with, and to share this with our audiences and wider network digitally.
Homegrown also developed a series of ‘creative challenges’ that were open to anyone to take part in, and responses were received from a wide collection of participants. We set out not to provide distraction, or to add to the noise as organisations scrabbled to move their content online, but to create a space for reflective creative process – opening up space for ideas sharing, playful interaction and exchange. Some of our challenges were focused around key questions – What memories come in times of silence? Where are the secret spaces in your life now? Others invited an exploration of a particular technique or process – photography, writing or printmaking. All of the responses were then added to our online gallery and shared digitally as part of our homegrown conversation.

Memory Jar created by Andy Brooke

Homegrown was conceived of as a starting point, not to provide answers but to open the door to include as many voices in our conversations – towards a new folklore that documented the response from Dumfries and our wider Stove membership in a time of social isolation. Each conversation, collaboration that we hosted opened for us new ways of understanding and interpreting the world around us. As we were each confined to our personal spaces we were able to reach out and make the connections with other people, who helped to drive and direct the project’s course.
Everything is significant, and we have learned a lot over the past three months. As the lockdown moves into a new phase and the town gradually begins to re-open it’s doors, homegrown comes to a close – but we hope to take forward many of the conversations, ideas and approaches that we have learned during this time through listening and being open to the directions of others. As we look forward, we bring the influences of homegrown with us: our new project Atlas Pandemica looks to draw together a team of artists in response to the changes we’ve been facing in Dumfries and Galloway, and Elsewhere a town centre project will look to draw on and further develop some of the responses shared during the homegrown micro commissions. We hope to bring much of the homegrown content from the realm of the digital, back into the public sphere, the physical and the personal, and will be looking at ways to safely do this as restrictions continue to ease.

Doorways. A collective artwork by The Lockdown Collective, JoAnne, John and Luke McKay

The homegrown webpages will continue to live on the Stove website as a record of all of the work that we have shared and grown in our homes, together. To help you navigate the content, you can find:

  • Creative Challenges and responses
  • Artist Talks given by each of the homegrown micro-commissions

Special thanks to everyone that contributed to homegrown.
1Three of these themes, Insight, Open heartedness and perseverance, were originally part of Matt Baker’s three virtues artwork for Inverness.

Poetry by Daniel Gillespie as part of his micro commission.
Categories
News Opportunities Projects

Some themes brought to the fore by COVID

Themes that The Stove have collectively been thinking about during the Lockdown and which we are proposing as areas of exploration for the commissions within the Atlas Pandemica: Maps to a Kinder World project.

 1. Decision-making 

What has been our experience of leadership? How has power in influence been balanced between local and centralised decision-making? What examples and lessons are there about how ordinary people and communities have played a part in influencing how we are coping with the pandemic in South West Scotland? What new relationships have been formed between the formal and informal networks around us? Maybe a research residency within Dumfries and Galloway Council? 

2. Stories 

COVID is something we will be talking about for many generations – what stories we tell and how we tell them is a vital role of culture and the arts in society. What are the stories relevant to life in a post-pandemic society? Who are the storytellers? What stories bare the most relevance for our locality? What are the myths/folklore we can rely upon to help instruct, warn and guide our lives through this? What do stories do? What functions do they fulfil and what ways can they be used now? 
 

3. Food 

Food is so much more than fuel – it is central to gestures of care and hospitality. Finding new ways to share food has renewed old relationships, maintained existing ones and created new ones. The reality of how our food supplies work and their production processes have never been more clearly revealed, or, the contrast with local food production and infrastructure – where next for how we nourish ourselves as a society? What are the possibilities in the local supply? How do we nurture a responsibility towards sustainability in the purchase of food? What is the ‘growing culture’ locally and how do we develop this?
  

4. Travel 

Cars have been off the roads and bikes and people have been on them. The distances that separate our communities, regions and communities suddenly seem similar to how they must have appeared a hundred years ago. Yet, public transport now seems dangerous and cars a protective bubble – does this herald a new era of even starker divisions between those who can afford to be safe and those who cannot…or is this an opportunity to rethink how we move about from first principles? 
Particularly in a region whose sparse population is geographically spread out, what do digital technologies mean to our ideas of distance and proximity? 
 

5. Communities 

Mobile communities, communities of interest, geographic communities, temporary communities…our separateness and connectivity as groups of people has been questioned, revealed, side-lined and speculated upon by COVID. Yet fundamentally our future has to work for all of us – what can an understanding of particular groups and their relationship to how the structures of our shared existence function tell us about how we re-organise ourselves from here. 
 
 

6. End of Life 

Funerals, grief, how people reach the end of their lives and the role of communities, families and the state. How we die, how our families and friends mark death, and how our society supports our passing. Mapping and understanding a culture of death. 

7. The Public Sphere 

What are public spaces for now? Do we still need town centres and public places to gather and express our commonality and our difference? What will activate public places now with traditional retail in even sharper decline? What uses can we find for newly empty buildings and other public places? How do we maintain social cohesion through the act of gathering in the aftermath of the pandemic? Can our public spaces be re-purposed in a time of time of social distance? 

8. Care 

COVID has shone a light on care in our society from care homes to hospitals, from public health to mental health from education to families. We have seen how deeply we depend on those who care in our society – what have we learned and where do we go from here? What a does a localized approach to care in our communities mean? What are the resources currently available and how does our society seek to nurture our wellbeing and engrain mental resilience in tackling the problems before us? 
 
 

9. Diversity and under-represented groups 

In times of extreme urgency, it is all too easy for the needs and opinions of the ‘majority’ to dominate. But if the voices of less represented groups are not heard now and heard with as much urgency as other voices, how do we hear those voices and their essential messages and build a future that celebrates diversity and difference?  
 

10. Hospitality 

Welcoming places and communities are crucial to economic industries like tourism – and much of our social code as a society is built around ancient principles of hospitality. How do we re-imagine hospitality in an age when people entering a place or group potentially bring a health risk with them or put themselves at risk by travelling. Has this traditional behaviour found new meanings and value in a time of crisis? 
 

11. Nature and the natural world 

Awareness and appreciation of the natural world has been one of the universal experiences of COVID. What new understandings have been revealed about our relationship to the natural world, when it can both support and endanger us. 
We have seen unprecedented reductions in carbon emissions and immediate impacts in the environment around us. Possible themes of preservation, resource, healing and the boundaries of the human and non-human world. How do we embed this new learning in our common future?  
 

12. Creativity – creative structures and processes 

What is the role of creativity in times of crisis? What are the implications of COVID for creative practice? What will be the future function of our cultural buildings? What part can creativity play in the new world and communities that we are all making together? 
 
 

13. Relational vs Transactional systems 

To date, the world we have all shared has been overwhelmingly been based on the logic of transactions – attributing monetary value to things and then exchanging, goods, services etc on that basis. COVID has exposed the fundamental importance of the way things make us feel – how we relate to each other and the world around us. Could we strike a new balance between the relational and the transactional in a new future? 
 

14. Enterprise and localised economy 

As we emerge from lockdown it is likely that many, many people will find themselves newly unemployed. There will be newly empty premises and many people will be forced to move home. What are the opportunities and ideas for creating the conditions for new initiatives, projects and businesses to start? As a region can we create a new economy based on our local assets – one that retains prosperity locally and forges a new relationship with urban centres and countries? 

Categories
News Opportunities Projects

Call Out for Eight Commissions


We believe that a creative voice is vital in the conversation about the futures being planned for our communities. To that end, we are gathering together creative practitioners, from all walks of life, to work collectively on a project that will examine the way our society is reacting to the COVID pandemic and make creative responses to what is happening and what could happen in the future.  

SOLIDARITY   +   OPEN-HEARTEDNESS   +   PERSEVERANCE   +   INSIGHT 

 
The pandemic is both local and global as it is lived by individuals and communitiesAbove all, it is a collective experience, and one that must be looked at through different scales of magnification to reveal the different truths and insights about relations between individuals, communities and the larger influences in our lives; and some of the inequalities embedded within these, as well as the positive possibilities. 
Over the last few months we have all seen and sometimes participated in many, many examples of cooperation, generosity and care.  Maps to a Kinder World is a means of creatively learning and building on these informal networks and gestures of human solidarity. Can an Atlas Pandemica help reveal the real power of the local for the way we live together with each other and the environment into the future? 
Atlas Pandemica: Maps to a Kinder World is one means to support creative voices to be heard and offers an opportunity for new thinking, actions and innovations. 

‘Plan of Organization of New York and Erie Railroad’ by Daniel Craig McCallum (1855)

We are looking for eight people to work on the project. Each will be given a separate commission to explore a theme. Projects will be of an action research nature – working alongside people, groups, organisations and agencies to learn and engage, then making creative responses to the research that deepens understanding and the potential for further participation and development of ideas. Each of the eight creative journeys will be seen as a map (in the widest sense) that will be gathered together in an atlas of Maps to a Kinder World that can be used to help our region navigate to a new future from the COVID pandemic. 

We very much hope that you will be interested to take part in the project, if so, please do get in touch. We would like to hear from creative practitioners with an initial response to the project and proposal of what they would like to research and with which communities, people and organisations. We have identified a list of a themes that are intended to give an idea of the direction we imagine the project going in.We’d like you to respond to one of these and propose an approachyou would take to developing this. All options that engage with local activity and aim to enhance the future for communities are valid – we are committed to the idea that we are navigating uncharted territory.Supporting the greatest diversity of approach and people is our aim. 

Please follow this link for the proposed themes for Atlas Pandemica.

Helen Walsh ‘Feathers for Hope: Homegrown commission for Stove Network’ 2020

The Commissions: 

We are offering eight separate commissions to take part in the project. These are available to individual creative practitioners or teams (see Background and Criteria below). Each commission will receive an all-inclusive fee of £3,500 and the project is planned to last for approximately 5 months (NB we live in times defined by uncertainty). 
Commissioned practitioners will be supported by The Stove Network in terms of project management, partnership working and personal support. This project is about kindness and mutuality and we aim to create a collective support network around Atlas Pandemica with regular group check-ins and opportunities to share insights and learning across the group for the benefit of all. Sharing of work in progress will be an important feature of the project as it exists within an incredibly fluid and changing context. Commissioned practitioners will be working with the project’s co-curators (Robbie Coleman and Matt Baker) to develop their work in a form that can sit alongside the work of others to be presented as part of a collection of ‘maps’ in the Atlas Pandemica.
 

Please download the background and criteria for the project here.

‘Notabilia’ Visualising Deletion Discussions on Wikipedia. Moritz Stefaner, Dario Tarabelli and Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia

To Apply: 

Please send us: 

  • A statement of no more than 500 words stating how you would propose to approach being part of this project. Please include your theme of study and whom and how you would propose working with to explore this. 
  • Current CV 
  • Up to 4 examples of past work that you feel best supports your application – this can be in any form (images, films, texts, testimonials etc, links to online video or other online resources, etc) 
  • Please send by email to info@thestove.org with a maximum file size of 10MB 
  • The deadline for receiving submissions is 5pm on Wednesday 17th June 
  • Interviews for the commissions will be held virtually on 30th June and 1st and 2nd July. By applying you are deemed to be making yourself available for interview on one of these dates. 
  • We will always send an email acknowledging receipt of any applications. If you do not receive an email, please contact us again by email. 
  • If you require specific support when making an application please let us know 

Atlas Pandemica: maps to a Kinder World is supported by Scottish Government’s ‘Supporting Communities Fund’ 

Categories
Events News Projects

Dumfries' first Wild Goose Festival is coming!

The very first Wild Goose Festival to be held in Dumfries this October has recently been awarded funding from Wigtown Festival Company as part of their Spot-lit Literary Tourism Product Innovation Programme. The programme, starting this month, will run for a year and will support nine local businesses, including  The Stove Network, to develop new literary tourism products, engaging with the region’s many literary assets from Robert Burns in Dumfries to Dorothy L Sayers in Gatehouse of Fleet.
The Wild Goose Festival is a pilot for a new multi-media festival in Dumfries that uses the migratory route of the Barnacle Geese between Svalbard and the Solway Estuary to join people, nature and ideas across Scotland and the Arctic. The Wild Goose Festival is an innovative way of connecting literary tourism with the established nature and environment tourism offer in Dumfries and Galloway.
In 2020 the festival is themed around Placemaking – using three different lenses to examine this topic and its connections across the North:

  • The Arts and Creativity
  • The Natural World
  • Academia and Knowledge

The Wild Goose Festival will include ‘Riverrun’; a weekend festival of nature writing for all ages. It will include events specifically for children called ‘Mother Goose’ which will engage with authors writing for young people, as well as seeking out topical and relevant programming that connects to the geese and exploration themes. The festival also aims to showcase local authors writing for children in Scots language.

The Wild Goose Festival will be delivered through a very strong collaborative approach with experienced partners who are already successful in the Dumfries & Galloway tourism industry and through the active partnership with SNH, WWT Caerlaverock, Historic Environment Scotland and The Stove Network. The creative director of the festival is the celebrated poet and leader of last years 2019 A Year of Conversation, Tom Pow.
To keep up to date with news and announcements, follow the Stove Network on Facebook or sign up to our mailing list here.
Categories
Events News Projects

Dumfries’ first Wild Goose Festival is coming!

The very first Wild Goose Festival to be held in Dumfries this October has recently been awarded funding from Wigtown Festival Company as part of their Spot-lit Literary Tourism Product Innovation Programme. The programme, starting this month, will run for a year and will support nine local businesses, including  The Stove Network, to develop new literary tourism products, engaging with the region’s many literary assets from Robert Burns in Dumfries to Dorothy L Sayers in Gatehouse of Fleet.

The Wild Goose Festival is a pilot for a new multi-media festival in Dumfries that uses the migratory route of the Barnacle Geese between Svalbard and the Solway Estuary to join people, nature and ideas across Scotland and the Arctic. The Wild Goose Festival is an innovative way of connecting literary tourism with the established nature and environment tourism offer in Dumfries and Galloway.

In 2020 the festival is themed around Placemaking – using three different lenses to examine this topic and its connections across the North:

  • The Arts and Creativity
  • The Natural World
  • Academia and Knowledge

The Wild Goose Festival will include ‘Riverrun’; a weekend festival of nature writing for all ages. It will include events specifically for children called ‘Mother Goose’ which will engage with authors writing for young people, as well as seeking out topical and relevant programming that connects to the geese and exploration themes. The festival also aims to showcase local authors writing for children in Scots language.

The Wild Goose Festival will be delivered through a very strong collaborative approach with experienced partners who are already successful in the Dumfries & Galloway tourism industry and through the active partnership with SNH, WWT Caerlaverock, Historic Environment Scotland and The Stove Network. The creative director of the festival is the celebrated poet and leader of last years 2019 A Year of Conversation, Tom Pow.
To keep up to date with news and announcements, follow the Stove Network on Facebook or sign up to our mailing list here.
Categories
Musings Projects

Creative Repositioning for the New Normal

What makes a place? And what role does creativity have in times of crisis?
Katharine Wheeler of the Stove Curatorial Team and Lead Artist/Researcher for our Embers project, reflects on the role of ‘creative place-making’ in wake of the national lockdown.

As people pull together to face the collective challenges and strain at this time and without the usual noise of other ‘news’ it is the kindness, ingenuity and resilience of people that are centre stage. We can see more than ever the generosity and value local people, groups and organisations invest in supporting their communities.

Small businesses re-organise themselves to take food to our most vulnerable (often without payment), neighbours leave groceries on the doorsteps of those they barely know, people pledge all manner of support and money to those they have never met, we share creative ideas to keep us busy and explore ways of connecting when we cannot physically meet.

The Stove has always been many things for many people – a café, an events space, a space to gather and take part in activity, to have conversations about our place, to challenge ideas and perceptions, to grow projects and activity together. All of this expressed as seriously playful partnership with our community to support and grow a resilient, progressive and creative Dumfries and Galloway. 

We strive to be for, and of, our community and have been asking ourselves “How do we reposition our work at this time?” as a creative community-led organisation that uses creative practice at the heart of what it does.

We have taken time to think and are exploring two directions:

  • in our program – as we explore new ways to grow activity that engages local people in reflection and co-development of work and activity 
  • for our wider creative community – to reconnect and support this community at this time.

Through this we hope to support the building of a collective awareness and narrative of the ‘new normal’, one which helps the transition into the next stage of this new journey we are all on together. Our intention has not changed, this is an ethos and approach of Creative Placemaking. We have spent the last 10 months digging down into the grassroots practice of Creative Placemaking across Dumfries and Galloway through our Embers consultation talking to groups and organisations embedded in their communities about their work. Creative Placemaking is a collaborative practice that uses creative activity to connect and come together with other individuals, groups and organisations and respond to local needs with innovative solutions that focus on social wellbeing and inclusion in our communities.

Times such as this highlight the struggle in places that have had their local resource and ability to respond stripped in favour of centralised service provision. Our new reality is shining a spotlight on the value of our sometimes less recognised and smaller parts, our key workers, our local services and businesses, our sole traders and freelance workers, our community spaces and social relationships. We are seeing the value of our collective creativity to shape and adjust systems and support appropriate to our local need.

Where will we go from here? At the Stove we will continue to advocate for the value of our smaller community-focused parts and use activity to test and develop ways of working that invest and support the creativity and innovation around us to grow our local resilience.

A few related things to and look out for…

Embers report – to go live in a few weeks this report explores some of the fantastic work in our communities and proposes more considered understanding and support for Creative Placemaking work for the South of Scotland.

Don’t Forget the Self-Employed – talking about our responsibility to the region’s cultural, creative and community sectors. Of our 600+ members, we estimate that as many as half will be self-employed or freelancers.

Culture and Creative Industries consultation – add your voice to the role the new South of Scotland Agency can take in supporting our creative sector.

Homegrown – addressing this new normal by proposing four values that will frame our work: Insight, Perseverance, Open-heartedness & Solidarity.

Third Sector D&G Resilience Map – a page created in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council that displays information from local community groups and organisations offering support or looking for support in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Categories
Musings Projects

My Time with Creative Futures

Blog Post from Community Artist and Stovie Kirsty Turpie

Growing up in the small town of Lockerbie, I was surrounded by a great sense of community. Some of my favourite memories include going along to coffee mornings in the town hall with friendly faces serving tea and cakes, doing arts and crafs at Brownies and playing board games at the youth club. All of these experiences gave me a sense of belonging and connectedness. When I began volunteering and working with Creative Futures in Lochside in Lincluden I quickly began to feel this sense of community once again and it is this feeling that made the experience of working for the project so exciting and unforgettable. Over the two and half years that I worked there, the project became increasingly integral to providing opportunities and events to allow the coming together of the communities in North West Dumfries. I was proud to be a part of it and to be the one that was now helping to provide the type of events and activities that I once loved as a kid.

One of my highlights event wise was the two day Hell’s Kitchen Masterchef challenge in 2018 as it got young and old involved and allowed the public to come and share in the experience at the fnale meal on the Saturday night. The challenge was launched at Summerhill Community Centre in June by Scotland’s national chef and TV personality Gary MacLean. Teams of six were urged to sign up for cooking challenges over the summer with the fnal two day challenge including a master class by Gary MacLean. It took some time to motivate the community to sign up to a team but the perseverance was worth it as so much fun was had at the challenge.

On the Friday night teams were invited to Lochside Community Centre for the canapé challenge. There was a table of ingredients and a list of canapés they could make. Local MP Emma Harper joined the line up of judges and all of the teams got in the spirit and tried their hardest to impress with creative and tasty canapés.

First was the marketing challenge where they had to come up with a community event that they would hold with an imaginary £300, second was the cooking challenge with chef Gary MacLean and third was the hospitality challenge where they had to dress and set a table. Whilst the teams were doing their challenges I held activities to keep the children busy which included making chocolate crispy cakes, designing fruit faces and colouring in. There was a real buzz around the community centre all day and into the night with the community meal and challenge awards ceremony.

I was asked to co-host the awards ceremony with Gary and we even had a red carpet! The competitors of the day and the winning team The Rhino Chef’s were very chuffed with their achievements. The Rhino Chef’s won £300 to fund their community idea from the marketing challenge. Fast forward a year later and this idea became a reality with North West’s Got Talent going ahead at Lincluden Community Centre… another fantastic night!

The Hell’s Kitchen Masterchef challenge is an example of many of the things that I enjoyed about working for Creative Futures… providing events across many diferent venues to get as many groups involved as possible, seeing community members find new skills and be proud of their efforts, having to take on more roles than just artist, running workshops in a large variety of themes, learning a lot about event organising and running and seeing community groups receive funding to do their thing. All of this and I’ve not even touched on the creative side of things…and there was defnitely a lot of that over the two and a half years.

My frst two creative remits were to work with the community to create new artworks for the Lincluden rhino statue, and to collaboratively design and build a commemorative statue for Lochside Primary School…not the smallest of tasks! It took over a year to see both of them to fruition and the journeys for both of consultation, research, development, collaborative work and creation were immensely enjoyable. And what was the material / technique that I fell in love with over this period…if you’ve seen or heard about the projects then you’ll know that it’s MOSAIC! Yes, all of those tiny pieces of shiny colour perfect for surviving outdoors and an activity that all ages can get involved in.

For the Lincluden Rhino statue artwork creation I held mosaic workshops at Lochside Gala, Nithraid, Lincluden Community Centre and worked with the Primary 3 class at Lincluden Primary school. To compliment the rainforest themed mosaics created I invited pupils at Lincluden Primary School to come up with rainforest designs for the metal work. This led to the fnal stage of the upgrade…the two day spray paint workshop at the rhino statue. We had the Creative Futures sound system along with us and had 30 children join in over the two days which created lots of hype about seeing the completed renovation. Local roofer Gary Barsch helped to install the mosaics and in May last year we held the launch party. Likewise with the installation of the Lochside Primary Commemoration statue local builder Malcom Campbell helped by laying the concrete base for the structure. It was great to work with local people on all levels to make the art projects happen.

After the completion of the rhino statue artwork and the primary school statue I wondered what would be next, but there wasn’t much time to think because there are so many active organisations in Lochside and Lincluden with plenty of ideas and it was coming in to summer… a busy time for providing events for young people and families. First stop was the YMCA who had just moved in to the former Lochside Primary School and had a newly found huge space to decorate. The building was our oyster! I took on the role of helping the young people decorate their reception area with a day to night themed mural.

In the summer holidays mosaics returned as I ran a workshop for the young people to create an under the sea mosaic for their art room. Through providing these workshops I built up a good relationship with the young people and felt proud to see them trying new creative skills and take ownership of their spaces. The summer continued with the creation of a bottle cap mural for LIFT’s NANA’s Park community garden space, and the Creative Futures summer theme Fashion & Festival leading up to the Day of the Region Fashion festival.

The creativity continued in to Autumn with October Holidays Art in the Park and painting a mural on the Pop Eyes Park electrical sub station with designs and help from the Lincluden Rainbows and Brownies. It was fantastic to be able to work on such a variety of projects and not only allow community members to join in on art projects but actually get them involved in brightening up the spaces in their area to make them more exciting and enjoyable places to be!

My fnal task at Creative Futures whilst packing up my stuff was packing up the Creative Futures room to be moved over to the projects new room at the YMCA centre in Lochside. It felt like an appropriate end to be seeing them off on to their new chapter as I was going off on mine. It was an amazing few years of creativity, community and fun… and I’m excited to see what all of the projects, local people and young people that I worked alongside get up to next.

Kirsty Turpie March 2020

Categories
Musings News Projects

homegrown – an introduction

With the out-break of COVID-19, we face a shared reality that will live on in the minds of this and further generations in pictures, stories, songs and memories. We are faced with questions we never foresaw answering.

In this time of social distancing, The Stove’s field of operation for community, creativity, care and gathering within spaces both shared and public is now radically altered, without objection. Isolation, distance and confinement are the new normal.

The priorities have shifted. The Stove has always functioned in collaboration; collaboration with communities, with artists, with other arts and community organisations, with policy-makers and as a team. In addressing this new normal we propose four values that will frame our work:

Insight
Perseverance
Open-heartedness
& Solidarity

Over the coming weeks, we invite you to explore with us these values through a series of creative challenges, conversation, commissions and activities that can be done in isolation and through connecting with one another via the internet and in so doing, build and maintain resilience in the present, as well as build hope and strategies of change for the future.

We choose to acknowledge and ask the right questions, host the conversations and create the new spaces where these can happen, aside from the café, pub, High Street or studio.
As humanity has always done, we will attempt to record and archive these projects, and together with our community, inspire a new folklore so that we might retain and remember this time, however it may be, for the posterity of generations’ hereafter.

Homegrown is exactly what the Stove is all about, and what it continues to be. Responsive, locally initiated, developed and owned.

As always, we are open to every idea that comes through our inbox. So please do get in touch if you would like to contribute, in any form, place or style you would like.

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News Projects

Blueprint100 Looking Forward April – September 2020

Over the next few months, we’re taking some time to reflect on blueprint100. How can we grow and evolve the learning opportunities The Stove Network offers for young creative people, and by doing so, empower those and other young people to start professional careers within the arts?

It’s been 5 years since blueprint100 initiated itself as a coveted opportunity for young creative people through a self-led approach to professional development and active working experience within The Stove Network.

This is an approach to learning and professional development aimed at supporting young people across varied stages in their work and helping to build bridges both in and out of more formal structures and other types of work and experience.

As The Stove and blueprint100 have grown and changed rapidly over the past few years we feel it is a good time to take a deeper look at blueprint100 and the learning opportunities it provides as part of The Stove team.

Through a period of consultation and reflection we will evaluate and reshape our blueprint100 framework to ensure it meets the needs of our region’s young creatives giving them the right balance of support and freedom to develop.

For this reason we want to let you know that we will not be recruiting for another blueprint100 team this April 2020 but instead taking the space for this deeper consultation and evaluation. We will do this through a series of targeted workshops and one to one interviews with past blueprint100 curatorial team members, active participants and young creatives, creative groups and organisations and relative learning bodies and service providers.

The consultation will be lead by blueprint100 mentor Katharine Wheeler who will be supported by a young person within the blueprint age range (18-30).

Please stay tuned for more updates in the near future.