At the heart of The Stove is a creative practice led by the whole Stove team. It is a constantly evolving experiment about embedding creativity within a community.
Stove practice is so integrated in the place that the question of ‘where is the art’ becomes active. Ours is an invisible art within currents of enterprise and civic activism. An enabling art, that widens possibility and change in society, one that values the creative spark and the need to innovate and create, holding the wellbeing of our community as its primary purpose.
The Stove team collectively maintain within the culture of The Stove an open space for conversation and action. This is a space that is transparent, inclusive and accessible.
This practice is defined in process and beliefs, woven into the fabric of the Stove’s creative, activist and community endeavours.
- We uphold The Stove as a place of community, of creative learning where anyone can be the teacher, or the pupil, or both at the same time.
- We believe authorship and ownership are gifted and shared equally.
- We believe in the power of long-term arts practice, deeply integrated into the fabric of our communities.
- We believe in culture that is intrinsically openhearted, generous, challenging and joyful.
- We encourage a working ethos that allows for failure, experimental and curious activity, with an inclusive world-view.
- We believe in a rooted practice that is responsive, sensitive, tenacious and inclusive.
- We believe inclusion is defined not only in access, but also in equality, in listening to, respecting and giving power to different communities and the lives therein.
- We proactively remove barriers to participation in creative and community activity.
- We believe the ‘local’ is the key to understanding, interpreting
- and creatively re-positioning the world as a fairer and kinder place.
People and Place
Our work finds its relevance in our local area, shaped and influenced by the vibrant and diverse communities, groups and individuals of our town and region. Many members of the Stove team are active creative practitioners who make much of their work as part of The Stove and have committed their long-term practice to the place and community of Dumfries and Galloway.
We create spaces for creative and arts practice both within our working structure, our projects and our activity.
We consider an artist to be anyone with a flexible creative discipline used in a variety of situations, processes and actions from problem solving, negotiating, encouraging others and realising projects. In this sense, we do not define the term ‘artist’ as a manufacturer of ‘art products’. Similarly we do not view an ‘arts audience’ as a consumer of art but as an active participant, in the process, creation and meaning of all creative actions from protests and policy-making to poetry and performance.
Practice is understood to be personal as well as collective and professional, contribution is constantly negotiated between members on the basis of their individual creative journeys and personal circumstances. Learning and development is at the heart of The Stove and the blend of public service, personal development and emotional/financial sustainability shaped by the Stove team sets the rhythm for the organisation as a whole.