Following on from Tea with Moxie, our herald, she has become interested in the many different kinds of members in The Stove Network. She’s been catching up with and speaking to various members, and we’ll be introducing one every Friday over the next wee while. You can get in touch with Moxie on The Stove Herald facebook page here or by email.
This week Moxie has been speaking to Michael Moore.
Michael hails from Dumfries and is part of the Young Stove. His interests include Philosophy and Anthropology, and exploring the belief that the arts betters civilisation more than politics ever could. He studied at Dumfries High School and the Barony College, where he gained an HNC in Horticulture.
He has had a variety of jobs including a short span at Heathall Garden Centre and Pet Shop; a freelance gardener; an office Clerk and Courier for Grieve Grierson Moodie & Walker – which he randomly got by starting off their garden – and is currently a cleaner and Kitchen Porter at Robert The Bruce pub.
He is really keen to become more involved in community development and arts events as he feel it offers a lease of life to Dumfries which the town isn’t currently getting from the business sector. He also strongly believes that art leads to culture which, in turn, enhances the entire population’s quality of life. He would, one day, like to go to university to study social and cultural anthropology.
Michael can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about your creative process.
I just talk to people about what they want and think of things, then drag them into a wider network. The creative folk tend to expand in ingenuity and confidence with more creative folk around to communicate with.
What drew you to The Stove?
My girlfriend at the time asked me to volunteer. I was unemployed and thought volunteering for an arts group sounds a lot better than volunteering in a shop or doing nothing, plus I like seeing artists in their element; they seem in tune with a moment without having to have a nearly complete philosophical melt down to get to that ‘zone’.
Share your hopes and dreams for The Stove?
For it to become a central piece of Dumfries & Galloway’s culture. Something people come here exclusively for and to be valued as such by those in power.
What’s something that you found yourself enjoying that you never thought you would?
Feeling like part of a community and feeling like I can reach out to creative people who basically form culture through their chosen art, but who haven’t gotten themselves out there in the public eye much or at all.
Nietzsche, Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka and Vincent van Gogh were barely known until after their deaths, which is rather saddening. The idea of helping an artist become known and watching them contribute to culture is a pleasant one, mind you Socrates was killed precisely because he was known/becoming known but, anyway, the search for artists is quite a fun thing for me, meeting them is always interesting no matter their style or opinion.
Which film changed your life?
Vanishing Point (1971) because not only did it make me obsessed with the Dodge Challenger 1970’s (which is odd because I don’t care about cars much) but the freedom Kowalski has drives him, literally, to choose death because he refused (rebelled *Camus) to stop for anything other than what he felt was important.
What keeps you in and around Dumfries?
It’s my home town, I was born here… grew up here, but never got too much of a compulsion to leave. For what people say it is or isn’t I’ve never been too bored or felt particularly at risk here more than I would feel anywhere else. Everyone seems to go on about Rome or New York and the wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef but I’m still contemplating the age of New Abbey, the fact that the Auld Brig is still standing and, generally, just staring at hills, watching trees creek in the wind and, occasionally, wandering around very early in the morning. Skyscrapers aren’t my thing and some parts of the world seem far too wild.
tl;dr – Basically this is Hobbiton to me and I’m Bilbo Baggins before the adventure.
What’s been the most exciting part of the Stove Process for you?
Ehm… the whole thing? I don’t think I’m as excitable as the artists are. During the first few meetings they’re at the height of reactive levels but that’s how the creative flow begins. After the ideas become clearer to them in their minds I start to really take interest. Seeing them create art and run public arts events is probably the most exciting; it shows cultural growth.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever got?
“Get on with it.” And “You can either give up or keep trying either way you could be miserable but by giving up you’re basically accepting a miserable fate.”
What five books do you think everyone should read?
The Tao Te Ching,
The Myth of Sisyphus,
Religion for Atheists
and something I haven’t read before so they can tell me to read it.
Tell us your passion:
Pursuing meaning in life.