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Crossing the Cree

Suffering from withdrawal symptoms from last weekends Nithraid? Never fear, there is another opportunity to join us as we make the journey to Wigtown Book Festival on Saturday, 27th of September. And we’re not just taking the A75 from Dumfries. Stove members are each making their own journeys the the former county town with its inheritance of martyrdom in Covenanting times and its modern booktown status, once the central crossroads in trading routes and pilgrimage routes through the West of the region.

First off Mark Zygadlo will be hoping for a little more wind than on Nithraid day as he and a flotilla of intrepid sailors make the journey across the Cree from the Ferry Bell at Creetown across the water to the old Wigtown Harbour. This flotilla is being kept to small numbers for safety reasons but if you wish to join the sailors there may still be an additional space left, please get in touch asap to Mark: [email protected]

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Maneuvers 1 and 2, the boats are to be launched from a small slipway alongside the A75 before paddling under the road bridge.

Each boat will carry a small cargo of charcoal made at Creetown Primary School with the help of Phoebe and Will Marshall. This will be used to power Uula Jero’s pedal-powered foundry… but more on that later!

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The route follows the Cree before making it’s way up the Bladnoch. The flotilla will be guided by Alan Wykes in his motor who knows the Bladnoch channel.

For more details on the stove network’s Trading Journeys, head across to our project page here

Trading Journeys has been created as part of the Wigtown Book Festival

Musings News

Stove in Words

For those of you who have been asking ‘what is The Stove’ – here is our latest attempt to define it… this is a work in progress and we are committed to inclusivity in all things… please do chuck your threepenneth in…

The Stove is a project to add creativity to the structures and thinking that will shape a future we all will share.

The project is run by a collective of artists and other active citizens in Dumfries and Galloway. The Stove creates inclusive public art events to engage the citizens of Dumfries in constructive and practical action in the town. The Stove uses a three storey building in the town centre of Dumfries as an HQ for the project and will operate 100 High Street as a social enterprise. The Stove has a membership of over 100 people ranging from café-owners and wild-food chefs to video artists and DJs.

We see the arts not as something solely for an ‘arts audience’, but rather, as a vital contribution to society on all fronts.  The Stove is a vehicle for practical partnerships with people and organisations working in Health, Education, Tourism, Regeneration and Environment.

The creative arts are one of the top ten economic sectors in Dumfries and Galloway – The Stove is an expression of confidence, professionalism and ambition for that sector – placed physically and practically at the heart of the evolving future of our region.

News Opportunities

Your Invite to Our Foundation Gathering

The Stove needs your help!

The Stove is getting itself properly organised for the future and needs your help to do this – we’re asking folk who are interested in the arts in D+G to join us for an informal evening to let us know how we are doing so far and what we could be doing better in the future. After we have all agreed a way forward everyone will be offered membership of The Stove (free).

So what has this got to do with you?

We believe The Stove can make a genuine contribution to the future of our region – for both the creative sector and the wider population.

Still wondering what it has to do with you?

The Stove is two things:

  1. A Building:
  • … you need to come to this gathering if:
    • You’d like to see a place in the centre of Dumfries where you can meet other creative folk, get info about what is going on locally and further afield.
    • You’d like to be able to hire affordable space to hold workshops/events.
    • You’d like to show/present/gig in a space dedicated to multi-disciplinary contemporary arts.
    • You’d like to rent a small serviced space in the centre of Dumfries.
    • You’re interested in being part of the artist team to work on a series of commissions integrated into the building
    • You want to know about progress with the building (we aim to have completed the necessary building work by the end of 2013 btw)

2. An Organisation:

  • You should come along if you are interested in:
    • Collaborating with other artists as part of teams to take on large commissions.
    • Bringing forward new ideas for projects/initiatives that need an ‘organisation’ to carry them forward (NB – one of The Stove rules is ‘if you have an idea you need to be prepared to do it yourself’).
    • If you are an organisation yourself and are looking to collaborate and share resources/expertise
    • Learning new skills by taking part in Stove projects
    • Building a creative career in Dumfries and Galloway
    • Encouraging early career folk to get started locally
    • Growing the ‘arts scene’ in D+G
    • If you are not part of the ‘creative sector’ but you are interested in working with our sector in your work (we can be pretty handy like).

The aim is find a creative solution that works for all of us to set up The Stove as the best thing it can be. By attending you will be offered the chance to build yourself into the Stove network from the beginning of this exciting new phase of the venture.

You do not need any expertise of any kind to take part – just enthusiasm and an open mind and heart.

Informal workshop led by Andrew Lyon till 7.30, refreshments and chat after

Please RSVP to [email protected] so we have an idea of numbers

Musings News

Galloway and Me

By Bill Drummond

My childhood was spent in Galloway. Its hills, rivers, tidal flats formed my understanding and love of the natural world. The Biblical stories I learnt before I could read mixed freely with the tales and legends learnt about the land around me to the point that Galilee and Galloway were one and the same. Was it the Boy David who confronted Goliath at Loch Trool or was it Robert the Bruce who faced the Philistines on the banks of the Jordan? When I learnt about Saint Ninian landing at the Isle of Whithorn bringing Christianity to our heathen forefathers, I assumed he was one of the Apostles and that he had just sailed across that Sea of Galilee. As for Tam o’Shanter, was he Old or New Testament?

At the age of 11 my family moved away. But that heady brew of wild landscape, Biblical stories, poetry, a sense that one was put on earth to do the right thing and the temptations of the flesh were always at hand has infiltrated and informed everything that I have done or attempted to do since. And then of course there was the work ethic.

And on the subject of work, everything I have done since the late 1990s has been framed within the context of The Penkiln Burn. This in one sense is an old fashioned publishing house and in another an online brand as artwork. The Penkiln Burn is also a small river that rises in the Galloway Hills and flows down into the River Cree at Minnigaff. It was on the banks of the Penkiln Burn that many of my boyhood adventures took place, a place that still fires my imagination to this day.

I am aware that if had spent my teenage years in Galloway my sense of it would be totally different, and that I would have probably viewed it as a cultural backwater that I could not wait to escape. But that was not the case.

As for Dumfries, that was another country altogether.

Bill Drummond, 3 October 2012.

A truly memorable film of Parton to Kirkcowan by way of Newtown Stewart aboard a steam train way back in 1965 – accopanied but the track Madruga Eterna by The KLF.

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