Categories
News

Messages: Elsewhere Installation

Messages is a new artwork installation created by artist Helen Walsh, and sited in the windows of 113-115 High Street, Dumfries.
The installation will be on view from Monday 21st September to Monday, 19th October.

Messages

“We use envelopes to send mesages, to communicate, to share our ideas, our secrets, our hopes and dreams. Envelope also means to wrap and protect and in my installation I want to look at both these ideas. These envelopes represent some of my hopes, dreams and fears for us post Covid-19.

I’ve made the envelopes from transparent paper so you can see some of the contents, a sharing of my hopes, dreams and fears. I hope you’ll share some of yours with me by taking an envelope from the box provided, working on it and then returning it to us at The Stove Network so we can add it to the installation.”

Get Involved

To get involved collect an envelope from either 113-115 High Street, or The Stove cafe and share your hopes and ideas of what life should be like after the Covid-19 pandemic. You can share these ideas however you like, drawings, words or another way – and return it to the Stove cafe addressed to ELSEWHERE. Alternatively, if you are based outwith the town centre, post us your ideas to ELSEWHERE, The Stove, 100 High Street, Dumfries. Envelopes should not be larger than C5.

Elsewhere

“The High Street is somewhere we thought we knew, and now it’s different, it’s elsewhere.”

Elsewhere is a research project by The Stove Network that looks to locate creative activity in the High Street of Dumfries as a means of exploring public space during a time when we as a community are responding to, and recovering from, the effects of COVID on our sense of place.

Helen Walsh is an artist and creative practitioner living on the Solway Coast. Helen specialises in drawing and textiles, particularly embroidery. Helen is continually fascinated by the natural world and our connection to it. Find out more about Helen and her work online here

Helen’s work is located in 113-115 High Street, a property recently purchased by Midsteeple Quarter. Find out more about the project here

Elsewhere is part of Atlas Pandemica. Find out more here

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
Musings

What is the responsibility of art in times of crisis?

Insight
By Martin O’Neill, Stove Curatorial Team and Head of Programming

What is the responsibility of art in times of crisis? 

Things look very different now. 

My neighbor has washed the same tea towel, every two days, for the last three weeks. It’s Hokusai’s wave. 

I didn’t really want to notice this. I never really thought about my neighbor’s washing line, let alone her tea towel. Aside from the fact it seems a little bit much to wash it every two days, it’s in my life now and it’s past the point of familiarity. Like the traffic lights at the foot of the road I crossed every day, the ‘Clearance Sale’ vinyl on a shop on the High Street, the two grizzly dogs on the Mill Green; it’s ubiquitous. Maybe Irene has been washing her tea towel, hanging it on the washing line every two days for seventeen years. Or maybe it’s just her little routine in the lockdown. The tea towel waves heroically in the breeze, and I’ll get on with other things, cooking, reading, watching the television. And before the sun dips, it’s gone. 

Similarly, a friend of mine, on his daily walk observed new paths, termed ‘desire lines’, a consequence of footsteps eroding the earth, un-foiling a path across parks, fields, forest floors or gardens. These lines leading home have multiplied over these three weeks of lockdown. 

These observations of the mundane might represent a reacquainting, or revelation of the environments we thought we knew. Our neighbors, the paths leading home, the way time passes. Crisis, in this case, has given us pause and somehow focused our lives entirely on the in-between. But for all its meditative qualities, it is scored with a sadness as yet not understood. 

This reflection comes at the worst possible costs, not only of the very real threat of our health and our lives, but also the alienation of our lives from one another. This new perspective is weighted with an anxiety, needle-pointed in the reality of the weekly shop, or a visit to the chemists. We move in a heightened awareness of one another, yet for many, this is a privilege un-bestowed to key-workers, from the NHS to the supermarket cashier, their roles akin now to soldiers in warfare. Their responsibilities, particularly of those whose work has often been derogatively termed ‘un-skilled’ by governments, represent the fragility of socio-economic systems as well as the hypocrisy in the demonization of labor in our country.

The role of art, then through this, seems nearly un-definable. More often than not, definitions of its role in this time appear and disappear like mirages in a desert, and mostly its definitions return to the safety of ‘entertainment’, or the spectacle. The live-streamed play, the virtual tour…

Artists and creative freelancers are hit with a financial insecurity on a scale unseen since the financial crash of 2008, so for the most part, artists are now seeking to consolidate and revise their work so that it might ‘prove its worth’, an unfortunate consequence of the precariousness of our professions. Others are overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility to focus on new work, finish their novels, work on their next collection, underpinned by capitalistic notions of productivity, that we have somehow been given ‘free-time’, a sentiment in ignorance of the psychological ramifications of a national health pandemic.

Many may be thinking that art is facing a crisis in meaning. It’s understandable, given the anxieties of this time. Yet art, throughout history, has demonstrated its capacity to survive. Whether in its ambiguity as a social movement, its ties to the political landscape, its power in advocacy, its role in activism and its power to reflect our lives and emotions. At the root of this are its defining characteristics, that of survival and its role as a healer. 

The Stove’s driving force has been, throughout the years, the untapped power of conversation and creativity through the act of gathering, building and celebrating communities within a town ripe for acknowledgement, and change. We now are seeking to find ourselves once again, and perhaps through this, re-define our role as community artists, producers, and community members, as a team. Our power is in being embedded in the life of our town, yet our responsibilities are often taken for granted, both in government, local and national as well as internally, with such focuses on events to bring together the branches of our community, to one space, becoming familiar in the day-to-day motion of the organisation. The challenge now then is, without the physical space, how do we connect?

In Home Grown, these questions are at the forefront of our activity. Beneath it, values of solidarity, open-heartedness, insight and perseverance seek to illustrate the present as well as symbolize our hopes for the future. Similarly, these values represent our work up till this point. For now, they must hold their ground. 

Beneath the surface of all this, is a search for belonging. The Stove represents the questions of where art and creativity belong aside from the corridors of mansions, the museum or the free-market. In this search, art is not defined by product or spectacle but in essence its role in the make-up of Who We Are, not only as people, but as a community, threaded together by a common care for one another. This art then seeks to celebrate that which makes us human, in a place, and what that then means, and how it defines us.

Who we will be when we return, and who will be with us, we cannot know yet. Our community and our town must take time to heal, and this art will flow through these times with the community in conversation, in activity and in reflection to weave some new future, knowing its responsibility, to then ask of those in power where their responsibility lies. 

For now, we must acknowledge these moments in-between, the desire lines, the tea towel in the breeze, the slow flow of time, for whatever they may not mean to us now, they will be the backbone of some future as yet unwritten. 

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.

Reel to Real At Home

This month we are trying something new.
As we are not able to gather at the moment, we’d like to invite you to turn your living room into a pop-up cinema – set up a cosy space, open the popcorn, and we’ll share a film together. After the film screening, join us for a post-film discussion from the comfort of your sofa and share your thoughts with us.
Invite a friend (through this new fangled technology), share the link and when you view, pour a cuppa and watch with us!
After the film, fire up Zoom for a relaxed post-show get-together and share your thoughts.
Best of all it’s free! For full details, get in touch by direct message or email katie@thestove.org
THE FILM
BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW
2018 | Joost Vandebrug | Romanian | 82 minutes | Documentary
Nicu, a homeless street kid, is adopted by the notorious ‘Bruce Lee’ and brought up in the subterranean tunnels of Bucharest. As he grows up, he begins to realize that this ‘King of the Underworld’ is maybe not the father that he needs.
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Trailer: https://mubi.com/films/bruce-lee-and-the-outlaw/trailer
THE FORMAT
Sign up to MUBI – details below, and watch the film at 8pm on Friday, 10th April from your own account.
Please contact us to join in the post-film discussion online, which will be available via ZOOM.
Reel to Real at Home screenings are free to view!
MUBI
Sign up for MUBI using this link: https://mubi.com/cinemagoeson
Please Note**: This is a 90 day free trial, and you will need to submit your bank card details to access, so if you don’t wish to be charged by MUBI following the first three months be sure to unsubscribe at the end of your trial. We are able to share this with you as part of the Cinema For All community cinema network.