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Big Burns Supper at the Stove

Last week, The Stove Network ran as the town centre hub for this year’s Big Burns Supper Festival, hosting a variety of events over the 10 days, as well as being the base for the very first D-Lux Festival of Light.

The Big Burns Supper festivities kicked off on Sunday with the annual Carnival. This year, blueprint100 team members created giant skeletons of celebrities and artists lost in 2016. Among these were David Bowie, Prince, Muhammed Ali and Carrie Fisher.

Dead Famous Carnival

On Wednesday, we hosted ‘Being Made in Dumfries’; an opportunity to see the next crop of local creativity before anyone else as local playwrights, writers, musicians and artists presented their ‘work-in-progress’ to an audience for the first time. Martin Joseph O’Neill, writer and Curatorial Team member here at The Stove, began the evening with a discussion of his second artwork in a series entitled ‘Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain’; an interactive installation which ran during the week as part of the D-Lux Festival of Light.


The following evening, Holywood actor and D&G resident Gary Lewis hosted a special screening of the blackest of Glaswegian comedies – Orphans, starring Lewis and directed by Peter Mullen. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Gary. We had a great chat including the long and circuitous route getting started in acting, the value of independent film making, the uncertain future for film making post Brexit, and the most beautiful Scottish landscapes to work in.

To conclude our week of Big Burns Supper events, the Stove’s monthly open mic night had a special edition with ‘Brave New Words for the Bard’. The night was open to writers, performers and musicians with words spoken or sung to present their work in front of a live audience. The performances ranged from Brave New Words regulars and local young musicians Kate Kyle and Elia Davidson, as well as newcomers sharing their poetry and stories. Brave New Words will return at the end of this month with a special love themed evening.

News Project Updates

Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain

Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain is a project between artists Martin  Joseph O’Neill, Colin Tennant and composer and musician Stuart Macpherson. First conceived as a short poem MSMR has since moved onto include a series of artworks and interventions throughout the High Street and side streets of Dumfries town.

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Come Dawn, a 12 hour writing project from 7PM to 7AM took place at the Bakers Oven in November. A performance installation, the writer sat typing whilst in real time, the words were projected onto the windows of the empty unit in front of a live audience.


Working from a manuscript of 60 pages the collective were commissioned by the D-LUX Festival of Light to produce an artwork showcasing one of the poems to be projected behind the Stove. The artwork deployed Burroughs’ cut-up method of writing in a live performance lasting four hours, four nights a week, where a single poem was transformed continuously by adding and subtracting the words, manually blocking the light of the projector through a window using paper and tape.


The regional project is inspired by the narratives of the small town at night and is to continue throughout the year in installations, performances and interactive artworks throughout the town.


Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain was a Stove Members project, supported by DG Unlimited and the Dumfries and Galloway Council.

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