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This is not just a car park.

An evening of short artist films, screened outdoors in our backdoor Greenspace, accompanied by freshly baked pizzas created by Shed Therapy’s Gavin Philips with support from some of our foodie Stovies!

Greenspace Reel to Real
greenspace pizza

Our Greenspace project is an ongoing project within the Stove that looks to transform the backdoor area of the Stove creating a warm and welcoming level access to the building, as well as providing bike parking, and options to populate and take over an otherwise disused and neglected space within the town centre.

As part of our first outdoor Reel to Real, we screened a selection of films by local filmmakers, focusing on artists based across Scotland, including:

Emma Dove’s On Another Note
Colin Tennant’s Portrait of an Artist featuring our own Matt Baker
John Wallace’s Dumfries InBetween

seed greenspace
greenspace pizza
greenspace pizza

Thank you to everyone who helped out, and the filmmakers for kind permissions to screen their films. We hope to do more events in our Greenspace later in the year! This event was part of our Rabbie Burns Time – a week of events and activities celebrating the Bard and the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries. Photography credit: Kirstin McEwan

greenspace pizza
greenspace pizza
greenspace reel to real
News Project Updates

Parking Space: Level Up

From Callum Davidson

“Back in October I got the chance to take part in Parking Space set up by the Stove and Sleeping Giants. Such a great weekend meeting all the people there, having a great time skating and filming and just soaking up the good times. The whole idea that every level you went down was a new event to watch and take part in really made it for me. Here’s some stills from a video in the works from the event I filmed with Mutual Motion.”


Watch Callum’s short film created as part of Parking Space here:


Keep up with Callum and his film and photography work online:

Twitter: @MutualMotion

Facebook here


Musings News

Pure Singleness and the Scottish Parlimentary Cross-Party Group on Culture

Guest Blog Post. Stan Bonnar

Stan and Cara thought hard

Stove member Stan Bonnar shared with us his recent open letter to the Scottish Parliamentary Cross-Party group, on creating spaces and environments for thinking, discussing. How do we nurture culture? Stan used our AGM back in October as a stepping stone in his letter, and so we asked him if he would kindly let us share his letter on our blog.

For more on Stan, please have a look at his interesting flickr account here which includes an alternative artistic reading of his letter


“i attended the agm of the stove artists collective in dumfries the other night. after all the formalities were over, they had organized a group discussion on public art, and this was facilitated by two groups – dot to dot active arts (blyth, northumberland) and the open jar collective (glasgow). also there were mark lyken and emma dove (who are currently artists in residence at the stove). this meeting of minds took place in an underground car park (closed to cars but not to skateboarders) and the various spaces of this dark cave were illuminated – some by moving images projected onto sheets, some by sculptural installations.

all these artists are actively and intimately involved with people. i would describe their art practice as mindful listening – cupped hands held open in places where people are – people fill the cup with all sorts of ideas and things. some of these leak away – filtered through fingers, but some remain for people and artist to see more clearly, and perhaps to make something of – a work of environmental art, of social art? but i also see the work of these artists as indicative of a greater search for cultural equanimity that started after the second world war. a continuing response by the individual to the excesses of technological globalization. but what drives such a human response – an ethical impulse – a quest for fairness?

human beings are naturally universal, by which i mean that our ideas and impulses are the very fabric of the universe. if the universe has a capacity to be unthinking, then so do we. if we are ethical and mindful, then the universe is ethical and mindful. we extend as the universe, and the universe extends as us – we are things like any other.

i will now try to take you on a trip into the universe as i understand it. i want us to consider the following quotation which is the current wikipedia definition of quantum entanglement: “Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently—instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole.

“Measurements of physical properties such as position, momentum, spin, polarization, etc. performed on entangled particles are found to be appropriately correlated. For example, if a pair of particles is generated in such a way that their total spin is known to be zero, and one particle is found to have clockwise spin on a certain axis, then the spin of the other particle, measured on the same axis, will be found to be counterclockwise. Because of the nature of quantum measurement, however, this behavior gives rise to effects that can appear paradoxical: any measurement of a property of a particle can be seen as acting on that particle (e.g. by collapsing a number of superimposed states); and in the case of entangled particles, such action must be on the entangled system as a whole. It thus appears that one particle of an entangled pair “knows” what measurement has been performed on the other, and with what outcome, even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which at the time of measurement may be separated by arbitrarily large distances.”

for me, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement/measurement seems to show that the nature of things in space and time is very much comprehended from the point of view of something, like ourselves, who is entangled in the system. it’s not possible to become physically disentangled from a physical universe of space and time, especially if we ourselves are by our very comprehending, projecting the physical universe. so what is the universe really like beyond our comprehending of it?

for me, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement shows that the universe is the extension of pure singleness, throughout which we things project an infinite array of differently entangled realities of spacetime. the point is, that no matter where or when we look, we are looking at that thing with which we are entangled, which is ourself. we are our own differential comprehending of pure singleness.

i asked the question earlier concerning what drives the human ethical impulse – the quest for fairness to which social artists are compelled. the answer is clear that it is our pure singleness that drives such a quest. but how do things come into existence from pure singleness?

here is a representation of pure singleness…

…because of our nature as spatio-temporal things, this space is the closest we can get to actually describing pure singleness. for us it is the pure singleness of ‘space’ which has no property other than that it can extend for a ‘time’. as ‘things in space and time’ is how we comprehend our own pure singleness. but what constitutes a thing?

if singleness has the property that it can extend as our understanding (and then as the comprehending of that which we understand), then our ‘thinghood’ is the symmetrical extending of pure singleness. what i mean by this is simply that there can be no extension without that which is extended from. a thing is always a symmetrical alterity of otherness – that very system of a particle mentioned in the wikipedia definition of quantum entanglement. a thing is always the symmetry of otherness, and although i comprehend myself as an individual, i am actually nothing but my difference from you.

there is no ‘thing-in-itself’ as such. a thing is not for example the cat which strolls past me on the pavement on a sunny day. rather the thing is pure singleness extending as symmetry of the universe – nuances of which are the cat, the pavement, the sun and me. nuances which constitute the thinghood of the things that i comprehend.

but as i hinted earlier, comprehending is nothing more than our comprehensive grasping together of a basic understanding that we have with otherness. understanding-with is the sheer symmetrical extending of pure singleness as the alterity of otherness. understanding-with is the basis of the universe. the cat, the pavement, the sun and i are all nothing but our difference from each other, and we create and recreate each other in the

very moment of our understanding-with. this is the very spacing and temporalizing of pure singleness.

if i become conscious of the cat on the pavement, then for a few moments i will cultivate my understanding-with of the cat/pavement/sun/me thing. i might then nurture that initial cultivation by bending down to speak to the cat. if i then find that i am not only absorbed with this cat but with cats in general, i might join the cats protection league and be absorbed into a culture of cats and cat related things. in other words, i become ‘cultured’. the point is that there is no thing that is not cultured to some extent, and a thing that is cultured has been cultivated to be so. culture is the way of things.

if culture is the way of things, how best are we to nurture culture? by what means do we ackowledge the cultivation of things as cultures? do we simply celebrate cultural differences? of course we do, but this can be a hugely broad and insensitive brush stroke. rather, it is important to acknowledge the details of sophisticated cultural practice – literally for example, the manipulation of the nuts and bolts of a mechanics’ workplace.

many artists such as those whom i mentioned earlier, are deeply entangled with the cultures of others. they seek to interrogate, nurture and extend these cultures because they are very sensitive to the way of things. their work in these social contexts is at once public and intimately detailed. we might look on the scottish parliamentary cross party group on culture as a place where cultural things become entangled – but the ultimate purpose of such a group must also be to nurture the cultures of others. if it does not, then it runs the risk of becoming nothing more than a showcase for the arts establishment.

there is no limit what art is and where it can be found. at its most fundamental it is about the languages of cultural things and how they develop. the CPG on culture must be sensitive to artists working with ‘nuts and bolts’ and enable them to become entangled with MSP’s. both groups are working to nurture cultural things – but artists also nurture the languages of things.

all over scotland, MSP’s and artists occupy the same localities, and these are where new CPG working parties should be founded.”

stan bonnar 2014

News Project Updates

Rushes from Parking Space

IMG_7180 (1)
Strange yellow circles appeared in car parks around town
Stove widows with yellow circles
Clues began to emerge elsewhere and on social media
Meanwhile in a basement under Greyfriars Church other painting was going on
Meanwhile in a basement under Greyfriars Church other painting was going on
On Friday 17th October the Stove members and other members of the public gathered on Level Four of the underground NCP car park for the Annual General Meeting of The Stove Network
On Friday 17th October the Stove members and other members of the public gathered on Level Four of the underground NCP car park for the Annual General Meeting of The Stove Network
Hannah Brackston and Alex Wilde of Open Jar Artists Collective and Stephen Pritchard of Dot To Dot Active Arts led the discussion that followed the formal business of the AGM
The Stove Network Board worked hard
The Stove Network Board worked hard
Stan and Cara thought hard
Stan and Cara thought hard
Craig Patterson from Burns Cafe served Stovies from the back of a pick-up
Craig Patterson from Burns Cafe served Stovies from the back of a pick-up
The Doonhame Derby Doll Usherettes arrived
The Doonhame Derby Doll Usherettes arrived
Crucial chat
Everyone helped convert the space into a cinema
Eating popcorn whilst watching 'How to Start a Revolution'
Eating popcorn whilst watching ‘How to Start a Revolution’
The next day people played street games on the top deck of the carpark
The next day people played street games on the top deck of the carpark
The skaters were busy on Level 1
On Level 2 'Mirrorlands' by Mark Lyken and Emma Dove was showing on two walls simultaneously
On Level 2 ‘Mirrorlands’ by Mark Lyken and Emma Dove was showing on two walls simultaneously
On Level 3 was Mark and Emma’s ‘GabCab’ in which people were filmed talking about where they would like the taxi to take them
Emma Dove operating 'GabCab'
Emma Dove operating ‘GabCab’
Entering level 4
Entering level 4
Where Alice Francis made popcorn
Where Alice Francis made popcorn
...and Max Fox made hot chocolate
…and Max Fox made hot chocolate
Parking Space cinema - screening 'Shell'
Parking Space cinema – screening ‘Shell’
Screening of movies by Mutual Motion (films made by local skaters)...watched by local skaters
Screening of movies by Mutual Motion (films made by local skaters)…watched by local skaters

Parking Space – by The Stove Network and the people of Dumfries

Lead Artist: Katie Anderson

Stove Artist Team; Matt Baker, Hannah Brackston, Moxie DePaulitte, Doonhame Derby Dolls, Emma Dove, Dumfries Skaters,  Alice Francis, Max Fox, Andy Jardine, Mark Lyken, Will Levi Marshall, Debs McDowall, Mutual Motion, Stephen Pritchard, Colin Tennant, John Wallace, Ailsa Watson, Alex Wilde

Photography: Cate Ross, Colin Tennant, Galina Walls

Thanks to: Members and Board of The Stove Network, Stuart and Sean at NCP, SHAX, Speedy Hire

More images from Parking Space – here

Musings News Project Updates

‘We Are Nourishing Soup’

As part of our AGM last Friday at #ParkingSpace, we were keen to discuss some of the broader issues surrounding the Stove’s values surrounding the relationship between the Stove, Dumfries and the role of public art. 

We kicked off the debate with Open Jar Collective, and Dot to Dot Active Arts and started to work on a ‘recipe’ for the Stove.
This has felt like the somewhat experimental beginning of a process, which we are hoping to develop more fully over the course of the next few months, and we will be looking for more input from our Stove members during this time – more details to follow on this in the near future.

In the meantime we’d like to share some of our considering vegetables…


The Contraversial Pear

no prejudice
no judgement”


The Honesty Jar

“Honest and Clear


The Critical Thinking Scissors

“Critical thinking
Prepared to take risks
Visionary Work
Make people feel good
…Getting to the point”


The Blender of Fulfillment

Accessiblity (conceptual)
Fulfillment and hungry for more
Challenge yourself”


The Catalytic Convertor Carton

“Catalytic convertor
Pride of Place


The Unexpected Fish

The Banana amongst us

The Parterships Tongs 

“Partnerships: Working Together”

More vegetables available on our facebook page here

News Project Updates

Parking Space – Details Announced!

Excitement is building in stove central as we prepare for Parking Space this weekend, which sees the stove taking over an underground car park in Dumfries for two days.

Expect the unexpected, bring a warm coat, a torch, your skateboard…. we’ll provide the rest.

The Stove’s AGM-like-no-other will take place on Friday 17th October in the NCP Southergate car park from 6pm and is open to all, including non-members.

The AGM will be followed by a discussion evening over food, where we will be having a closer look at Situations’ New Rules of Public Art and the evolving role of public art in Dumfries and wider afield. We are pleased to announce that we will be joined in this by Stephen Pritchard of Dot to Dot Active Arts, and Alex Wilde and Hannah Brackston of Open Jar Collective. 

This will be followed by a screening in our Parking Space cinema of How to Start a Revolution.

The AGM and discussion evening are free to attend, but please RSVP to [email protected] for catering numbers.

Parking Space will run throughout Saturday 18th October, from noon until 10pm.

  • Level 1 – Street Games (noon – 4pm)
  • Level 2 – Open Skateboarding
  • Level 3 – Moving Image Installations (as part of South West Picture Show), including: Mirrorlands – Mark Lyken and Emma Dove
  • Level 4 – Gab Cab by Stove Artists in Residence, Mark Lyken and Emma Dove
  • Level 4 – Parking Space Cinema – a programme of artist films on the theme of popular protest and civic action. Film screenings will include: Nae Pasaran – Chappin’ – How to Start a Revolution – UCS 1 (fly on wall documentary about Clydeside shipyard work-in 1971)
  • Level 4 – Parking Space Cinema – 2pm Shell and 7pm Dogtown

All events are free, and will be announced over the coming days via our social media on facebook, our blog and twitter

See you in the car park!

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