Brave New Words: Hello 2021 [Online]

Brave New Words returns for its ‘not quite a fresh new beginning because nothing seems to have changed’ special 2021 January lockdown edition! To return we’re inviting submissions on the theme of ‘Let it all out’, because if you can’t vent on the internet, where are you going to go?
We’re moving from our regular wee spot on the social media interweb and moving to the delightful Stove Network YouTube channel – so everyone is welcome!
Video submissions are now open! Deadline is 5PM on January 27th.
Videos to be no longer than 8 minutes in length. Submissions to be sent via www.WeTransfer.com to martin@thestove.org
As always, be brave.

How to Watch

Brave New Words: Hello 2021 will go live on youtube at 7pm on Friday, 29th January. Click the link below to view!

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
Opportunities

Micro Commissions for Stove Members

In response to recent current events, and what we know will be a very challenging time for many artists and creative freelancers, The Stove is offering a number of micro-commissions to our Stove membership.

We would like artists to make a creative response to one of four themes:

Open heartedness
Solidarity
Insight
Perseverance

The response could be in any art-form, including but not limited to, poetry, music or sound art, film, collage, painted or visual approaches, sculptural or digital but ask that you consider the work to be shared in the first instance on our online platforms as part of our new homegrown project, more information about homegrown is available here.

We will select and profile one artist or creative per week as part of an on-going series. Your work must be ready within a week of your award and it will also be a condition to make a short video in a Pecha Kucha style about your creative practice (full remote support for this will be provided) and share with us any online information about your work that we can use to promote you and your work to our audience and the wider region. You’ll need to be available to be in touch with us that week to supply information and content.

Selected artists will be offered a single payment of £75 for their responses. The Stove will award one commission per week with a quick turn around. There is no deadline, but new submissions will be selected on a weekly basis from the applications available.

To apply, drop us an email with a short proposal, to a maximum of 100 words to katie@thestove.org including your chosen theme in the subject heading.

You do not need to be based in Dumfries and Galloway to apply for these opportunities, but must be a Stove member. For more information on membership, visit our webpage here

Categories
Events Projects

Lowland: Text in Context

“I wrote about what was around me. But some people are so daft they don’t understand that writing about Prestwich is just as valid as Dante writing about his Inferno.” Mark E. Smith

In an in-between place like this, writers have free reign. A place, on the edge of becoming, nearest to the precipice of the green dreaming miles to the coast. We know, it’s not quite like anywhere else. Far from it. Too close to call home. Too far in reach. Too full of hope to try.

Over the last three years, a project has been quietly simmering in the studios of the Stove. Launched in its first year by writer-in-residence, Stuart A Paterson, Lowland sought to create a new literary portrait of Dumfries town.
Now approaching the third year, the project aspires to engage more writers to reflect on a town in a transitional phase of its history.

About The Play

Lowland 

Barnside is sinking and the residents are on the edge of revolution. The local council, in its bleary wisdom, has been drafted in to ease the tensions. Only, not everything is, as it seems. And sooner or later, something’s got to give…

Inspired by over 300 postcards by local people, visitors and newcomers reflecting on Dumfries as well as conversations in the heart of the high street, ‘Lowland’ is a play about life in an in-between place. Developed in association with the Stove Network and the National Theatre of Scotland, this new play written by young local writers is an often otherworldly, farcical and radical presentation into the nature of community.

The first public sharing of Lowland, a work-in-progress play written by local writers, performed by a community and directed by Stove programmer Martin O’Neill will take place at the end of this month in Langholm, Moniaive, and the YMCA in Lochside, Dumfries. Tickets are priced £2-5 on a pay-what-you-feel basis – get yours now, available here

Brave New Words

SW Scotland’s most experimental open mic returns for 2020 in association with Hooked Festival. For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. To sign up, please arrive prompt for 7PM.

Brave New Words

SW Scotland’s most experimental open mic returns for 2020 in association with Hooked Festival. For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. To sign up, please arrive prompt for 7PM.

Brave New Words

SW Scotland’s most experimental open mic returns for 2020 in association with Hooked Festival. For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. To sign up, please arrive prompt for 7PM.

Brave New Words

SW Scotland’s most experimental open mic returns for 2020 in association with Hooked Festival. For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. To sign up, please arrive prompt for 7PM.

Brave New Words

SW Scotland’s most experimental open mic returns for 2020 in association with Hooked Festival. For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. To sign up, please arrive prompt for 7PM.

Brave New Words

SW Scotland’s most experimental open mic returns for 2020 in association with Hooked Festival. For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. To sign up, please arrive prompt for 7PM.