This came up in a discussion over dinner a while back, and I had been pondering over it a while before it hit paper in a format I particualarly liked…
At long last! After many an hour/day toiling away persuading this to load – it has finally made it to the internet-sphere.
Apologies for the loose edit – some other time I might cut it a little tighter, hope it inspires a visit!
Today was a full on day of aspirational talk at the CS Open in Dumfries.
A few things really stuck out:
In particular the optimism of D&G folk really stuck out – the belief that it IS possible, we CAN bring beautiful and exciting arts projects to the regions, and share new experiences with the rest of our region. That there is (and should be) life beyond the Central Belt was a point that re-appeared time and time again. Notions of periphery, geographical (or otherwise) isolation, in a largely rural country but where decision making comes from our urban centres seems to clash, at least a little.
Language. When is one type appropriate over another? How do we dictate the language we use, and how does this help or hinder the arguement? As a graduate, I’m quick to admit how artspeak focuses my own work – and although I do believe there are times when artspeak is not appropriate – I feel ‘specialised vocabularly’ is all a part of the learning process and somehow integral to the learning process. However this seemed to be viewed as somewhat snobbish (at least by my table esp. the amateur art advocates), and I don’t know where I stand at this one yet… The guardian is currently taking a stance on artspeak check out one of their articles here – don’t think I’m this bad yet though!
the Mayan culture
(Collins dictionary – if you’re interested)
I am aware I use the word culture to mean everything, and after today clearly, so does everyone else. Art seems to form part of a much larger part of life – it’s more multi-disciplinary, and there’s more cross-contamination between life, art and everything else. In this way, identifying Creative Scotland’s ‘role’ is more difficult when defining it’s main focus has such soft focused edges. We want more risk-taking, less playing-it-safe, more ambitious and more outward looking.
This is not about the individual (artist or funder) but about the collective identity of a whole arts community. It feels like there is a lot at stake here, but also I suspect – regardless of how it pans out, these highly ambitious, focused artists and art-types would not let these sort of things get in their way. The drive will always come from the grassroots upwards, and these people seem far too driven to let the ultimate outcome of CS’ stooshie from dreaming and achieving.
I feel quite inspired. Hopefully Creative Scotland does too.
I’m not quite sure how to make my camera more happy about the panning business, but none the less – a good visual indicator of my studio on a ridiculously-tidy day!
Following on from last weeks open studios, I got chatting to two people who are involved in Kirkcudbright’s annual Arts Trail. Ever on the hunt for something a bit different, they offered up use of a beach hut for the weekend (bank holiday weekend 2nd to 5th of August, if you are interested). Link here
Beach hut first screamed a little unsuitable to me, but in my newly titled ‘blind optimism’ I thought I’d give it my fair shot…and the proposal for a small installation is looking a little like this currently…
Haul is a new artwork and installation to be created especially for the Kirkcudbright Arts and Crafts trail. As a site specific work, it will consist of a collection of cast found and everyday objects suspended in the centre of the beach hut, and contained within a net. The piece intends to create both a big visual impact on approach to the hut, and to create a dynamic/slightly challenging space; as a relatively obstructive piece, viewers will be able to peer in or edge around the work inside. It is intended that the work should be lit from the bottom corners of the space (although this is to be developed further following further conversation with the Arts and Crafts team, and solar powered lights may be used.)
My practise is based around an exploration of material and consumer culture, as a main component of twenty-first century living. The objects we collect and treasure are linked to our individual and collective identities; within a society built around the mass produced and vast quantities of everyday disposables, my work highlights the ephemeral (or not so) nature of our possessions.
With direct analogies to fishing and the detritus that washes up on our beaches, the work is on closer inspection a personal collection.
What initially appears as rubbish may in fact be treasure.
Sometimes blogging slips my mind. Another open studios weekend has come and gone. Nearly 80 visitors, a lot of questions, answers, followed by more questions, coffee and headaches later… and I honestly feel too tired to care.
I met another Katie Anderson – an artist too! Yikes, may have to start introducing my middle name into the game… her studio is just two miles from my own!
I’ve been filled with positive feedback and general interest (if a few raised eyebrows) – so it’s looking onwards and upwards. Reflecting back on my last open studios event in December.. a LOT has changed. And all for the better too, it’s starting to feel more like what I want to be making, and I’ve spent most of the day talking about my installations in process rather than rambling about conkers! Direction has been re-focused and I am ready to jump into tomorrow – August is drawing close and time is running on by, but the final installations are starting to form in my mind – and will soon be within grasp!