Katie Jo Anderson

Artist based in South West Scotland; interested in people, places, materials and collaborative practice.

Category: Uncategorized

Tattiefields Community Evening

Tattiefields has awakened a true fascination with all things tattie-related as I’ve spent the summer working and re-working ideas for a new public space as part of a housing development in North West Dumfries. From the names of potato breeds, to their origins, growing seasons and varieties, good recipes to creative projects – I’ve started to go a little tattie-mad.

We decided to host an evening to share this new obsession, towards creating a bit of identity for the Tattiefields site, and also to become the first point for sharing the proposed designs for the location. Exciting times.

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The evening included a creative workshop inventing potato men, women, children, animals and aliens…, a curry cooking workshop, the sharing of new designs, a tattie buffet and ended up with some film screenings and the impromptu judging of the best tattie people creations. The event allowed Kirsty Turpie and I to really embrace our love of food as art and art as food, with (I hope) excellent results!

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I had some really great feedback to the designs, and also support from the clients to take the designs forward to we are now looking forward to getting into the production phases for the project! I am still very keen to speaking to anyone who is interested in developing a project to support vegetable growing, either in gardens in and around Lochside, or on site at Tattiefields in the Spring. If you have an idea or are interested in sharing some vegetable growing skills, please get in touch katie<at>the stove.org.

Tattiefields is part of The Stove Network’s Lochside Public Art Project, working in partnership with DGHP and Creative Futures Lincluden and Lochside. Big thank you to project assistant Kirsty Turpie, Michael, Liam Templeton, Agne and Jimmy and Matt B for all the support in pulling the evening together. Thanks and image credits to Kirstin McEwan and Michael. To see the extended photograph album, visit The Stove’s Flickr page here

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SOUND HORN | Wave Decay | SANCTUARY LAB 2017

Can an artwork retain an essence of the site-specific whilst re-locating?
Can a temporary artwork be a tool for exploring, or re-examining a site?

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The second installing of Wave Decay took place as part of Sanctuary Lab, a 24 hour experiment of sound, light and art in the Galloway Forest Park. The site I selected on recommendation, is the stunning and majestic McMoab Stones, for the most part solely used by Mountain Bikers with a taste for the adventurous, these beautiful granite rocks rise out of the landscape like huge stone whales. It is an awe-some location in all manner of meanings.

The work has been heavily redeveloped sculpturally, with a series of new speaker horns created as part of a VAACMA Award 2017, in sheet copper and aluminium. They were a joy to make and gave an interestingly alien shine on the place, like small space rockets that had landed in the landscape, reflecting the tones and colours of the granite, the trees, the sky.

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The conditions for Wave Decay 2017 were extreme, with heavy rain and strong winds – the site became increasingly exposed and wild as the morning continued as wet as it began. Wave Decay became an opportunity to watch the sheet rain move across the valley, and hear and feel the very essence of the place as a seeping cold, pervasive damp against all waterproofs.
The all pervading sound of Wave Decay echoing out through the rain lingers long after everything has dried out.

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With extreme conditions come a kind of extreme audience. Intrepid explorers intent on the destination appeared in twos and threes, wearing increasingly serious waterproofs and boots. We casually handed out transparent wedding brollies to hold back the rain from faces at least temporarily, and visitors moved cautiously at first, over the backs of whales – picking between the puddles and up to the ridges, as the sound moved over in a constant drone of sound.

The sound, whilst difficult to explain – even in situ – provides an opportunity to re-examine place through sound, as the everyday sounds are muted and replaced by constant tones that move with the visitor, the sound unique to each pair of ears, moving and waivering discreetly between the sculptures.

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It became apparent during it’s latest outing that Wave Decay is no longer the appropriate title, it started out as an exploration of decay in space and sound in the ruins of Milkbank near Lockerbie, but as it moved location clearly the name could not accurately move with it. The sound horns are the constant, and everything else adjusts in response to the site.

As the work moves on, it looks for both new sites and places to test, a new name – (perhaps the work needs to be renamed for each site, but to still have a sense of consistency across the installations), and potentially a new addition to the current sound. I would love to bring the sound of each site to following iterations of the work, and allow the sites, or ghosts of sites to work with the current tonal sounds. I would like to better share the human essence of the work, the playful exploration and the vocal ranges. The sound might like to be more human, or more animal – and better be able to share it’s sense of place. It’s a growing experiment, and I’m looking for new site locations, indoors and out, that could play host to Wave Decay’s Sound Horns. If you have ideas, responses or general interest please get in touch.

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Huge thank you to everyone who made the effort to join me out of the McMoab Stones in September on a dreich Sunday morning, to everyone I spoke to and those I did not, thank you. Also big thanks to Sanctuary Lab team, Robbie and Jo, to Michael, Matt, Colin, Mike and everyone who helped get the install up last minute, Justin for the international tech support help line, to the trusty Pick Up on it’s final mission, and to the funders for helping get this project off the ground.
This project has been supported by Sanctuary Lab 2017, and the South of Scotland Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards funded by Creative Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Live Borders.

Intensive Bronze adventures

I’ve spent a while looking for the right course to spend a bit of time focusing my work work and technical approach this year. Looking to develop my own practice generally, as well as working towards completing a couple of current works in progress, I eventually spotted the Scottish Sculpture Workshop’s Intensive Bronze course – and remembered Eden Jolly, course leader and technician extraordinaire telling me how great a week it was. It really was.

I’ve done a wee bit of bronze casting before, and arrived with a long list of things to test and explore. I managed to narrow it down a little for the practicalities of a five day course..(!)

Test 1: I’ve been working on a series of woven bark and basket-styled objects – as samples  for a bigger project on a larger scale. Quick and rushed plaster mould to wax and then through the ceramic shell lost wax process.

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Complete pain to get a decent moulding of, and lost the detailing on the reverse – mostly due to the size and scale I was working at, and a bit of uneven filling during the pour which has lost some of the definition at the end points.

Test 2: I’ve been working on some clockwork pieces for a while, making cogs and pinions in ply, but thought they might be a bit more interesting moved into bronze, at least in some parts of the clockwork. These weren’t very perfect to start with even in ply, and going through an organic burn out process was pretty interesting – directly coating the ply pieces in ceramic shell material before burning out the ply pieces in their entirety.

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These needed the most finishing post casting, and are still a bit rough and ready, as they lost a little detail in the teeth during the pour but pretty lovely clunky things. Now excited to keep working on the clockwork pieces to incorporate these (and work around the shrinkage of the pinions as they have gone through this process).

Test 3: Surface pattern. I’ve done a wee bit of ceramic shell casting before, but really wanted to learn a bit more about sand casting as a potentially more accessible route for developing the Stove’s Pedal Powered Foundry for use at home and locally with new workshops. I’ve had these moulds from a series of casts of the Solway shore for a while, but lately I’ve been developing an urge to redevelop them into a beautiful piece as the original moulds never really got that far.

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Beautiful sand mould surface texture. Suitably sandy for the solway shore. (Note the odd bump to the design due to my clumsy temporary plasticine centre)

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Basically, everything is better once it has been set on fire.

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Patina’s especially.

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Sort of listening, sort of not listening about the ‘don’t use that wax, it’s too dark a colour’. Really useful stuff. Might’ve also used a bit much, but it has settled down a wee bit.

Plus, my biggest metal pour yet, here Maria and Margret pour out the unused bronze ready for casting another time in the second pour of the week.

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Major thank you to Eden and Uist for all the technical support, information and giggles, Annie at the office for being awesome and superbly helpful, and lots of love to my new casting pals for an excellent, laughter-filled week. SSW is an amazing place.

Also, I’m back in the ITSA (Table Squennis) website’s trading cards collection… (Goldy Trumpet features here) I plan to learn the rules on my next trip up North.

My attendance on the course was supported by the South of Scotland Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards funded by Creative Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Live Borders. This is a really amazing award and fund, if you are an artist or craft maker based in Dumfries and Galloway or the Borders, you can apply for the second round of the 2017-18 scheme, the deadline for which will be in February 2018. Full details available online here

SURGE, and they just don’t make them like they used to

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Great to see this work finally up in the Patriothall Gallery in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month, after it’s been sitting about in my studio/in my brain for quite a while. Patriothall is a great exhibition space, very well hidden down an alley way in Stockbridge – the poshest place in Edinburgh, surely. SURGE, a group exhibition curated and organised by Upland, featured a really nice mixture of familiar and new works by 12 artists from across Dumfries and Galloway, and made a nice collection in the space. This has been my first exhibition in the central belt (!), but persuading new audiences into a space like this turns out to be trickier than it might have been. However, great to get the work out, framed and onto the wall somewhere, and spot the red dot tucked away underneath one!

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It’s always the favourites that go, and so it is this time too, but so glad it has gone to a good home (big thank you to Clare for the support!).

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My first experience also with a professional framer, and have to say how beautifully framed these look with thanks to Sam Cartman for sorting me out last minute and getting them finished perfectly.

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Also, thanks to Upland for all the organising and for selecting the work-in-progress. It’s interesting to continue to look, playfully at the art gallery situation as a potential site or location for artworks, even if I often feel a bit puzzled as to their purpose once there. Potentially as a stepping stone towards the more personal, domestic environment gives the artwork a lifespan and new location to relate to.

‘they just don’t make them like they used to’ arrived after a long period of learning how to lift floors during my studio renovations last year. The length of the nails, coupled with the beautiful, heavy floor boards made the task arduous and lengthy, as the floorboards were lifted, possibly for the first time in their 170 year life; and this sparked an importance of keeping traces of this lifting, moving and replacing, of acknowledging the makers and tradespeople who came before.

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Also, on the way back to the car, we spotted this excellent ghost sign, with layers of businesses and lettering on show. Super nice.

I’m on the hunt for gallery spaces for next year in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Newcastle or somewhere else out with D&G, that might be interested in a proposal for an exhibition featuring sculptures, film and photographs (possibly audio) as an installation exploring landscape and the documentation of one of my site specific pieces. If you’ve got any suggestions of places that might be interested or that I could approach, please give me a shout.

Wave Decay heads for Sanctuary

This is really a work about listening.
It is about what you hear before, during and afterwards.

It is about the act of listening, and about experiencing through listening.
It is about how we understand environment, through our audible landscapes.

It is about switching on and tuning in, in order to switch off.

Come and explore with me. Wave Decay will re-emerge from an indecisive few months of false starts ad uncertainty in it’s new beauty as an experiment in the wilds of Galloway as part of Sanctuary Lab. The installation will run from 10am on Sunday morning, 24th September, all are welcome. Full details available here, hope to see you there!

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Excited to have new work showing in Edinburgh as part of Upland’s SURGE exhibition at the Patriothall Gallery next month. The exhibition launch evening is free and open to everyone, if you are about in Edinburgh town please come and see some new work from a selection of excellent D&G based artists.

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Wave Decay, Sanctuary Headed

Really excited to announce that Wave Decay will be making a second appearance, later this year at Sanctuary. Having first created the sound and sculptural installation in collaboration with Justin K Prim last summer for Milkbank House, (details available here) the work is now being redeveloped for a new location in the Galloway Forest Park.

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Full details about the project at Sanctuary here

Running on the Backs of Whales

Beautiful weekend was spent in Galloway avoiding the rain showers, running across the flat and empty Solway, and revisiting the Stove’s Ferry Bell in Creetown.

Also, very excitingly, I went to check out a potential new location for an installation work later in the year. ‘Like the backs of whales’ was the general descriptor we went out on the search for.

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And so it seemed. Huge granite spines crack open the surrounding greenery, heaving gently through the landscape.

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There’s a tiny human (full size) for scale reference.

The surfaces and textures are beautiful, and the sense of scale about the place before it opens up to reveal the valley and burn running below are perfect.

The site might be well known to you if you are a particularly adventurous mountain biker, as the McMoab Stones feature on the area’s more hardcore mountain biking routes, but it is a beautiful site to explore on foot equally.

There’s quite a bit of logistics and detail to figure out next, but I am IN LOVE with this location. (Thanks Robbie, for the hint.)

Stay tuned.

Casting in progress

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Have paired up with blueprint100 to kick some work creating a collection for the new DGRI, due to open at the end of the year. Working with several different groups across the region, I am hoping to build up a collection of curiosities; small objects and ephemera, that can create conversation and distraction within some of the spaces in the new hospital.

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blueprint100 are the first group I have worked with on this project, but hoping to connect with several others to make up all of the work required over the next couple of months. The objects are all being created using the Stove’s Pedal Powered Foundry – a unique and quirky kit that can enable small scale metal castings in a variety of metals and using a variety of processes.

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The blueprint100 sessions fell neatly into two parts, the first in the studio, the second down on the Mill Green in blazing sunshine.

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Above, Agné’s tree, and below Jimmy’s Lochside and Lincluden crest.

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Thank you to everyone who donated a piece towards the collection, and the blueprint100 team for their support. Also thanks to Sophie for being my helpful assistant throughout both workshops. More workshops and objects coming soon!

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The beginnings of a new project that has been under wraps for a while, but is now just starting to emerge! Myself and Kirsty Turpie will be effectively artists in residence in Lochside, popping up at the Family Centre and at various events over the next while. Drop in for a chat and to hear […]