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News Opportunities Projects

Beauty in the Broken: Call Out for Community Gardeners

As part of Atlas Pandemica, local artist Peter Smith is seeking local people to become ‘gardeners’ in the town.

‘Beauty in the Broken’ is a project which has been commissioned by The Stove as part of ‘Atlas Pandemica: Maps to a Kinder World’, which uses creative ways to chart the changes that have happened around us recently and to try and navigate the way forward into a more hopeful and shared future.

Peter Smith is a Dumfries based artist who works in fields of interactive art and wood-based sculpture and design.

 

Peter has created a series of Zen Gardens that will be placed around the town and is looking for a people to volunteer to tend the gardens over the three weeks they are in situ.

The project looks at the way in which Covid-19 may have broken us, but there is always an opportunity to repair in a new, beautiful way. We don’t try to hide these breaks and damage, but we repair our town and community – creating something unique and powerfully beautiful.

Peter sees this project as a social ‘Kintsugi’ – a method of repairing broken things in a way that embraces flaws and imperfections – worked out through the mindful practice of rock gardens.

The gardeners will regularly tend a set of sand and rock gardens throughout Dumfries every morning for 10-20 minutes. Rocks are placed on the field of sand and rakes are used to mark patterns and shapes into the sand. They will then be left for the day and a new design created the following day.

This opportunity is open to anyone – you do not need to have any gardening experience or experience in the creative industries. The gardens will go live over a 3-week period, from 18th January to 7th February 2021. The only requirement is availability every morning for 10-20 minutes during the 3-week period and to be able to carry some hand tools. The project looks to include a diverse mix of people from the local community.

If you would like to volunteer or for further information, please email [email protected]

The deadline to get in touch is Monday 14th December at 12 noon.

For more information on Atlas Pandemica, please click here.

Categories
News Projects

Artists and Community Landowners: Meet the Artists: Virginia Hutchison

Virginia Hutchison, artist with Urras Oigherachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust)

Artists and Community Landowners
Meet the Artists

Artists and Community Landowners is a collaborative project digging down into the stories of community landownership across Scotland and the impact it has for communities. The Stove is working with Community Land Scotland and 6 collaborating Community Trusts to explore stories of “ownership” and the effect it has had for local people, their identity, decision-making and the economic and social benefits for their community.

Virginia is working directly with Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn – Galson Estate Trust – on the Isle of Lewis. As a maker with a strong conversational aspect to her work, collaborative engagement underpins Virginia’s practice.

Can you briefly explain your practice?

Evolving around conversation my practice is broadly participatory and exists within an environment of social engagement. Shifting from work that sits within civic spaces to work within education, questions of how stimulus from works of art and architecture can affect memory and learning is central to this. Where and how we respond to works of art also affect our perceptions of ownership, the legacy of any particular artwork and the authorship of new narratives associated with it. With the processes involved in artistic production and presentation in mind what can be learned from how we engage with artistic practices? What happens when the roles of artist, object and viewer shift and how can we challenge the processes we have in place for critique and evaluation?

How are you approaching the commission?
Embarking on this commission during a global pandemic and the issues this presents in terms of how and where we communicate with each other is central to how I have chosen to approach this project. Taking the object as a point of departure for new narratives I am creating a series of cast bronze ‘talking objects’ that will become way-markers around the Galson estate – points where we might stop and reflect or navigate to another area. Embedded within the bronzed peats are QR codes – digital codes that when scanned will direct the listener to an audio archive on the Urras website. As a dynamic link the archive can develop alongside the walks and talks. As the archive grows the community will have the opportunity to site the way-markers permanently or to take them for a walk. As hand sized objects they are able travel to around the island – or mainland, contributing to other narratives around the country.
What excites you about the project?

I’m really delighted to be working with such an engaged community such as the Galson Estate and to learn first-hand how radical land ownership has helped to develop the Estate socially, culturally and economically.  Ideas of ownership are central to my own work and I’m excited to see how the project is shaped by the community.

How has the process been so far? Anything unexpected?

It has of course been challenging in terms of how we engage with each other but it has allowed the objects breathing space to develop and for us to experiment with digital archiving processes.

Has covid-19 affected your work with the community?

Expanding on my answer to question above – it is of course very hard to conduct interviews or community engagement when restrictions keep changing and when folk may live in different boroughs. Having a period in which experimentation and object production takes place is providing a buffer to this. It is also allowing the project to evolve in response to new COVID developments and allowing us to come up with solutions to community engagement.

Categories
News Projects

Artists and Community Landowners: Meet the Artists: Richard Bracken

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Artists and Community Landowners
Meet the Artists

Artists and Community Landowners is a collaborative project digging down into the stories of community landownership across Scotland and the impact it has for communities. The Stove is working with Community Land Scotland and 6 collaborating Community Trusts to explore stories of “ownership” and the effect it has had for local people, their identity, decision-making and the economic and social benefits for their community.

Richard is currently working with Abriachan Forest Trust, an environmental artist and creative educator based in Drumnadrochit, with 10 years experience of engaging with communities and collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams in Scotland and abroad.

Can you briefly explain your practice?

My work is a response to an ongoing, personal exploration of the land. I’m influenced by specific places, individual experience and wider themes that relate to how we live with the land.

My attention is usually drawn towards ecology, folklore, natural processes, time and memory.  I typically create sculpture using casting and mould-making processes. Drawing, photography and printmaking methods are also key aspects of my practice.

How are you approaching the commission?

I’ve been keen to understand the story of Abriachan Forest Trust by looking at the past, present and future of the community and it’s relationship to the land.  I’m looking at the story as an ongoing journey and to identify places that relate to key stages of this journey the community is taking together.

I’m aiming to create artwork that is accessible – eg objects that can be picked up, held and taken for a walk.  I believe that walking around the land plays a key role in understanding the story of AFT, so I’ve felt drawn to creating something that is portable, rather than something that exists in a fixed location.

So far I’ve been:

  • Getting to know how the trust operates and how it has developed
  • Looking through archive material that relates to the development of AFT – photographs, newsletters, forest plans and other maps.
  • Getting to know the young people and volunteers that participate in AFT’s activities – learning about the land from them by going on walks with them.
  • Talking to staff and community members about their relationships to AFT
  • Finding out which places resonate with the community by asking a series of questions.

Learning about materials I can feasibly source from AFT, plus facilities / expertise in the community that may come in useful for fabrication.

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What excites you about the project?

The opportunity to contribute creatively to the conversation about land use in Scotland.

Getting to know a community and seeing how they have grasped opportunities to utilise their land in ways that benefit local people and the environment.

Exploring the parallels between young trees and young people – the growth and development of both are crucial to AFT and their long term vision. 

On a personal note, having recently moved to within about 6 miles of Abriachan, the project has provided me with an invaluable opportunity to make new connections that I hope will last well beyond the lifespan of this project.

How has the process been so far? Anything unexpected?

Living so close has been a great advantage, giving me time to meet up with staff from AFT, slot into existing sessions and create new ones with relative ease.  This has allowed me to start getting to know people and allowed me to communicate to others about the project.  I feel that my thinking around the commission has benefitted from this close contact, as I come to understand AFT better, letting that influence my work.

Being close-by has also meant that I can spend my own time exploring other parts of AFT.
Has covid-19 affected your work with the community?

AFT are not able to work with as many young people as they would normally, so I have had less opportunity to see this side in it’s fullness. 

Some uncertainty around changes in guidelines and restrictions has meant having to be flexible in planning, or waiting until the last minute, but generally this has not been a disruption on outdoor working.

 

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Categories
News Projects

Wild Geese: Exhibition

As part of this months Wild Goose Festival, The Stove cafe is currently sharing an exhibition of works produced by Fife College Learners at HMP Dumfries made as a direct response to the festival. The exhibition includes a flock of paper cut out birds, alongside two wall mounted works. Following a prolonged period in lockdown the festival was welcomed by learners as a breath of fresh air and working on this festival has been a welcome distraction during the present climate.

The learner who produced the watercolour on board painting said: “I would say the grey Largs arrive first – they are a much larger goose than the barnacle goose. About 50 went over flying very high, just a dot in the sky. They fly in family groups with 4/5 hatched gosling chicks that fly together. They return to the same place so their return to Scotland is passed onto their goslings. They like to feed as a family group and this too is passed on in this migratory journey. Food includes eating grass, rotting potatoes and chats – they love that!”

The conceptual goose painting is made up of lots of different geese contributing to the overall picture. The learner felt that this showed the comparison between all the geese working together and similar experiences within the learning centre and wider community. Individuals have tasked they need to complete to contribute to the successful journey together.

The geese will be on display in the Stove cafe until Saturday, 24th October.

Wild Goose Weekend at WWT Caerlaverock

Dates: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October

Location: WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: Ticketed – reserve your place here: www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock or phone 01387 770200.

A fantastic opportunity to see thousands of wild barnacle geese and pink footed geese on their recent arrival from Svalbard and Iceland.  You will also see hundreds of whooper swans, ducks and waders out on our beautiful wetland reserve.

The weekend includes wild swan feeds, dawn flights and guided goose walks. Please visit www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock for further details and how to book.

Wild Goose Weekend at WWT Caerlaverock

Dates: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October

Location: WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: Ticketed – reserve your place here: www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock or phone 01387 770200.

A fantastic opportunity to see thousands of wild barnacle geese and pink footed geese on their recent arrival from Svalbard and Iceland.  You will also see hundreds of whooper swans, ducks and waders out on our beautiful wetland reserve.
The weekend includes wild swan feeds, dawn flights and guided goose walks. Please visit www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock for further details and how to book.

Wild Goose Weekend at WWT Caerlaverock

Dates: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October

Location: WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: Ticketed – reserve your place here: www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock or phone 01387 770200.

A fantastic opportunity to see thousands of wild barnacle geese and pink footed geese on their recent arrival from Svalbard and Iceland.  You will also see hundreds of whooper swans, ducks and waders out on our beautiful wetland reserve.
The weekend includes wild swan feeds, dawn flights and guided goose walks. Please visit www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock for further details and how to book.

Wild Goose Weekend at WWT Caerlaverock

Dates: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October

Location: WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: Ticketed – reserve your place here: www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock or phone 01387 770200.

A fantastic opportunity to see thousands of wild barnacle geese and pink footed geese on their recent arrival from Svalbard and Iceland.  You will also see hundreds of whooper swans, ducks and waders out on our beautiful wetland reserve.
The weekend includes wild swan feeds, dawn flights and guided goose walks. Please visit www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock for further details and how to book.

Wild Goose Weekend at WWT Caerlaverock

Dates: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October

Location: WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: Ticketed – reserve your place here: www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock or phone 01387 770200.

A fantastic opportunity to see thousands of wild barnacle geese and pink footed geese on their recent arrival from Svalbard and Iceland.  You will also see hundreds of whooper swans, ducks and waders out on our beautiful wetland reserve.
The weekend includes wild swan feeds, dawn flights and guided goose walks. Please visit www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock for further details and how to book.

Wild Goose Festival Launch Event

Date: Friday 9th October, Launch time: 6:30pm

Location: Wild Goose HQ, 34-37 White Sands, Dumfries DG1 2RS

Cost: Free but ticketed – reserve your place by clicking here.

Join us at the Wild Goose HQ on the Whitesands for the official launch of the inaugural Wild Goose Festival 2020. Featuring a live performance of Flight by composer Stuart Macpherson, an immersive travelling soundscape influenced and inspired by the migration of barnacle geese from Norway’s Svalbard Islands to the Caerlaverock Wetlands.

The staff and experts at NatureScot will be present on the Whitesands at 6.15pm as they interpret the sights and sounds of the barnacle geese as they fly overhead on their epic journey to the Solway Estuary and celebrate this most unique part of our natural heritage.