Back 2 Back – Reflecting

by Katie Anderson

Well we did it – Back 2 Back Dumfries was a hit! 



It was not high art, it wasn’t avant-garde, revolutionary or entirely unique. 


We did engage, provoke responses, open up, share, reach a new audience (if you’re old enough to hold a spray can, you’re old enough to be a stovie?!) We raised awareness, increased involvement, participation, sharing and making.

Spraying the pavement caused people to look, to re-examine; it changed the way passers by moved through they space. It created a break, a momentary pause – a slight change in the everyday. It encouraged our new young army to engage with the space; to interact, invade, explore.

We had huge take up from the younger years – to try something new, different, forbidden. By barricading off sections of the high street, we gave permission for the impermissible. Creation and experimentation ensued. Kids came back, to test, explore, learn.

The final visual impact, the details, were in some way irrelevant in this matter, as the overall visual spectacle took precedence. The stop motion cam witnessed the transformation of space, and the movement of bodies throughout.

But the devil was too, in the detail – for the original youth group, a bunch ranging from 15 to 21 – the designs were their abstract creations, thoughts become tangible. Permanent through stencils, and repeated all across the street.

I guess I’m feeling quite proud about the whole thing. I headed back to the Stove, quietly, calmly on Sunday to begin the mopping and cleaning process now that I have successfully covered the inside in a thin layer of black. Outside I could hear the screams and laughs as children took over the front of our building, re-examining and exploring the new brightly coloured space.

It’s already fading.

The impact remains.



Video to follow – watch this space!