Katie Anderson

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

Tag: art workshops

Zine Making Workshop in Stranraer

Young people of Stranraer! I’ve a zine making workshop coming up next month as part of the first ever Galloway Young Creatives Festival.

What is a zine? Self-published creative pamphlets or magazines, created using images, text, collage and much else besides. They are a unique platform for sharing your thoughts, ideas and inspirations with a DIY ethos. We will be working towards a collective zine, trying different techniques plus sharing tips and ideas for creating and circulating your own publications.

The workshop will run on Sunday 12th August from 3-5pm, and is suitable for anyone aged between 10 and 26.

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/galloway-young-creatives-festival-zine-making-workshop-tickets-47814343990

Dumfries Zine-4

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 […]

what is valuable about workshops?

Following a recent spurt of workshop facilitating and leading on various projects, the art of running a workshop has been sifting through my work, with a particular focus on ‘what the point’ of workshops are. Aside from the obvious, artist goes into a place and shares their ideas, skills or inspiration with a ‘community’ of peoples, gathered whether in interest, geographical location or as a captive audience – schools groups etc and produces some kind of output, of artistic merit or otherwise. (what community? for whom? to inspire what? in order to achieve what?)

Now call me pessimistic, but these seem somewhat large demands to achieve in one to three hour time periods with a bunch of complete strangers gathered without necessary a common thread between them.

Conversations have begun to focus around several key areas or ideas towards the making of something with true potential to be useful, to grow something new, and to inspire possibility in a near future sense. These are potentially starting points towards more carefully examining the role of an artist within a ‘community’ setting (other words or terms for these groups of people very welcome).

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What does it take to provide a real sense of attachment to our ideas or projects? How can such a short time period spark interest and create future inspirations, ask broad questions about our places?
How do we grow relationships and connected-ness with other people?
We ask a lot of workshops.

Share and Exchange
There is a basic trade between artist and ‘community’, where one party can exchange knowledge, connection, place-based meaning, history and heritage with the application of skill-sharing, whether introducing a new skill or more a way of looking at a problem/point of view.
Questions: Value exchange – how do we place value and hold value to knowledge/skills etc? How do we preserve these values once exchanged?
Ownership – keeping respect, and consideration for all parties, and an openness towards the future prospects of such trade and exchange.

Image: Barry Young

Making as Conversation
Repetitive actions, learning exchange and the complexities of ‘figuring it out’ make for interesting conversations for groups or communities without necessarily having a lot of common ground or relationships already. These are safe places, neutral environments for casual discussion, exploratory conversations and open questions. Like sewing circles or knitting bees, where ideas and gossip can be exchanged without fear of retribution or exclusion, the act of making provides a rhythm for questions – both big and small.

Meeting points and Common Ground
Creating connection via a sense of shared environment, time and skill. This is less of an instant reaction, more of a sense of collective space and ownership – and can only be built up gradually, and through repeated or regular activity.

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Invitation and Hospitality
Space creation (see neutral environment above), and welcoming. Creating the right invitation to encourage interaction, and participation. Openness and flexibility to unexpected factors, playing with and being responsive to already existent structures.

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The Authentic self and an openness to change
All the while keeping hold of a sense of yourself and your work, creating environments, events and activities where this can be openly shared with a collective group/‘community’ etc. This is the artist not as all seeing, applying a template to whichever community they land in, but as open and willing to change and adapt to suit to localities.

Art according to Lockerbie Academy Year 1 Pupils

Hunting for some paper to use for stencils last Friday (as you do – my studio is a veritable stencil den with very little floor space and a lot of oversized stencils… more on which another time), I came across the notes from my last days discussion at Lockerbie Academy during my residency earlier in the year with Spring Fling.

I asked the first year students I’d been working with a couple of questions about art as we had been discussing during my five weeks in their classrooms, and the answers suggested that first years are indeed far more intelligent and clued in than many would give them credit. It was real honour to work with such a wide and varied bunch of young people, some of whom, with any luck might yet find themselves on a journey of curiousity, questioning and learning.

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A favourite from Bob And Roberta Smith

1. Why do we have art in public spaces?

(The residency saw us creating work as part of a large permanent work, in the foyer of their school – a semi-public space in many ways, and their most influencial public art work was the recently installed Lockerbie Sheep outside the town hall as part of town redevelopment works).

To make it look cool

To Represent something

To tell a story

To commeorate an event or person

To make spaces more interesting

To represent something about our town

For people to share opinions about

As a landmark

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That’ll Learn ‘Em. Kid Acne.

2. Who do we make art for?

(My favourite obsession, audiences and the why’s of art making. This one a little difficult for a lot of our first years, who had never been encouraged to make work other than for sake of it, but were now being asked to donate their artworks for the good of the schools collection, to very mixed responses – rows were had over the collective artwork over individual ownership and authorship.)

Friends and family.

To inspire people

To look at

Everybody – the public

The community the work is in

Yourself.

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Image: Barry Young

3. What is art for?

(Always leave the biggie till last!)

Expressing yourself, telling a story.

Leisure. (A real live 11 year old said leisure).

As a Hobby, for happiness.

Makes you happy/peaceful.

To make money.

Learning.

Making places not look boring.

Emphasise things – how we look at things.

Exciting – exploring, learning.

Expressing emotion.

Showing our creativity.

Imaginative.

Because we enjoy it.

Fun. Entertaining.

Do what you love.

Money and fame.

Spontaneous.

Commemorative.

Communication – sharing opinions.

Beyond Doubt into Love with The Stove Network

Sometimes things start small.

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Really small. Like the time we were asking members of the Young Stove to envisage what The Stove could be for them and Lauren came up with this wee drawing. It’s lived on our wall and we’ve loved it a lot. It even came to The Stove when we moved back in and his it’s own new spot on the wall. That sort of love.

The Stove has quite a lot to say, but we are often just as interested in what everyone else has to say. If Dumfries could speak, what would it say? Cue speak bubbles (which are EVERYWHERE if you hadn’t noticed):

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We asked about. We asked on Twitter, asked on the streets, asked our friends, families, asked our favourite cafes, and then asked some more folk for good measure. Responses started to flood in, and orange bubbles started to appear across town. What places have the loudest voices? Big thanks to Herald Moxie and members of the Young Stove for championing the speech bubble conversations. More speech bubble conversations available on The Stove website here and here

What of these calls-to-arms could we sign up to? Which of these speaking shop fronts or town-centre-icons could give a slogan for Dumfries?

Time to call in an expert. Our expert on hand for this particular project was talented and patient printmaker and artist Sarah Keast. An island of calm amongst apparent chaos, the Stove turned ship sailing in a wild afternoon of frenzied t-shirt printing.

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The Young Stove proved themselves to be the real stars of the moment, an unstoppable tide of ceaseless creative energy in a slightly chaotic afternoon that saw near 140 t-shirts printed in four hours. On a school day. (Yes, really.)

In the end there were a selection of nine designs, none the clear winner.

Be Inspired By What You Didn’t Think You Would Be.

Be the Action!

Beyond Doubt Into Love.

Clean Up Your Act.

End the Ghosttown.

Let Change Happen.

Practical Acts and Good Craic.

Reclaim the High Street.

#saveme.

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Beyond Doubt Into Love may well be a t-shirt for a moment in time, a fleeting gesture of an aspirational young movement in an otherwise sleepy town. On the otherhand, it could be a stance against the indifference, the naysayers and the ay’ beens. A call to action that says now is the time, and here is the place. One things for sure, this design in neon pink went down a treat and is already sought-after.

This is less of an end, and more of a beginning – keep an eye out for speech bubbles: once you start noticing them, they tend to pop up all over the place…

#GetDumfriesTalking

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To read the blog in full and in it’s original context, head on over to The Stove’s blog where you can stay up to date with all the latest cool happenings in Dumfries – do it now, here

New Coins for Lockerbie – Part 3

Blogging back-log. Nearly a month ago, the final work was unveiled at Lockerbie Academy, the work of three artists (myself, Morag Macpherson and Kirsty Turpie), the teaching staff at Lockerbie Academy, and nearly 150 students from the school who were involved variously designing fabrics, collaging and casting. The final piece now has pride of place in the schools main foyer.

Image credit: Barry Young

Image credit: Barry Young  

It’s been a rewarding project ultimately, as over a period of five weeks we built up relationships with students, got pretty indepth into our cuttlefish knowledge, actively encouraged risk-taking and mistake making designs, and for everyone to find ‘one think they liked about their work’… They surprised me too in the end, as we had arguements over sharing art work, and heated discussions about the value of public art, and the point of art making in the first place. Pretty deep stuff from an intelligent bunch. Even if they did think MacDonald’s would ultimately make Lockerbie the town of their dreams.

Image: Barry Young

Image: Barry Young

Image: Barry Young

 Image: Barry Young

There was a pretty orange theme running through my workshops. On a side note, has anyone ever managed to buy these gloves in SMALL sizes? Really, large ones are clearly designed for giants.

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What is art for? Why do we make art? Who do we make art for? I worked with three first year class groups, all of whom were buzzing with ideas and potential answers for these questions, as well as suggestions for improvement in their own locale. Debate over the cost of bronze sheep these days rose high over the classroom, I as the ever unhelpful answer could give no definitive value as to the current market value of bronze… but hey, artists can’t know all the answers, right?

Finally, a big THANK YOU to Spring Fling, the amazing enthusiastic arts department at Lockerbie Academy, the three classes I worked with and the wonderful students, Kirsty, Morag for all your patience and insight, and Barry Young for taking the photographs. Thank you!

New Coins for Lockerbie – Part Two

Do something challenging.

Do something new.

Do something that scares you. (Secondary schools are scary. Fact.)

The five week residency at Lockerbie Academy has come to an end, all that’s left is for Morag’s banner to come back from the printers, and the works to be assembled and installed in the school later this month. It’s been a great experience learning from and working with a fantastic bunch of students and teachers at the Academy. Looking back at the first sessions of “I can’t”, of blank walls of silence, it’s near impossible to imagine that these are the same people, flicking through sculpture magazines, questioning the value of public art in their communities, oozing pride and keen to take coins home to show to parents and family, focused and attentive to miniscule details in their pewter castings. We had quite a journey.

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Big thank you’s to Carol, Pete and the staff at Lockerbie Academy, the fantastic classes 1B, 1F and 1G, Morag MacPherson and Kirsty Turpie who have been great to work alongside with, and the Spring Fling team. Images of the final work to follow with the install later this month.

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New Coins for Lockerbie – Part 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s good to try new things. I’ve recently teamed up with artists Morag McPherson and Kirsty Turpie to work in residence at Lockerbie Academy over five weeks with thanks to Spring Fling. Working with some great teachers, and three groups of first year students we’ve been exploring the history of coins, and are in the process of casting our own collection of individual Lockerbie coins with the help of the Stove’s mobile foundry.

 

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We’ve had a lot of chat about the use of coins, the origins of their decoration and the alteration and changing face of coins and currency.

 

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Also a bit of chat about Lockerbie’s school emblem, the flying spur and an open book, adapted from the Johnstone (Earl of Annandale) family crest. Always be prepared.

1509765_10152682727949652_5019504030893182458_n Most popular Lockerbie iconography amongst our first years? Sheep, curling, cheese and McDonalds. Go figure. We’ve since been hard at work transfering designs to our cuttlefish moulds already to get pouring when we get back from the luxurious school Christmas holidays.

More to come!

Mapping Annan

Last week found me sat in the football club in Annan of a Sunday afternoon, in itself a bit of an unusual occurance, and all before I even mentioned that I was there as part of a ‘scoping’ workshop, chatting to people ahead of a project we are looking to kick-start in Annan next year. More of that later.

We did have a fairly lovely afternoon at the club (thanks Annan Athletic!), but I thought it might be nice to broaden out my chat to those who couldn’t make it. (Yes, if you said you were coming at the party the night before, you owe me a comment in the box below..)

Taking my favourite starting point of looking for interesting sites and places, I asked people a few questions to add to our map of Annan. Rather than looking to map out all the normal amenities, I wanted people’s favourite or most significant spots on the town map – like a local history of the town in map form.

It’s got a bit of a way to go, but this is where you could come in.

1. Where is your favourite place in Annan?

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Where is your favourite view? Is there a place in Annan that is particularly significant for you? (I’m thinking the Fish Cross is a pretty special one for ROM Cornet’s and Lasses) Perhaps it’s a personal place – your childhood home perhaps? – or a more public one – such as your favourite place to stop for an ice cream, or walk your dog.

2. If you could describe Annan in just three words, which three would you use?

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They could be positive; growing, changing, everlasting, or less so – ageing, comatose, crumbling? ‘Best [in] southern Scotland’?

We also did quite a bit of chatting about how our relationship to our home town is built on knowledge, stories and names passed down through people rather than documentation. How many of these close names do you know?

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Thanks to everyone for coming along last Sunday, expect to hear more about this in the future! Answers in the comments section below please, whether you are a true Annanite, or just have a bit of a connection to the place, or live somewhere at a safe distance (!) I’m open to suggestions!