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Showing posts from 2014

A Baxter Park Of The Mind

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Last week I participated in a 'micro' residency in Dundee's Baxter Park as part of ' May Meet In Mutual' organised by Emma & Katie Reid. Charged with the task of creating a site responsive work I spent two days in collaboration with Pauline M. Hynd an artist who grew up in Eden Street right opposite the main park gates. It was a great chance for me to take my current practice and apply it to a new situation. As you may be aware I am very much engaged with notions surrounding local cultural value and the connection between creativity and sense of place. Baxter Park having been a kind of hub for generations of Stobswell residents served as a rich canvas upon which we could deposit stories and poems that sprang up from Pauline's memory. As we accumulated our materials in the form of photographs, texts and audio recordings it occured to me that my modus operandi has become very much like a vessel into which I can pour any site specific content and then

The North Uist Solargraph Experiment

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Back in March of this year (2014) I took a 4-pack of Guinness, a box of 5 x 7 photographic paper, a pin, some gaffer tape and a few sheets of black card out to the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The trip itself was something quite amazing during which some rather nasty weather caused a whole series of wonderful events to unfold. Our intended itinerary had to be thrown out as we became stranded on the Isle of Skye waiting for the Uig to Loch Maddy ferry to sail. After two rather wonderful and unexpected days of being holed up in a hostel in Portree, the storm finally broke and we were able to get over to Uist. Uist seemed to me to be what I would describe as a 'thin' place. A place where the veil between life and death is quite ..well - thin. It is a place where nature encroaches a great deal into the life of the place, a place where ferocious storms can rip your home to pieces and where the mighty Atlantic Ocean can flood into fields and destroy agriculture for

Songs Of The City - mapping the inspirational stratigraphy of Dundee

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  At the moment I am midway through a masters degree programme at Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD). The MFA is named: Art Society and Publics and as such has a tacit focus on socially engaged art practices in the wider community. It also embraces notions concerning the nature of art writing and explores ways in which approaches to publication and writing can be delivered in non-traditional book forms and how creative research methodologies can be expressed in new and perhaps unorthodox ways - re-framing the essay or book into new modes of dissemination and exploring the boundaries of publication; for example performance and sculpture as book forms and other tangential approaches to the definition of text. As part of this research I have created a project which focuses on local cultural value systems and attempts to identify the strands of vernacular creativity within the city of Dundee. I have used poetry as the vehicle for the first phase

Writing Time - a creative writing workshop

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The time for flexing my dormant creative writing muscles was long overdue. What with elongated and protracted academic manuscripts for my doctoral thesis and a plethora of articles for popular music journals to complete - I had been feeling a little 'dry' and in need of a creative lubricant. When my partner and inspirational provocateur Rebecca Sharp asked me if I'd like to attend her creative writing workshop I needed no persuasion. To be honest, I've always toyed with idea of creative writing and poetry but have never quite managed to approach it properly; with the obvious exception of songwriting - and so I was really interested to see what would come of this opportunity. Rebecca's workshop Writing Time combined elements of critical theory (which was fascinating and sparked enthusiastic group debate) with a practical toolkit for story making from 'evocative' found objects and went on to propose lateral ways of thinking about literary creative practi

Birkhill Art Group and Gallery - B.A.G ²

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We are very proud to share here the inaugural exhibition of the newly opened B.A.G² gallery here in Birkhill Estate and it is with great pleasure that we welcome artist Gretchen Blunt to exhibit her collection of massive watercolour paintings and sculptures. The work is entirely site responsive and draws its inspiration entirely from the environs of Birkhill Estate itself where Gretchen spent several months walking and sketching in preparation for this show. No one can deny the arresting impact that these substantial works confront us with. On the opening night a select invited audience were enchanted, not only by the work on display but also by the impressive space that the new gallery provides for the housing of such huge works, some of which are as much as 6" long and 3" high. As you can see from the photos of the night, we had a very good turn out and many of the attendees promised to be back for our next exhibition - which will be announced in the near future. As co-

What Is Magic Today Shall Be Science Tomorrow

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Below is an essay I wrote as part of my Masters Degree in Art, Society and Publics.  It accompanies a cassette release of music created using the bamstick and was printed on a scroll using waterless lithography and screenprinting. It was a limited edition of 15 housed in recycled tin cans. I gave them all away.  What is Magic Today Shall be Science Tomorrow When T. C Lethbridge published Ghost and Divining Rod in 1963 the world was reverberating with the shockwaves of socio-seismic activity. John Kennedy murdered, the Cuban missile crisis narrowly averted, the appearance of The Beatles first album and most importantly for myself, the transition from amniotic cocoon to dislocated consciousness. As these momentous global events unfolded Lethbridge was busy scrutinising the liminal world of energetic resonance at sites of pre historical significance taking measurements with his para-scientific apparatus to reveal the sources of invisible energy vortices, all findi