To make a living

Working 9 – 5 was a collective formed in 2016 between myself and a network of other Art Workers that were living in Huntly, working full time jobs, and trying to still make art work.

Catrin Jeans, Stuart McAdam, Fraser MacDonald, Sophie Lindsey, Heather Fulton, Uist Corrigan, Andrew Dunlop, Yvonne Billimore, Joss Allen and myself were working across a broad(ish) spectrum of the Huntly employment sector, from Dean’s Shortbread Factory to my own Deveron Projects.

In an attempt to engage with Print Festival Scotland 2016, in a town with almost no printing facilities, Working 9 – 5, produced a pubcrawl, ‘Drinking 5 – 9’, featuring digitally printed beermats.

For me the work had to fit with the very specific context we had chosen, and also embody the qualities that a beermat essentially has, such as disposability and mass print. Things that usually go against artist print.

Thinking about the first pub I went to in Huntly, when I arrived in 2015, I remembered how the Royal Oak had once had a Mark Rothko print, hung in a portrait orientation rather than its intended landscape. I found it immediately charming in this town pub context and wanted to make something that would be a memorabilia of it. Taking the spirit of the Oak’s artistic license, I made ‘Cropped Rothko’ a square beermat from the same orange and yellow print I’d seen hang there, removed since.

      

During the course of the evening, and after many sodden beermats, we ended up finding the old Rothko print propped up in the disabled toilets – portrait.

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Drystone

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When I was in Helmsdale last year I met a man, called Jeff, who was rebuilding a wall for some locals. He had been learning how to drystone wall; constructing stones without mortar. Continue reading

Personal Glossary

Term Definition
Abwesend Absent, away from a place
Actor Network Theory Abandons hierarchical ontology to propose a level plane of entities, or actors
Agency The capacity to act in the world
An Oak Tree A transubstantiated glass of water
Art as Life Continuous practice, pure activity, not leading to particular results
Art Object Things that result from art works
Art Work/Art Project/Project Network The wider network of artist, objects, documentation, happenings, publications, curator, organisation, audience, etc.
Art Writing Writing within the art project

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Gnommero

Gnommero is a series of five publications edited by Sarah Tripp and Richard Taylor. It features text based work by artists and writers who have responded to Italo Calvino’s reflections on written practice and literary quality.

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I read the 5th section of Calvino’s Memos for the Millenium and wrote the first draft of the text Helix-World relatively quickly. At this time I was pdf-mountaineering in Vibrant Matter and discovering the object-descriptive writing of Allain Robbe Grillet.

The piece I have written for the 5th installment of Gnommero, surrounding ‘Multiplicity’, describes an alternative perspective to Ceal Floyer’s Helix, which I saw in Berlin in 2013. I’m not going to link to the artwork here. I kind of feel the text piece only works without seeing it. Although you can’t even read it yet, because Gnommero: Multiplicity is not yet out.

Keep an eye in May! In the meantime, you can preorder the full Gnommero Collection for a very good price.

Some Culture a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Man walks into a gallery.
“Just getting a bit o’ culture, eh?”

hmm. I don’t think culture = art. Culture is just life, and the way of it. So yeah, of course its streamlines with health?!

Deveron Arts recently took the opportunity to collate information and responses on the successes and failures of their Cultural Health initiative. Some Culture a Day Keeps the Doctor Away was organised in collaboration with Engage Scotland; it was a full day of discussion and exploration into the concept of cultural health and the role of the cultural health worker.
Participants were a varied group of doctors, community health workers and other medical professionals, alongside artists, writers and art workers. This mix allowed a sharing of knowledge and experience regarding the correlation between culture and health. Continue reading