Saturday, 28 September 2013

Anne-Marie Watson

This afternoon I had the pleasure of introducing Anne-Marie Watson to the First year Painting and Printmaking students at Glasgow School of Art. She delivered an excellent lecture about 'Drawing', referencing a wide range of historical and contemporary artists and covering drawing in it's many forms.

Anne-Marie Watson is an independent Curator, Writer and Artist. Like me, she went to Leeds College of Art and Design to do an Art Foundation course, before moving to Glasgow to study Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art.  

After graduating Watson co-ran an organisation in Glasgow called SEAM (2003 - 2005) where they organised a programme of exhibitions with young Glasgow-based artists including Camilla Low, Charlie Hammond, Nick Evans and Lynn Hynd. 

She then became Assistant Curator (2004 - 2006) at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland, followed by Curator (2006 - 2007), working with artists including Johanna Billing, David Shrigley, Ahlam Shibli, Christopher Orr, Ilana Halperin, Bridget Smith and Jordan Baseman.

In 2007 she relocated to London where she was Exhibitions Programmer at Camden Arts Centre, London until April 2013. In this role, Watson worked closely with a number of artists on solo exhibitions including Claire Barclay, Allen Ruppersberg, Chantal Akerman, Anya Gallaccio, Christine Borland, Mathilde Rosier and Haroon Mirza. In 2009 she worked with Paulina Olowska on her selected group exhibition Head-Wig. 

Now working as an independent Curator, Writer and Artist, Watson has been busy with a project called HOUSE.
HOUSE is a series of collaborations between artists, dwellers, curators and writers taking place in domestic settings across London. Through public facing interventions into these private, lived spaces, HOUSE thinks through the relationships between people, spaces they inhabit, art and process.

HOUSE developed after an invitation from a friend to use their home for an exhibition. In response, co-curators Alex McDonald and Anne-Marie Watson were interested in instigating an on-going, open ended creative process involving artists and others in discussions around the spaces and places of their life and work. Over plates of food, on studio visits and in coffee shops around the city, conversations have taken place where diverse subjects have been tossed around from Inuit throat singing to rats living under the floor-boards.

Three houses were selected for the project in three diverse areas of the city; Clapton, Forest Gate and Notting Hill and six artists were chosen to take part. Through these relationships with different places, spaces and people a narrative begins to emerge which draws individuals’ stories of living in London into a shared public experience.

The six artists, through their work, are interested in space in different ways; environmental, the space of the body, intimacy, non-space, undefined spaces, exotic, hidden spaces, memory, affect and psychological effect of spaces on people.

HOUSE, in opening up these intimate places for living and working, creates imaginative spaces of vulnerability, risk and the unknown for dwellers, artists and audiences.

HOUSE 1: Anne Hardy & Stephen Setford
Preview Sat 14 Sept 6 – 8pm / Sat 14 & Sun 15 Sept 2013, 11am-6pm
19 Kinnoul Mansions, Rowhill Rd. Hackney. E5 8EB

Hallway – Anne Hardy, Soundtrack (Fieldwork), a work in progress (2013)
Living room – Stephen Setford, Torrent (2013)

Clapton (Mat Jenner) is in the midst of the regeneration of Hackney. This is a shared house, occupied by different people, differing in life-style and age.

HOUSE 2: Angus Mill & Jo Addison
Preview Fri 4 Oct 6 – 8pm / Sat 5 & Sun 6 Oct 2013, 11am-6pm
62 Cranmer Rd. Forest Gate. E7 0JL

Forest Gate (Anne-Marie Watson) is on the edge of Epping Forest in the outer borough of Newham. This house is a typical terrace occupied by four people who are connected via threads of friendship and art.

HOUSE 3: Rachael Champion & Renee Vaughan Sutherland
Closing Sun 20 Oct 4 – 6pm / Sat 19 & Sun 20 Oct 2013, 11am-6pm
2 Londsdale Rd. Nottinghill. W11 2DE

Notting Hill (Daniel Fitzpatrick) is in West London. This house, traditionally built for railway workers and their families has subsequently been owned and occupied by a variety of people who have changed along with the transforming area.

For more information please visit

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Scottish Artists Union Members Survey results

As promised, here are a selection of findings from the Scottish Artists Union's (SAU) Members survey:

65% of respondents earn £5000 or less per year (after tax)
20% of respondents earn between £5000 - £10000 per year (after tax)
56% of respondents consistently get less than the Scottish Artists Union's Recommended Rate of Pay (RRP)
51% of respondents seldom get contracts for work they do

74% of respondents seldom or never receive exhibition payment fees

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Changin Scotland - Scotland’s alternative festival of ideas, culture and politics

This event sounds very interesting...

Changin Scotland

Scotland’s alternative festival of ideas, culture and politics

Friday 1st November - Sunday 3rd November 2013 

    Newbattle Abbey College, by Dalkeith

This November Gerry Hassan and Jean Urquhart are at Newbattle Abbey College just South of Edinburgh for a weekend on how to do social change, activism and campaigning in a different way!

This weekend will be a departure in feel, style and setting – and is facilitated and led by Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert of the Centre for Artistic Activism who are based at New York University.

This will be a participatory weekend bringing together community politics with cultural and civic engagement. It will look at how to be a creative kind of activist, build alliances, and beyond tactics and strategy, start to envision a different kind of politics and world!

We cannot promise to change the world in a single weekend but we can make a start! The weekend will address how cultural activists and practitioners can develop a better political intelligence, and political campaigners nurture a more informed cultural awareness, and the two influence and cross-fertilise each other.

This weekend will be stimulating, demanding and challenging, enjoyable and fun. We ask that people come rested, open minded and willing to collaborate with others.

Weekend Details:
The weekend runs from Friday 1st starting with a meal at 6.30pm, all day Saturday and Sunday concluding 4.00pm. Extra attractions include an intimate gig with acclaimed folksinger Karine Polwart on Saturday night.

Tickets for the weekend are £60 (accommodation and food extra). Please contact for booking: Newbattle Abbey College Reception: 0131 6631921.

What previous participants say about the Centre for Artistic Activism:
‘It’s magical. Recalibrating reality.’ ‘It made me rethink my politics and challenge people who say, “I am not political”’. ‘Culture is everywhere. We all do it and this helped me embrace how to do a more creative politics’.

What they say about Changin Scotland: ‘The alternative Davos’ National Collective

We have a limited number of places so book early!
Next Changin Scotland dates: March 28-30 at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Scottish Artists Union AGM - Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh

I find it hard to believe that it is a year since I became a member of the Scottish Artists Union Executive Committee, and there has been a lot of activity in that past year, as reported at yesterday's AGM.


After a few of the formalities, Financial Report, Election of new Executive Committee and Proposed motions, SAU Secretary Chris Kelly presented the results from the 2013 Members Survey.

This major piece of research is highly useful evidence to support some of the points that the SAU are 'fighting for'. There are too many results to discuss them all here, but  will reveal some of these findings in later posts so keep checking my blog!

After a short comfort break (i.e. a chance to catch up with fellow SAU members), SAU Vice President Janie Nicoll delivered a brief presentation about her recent participation in the engage International Summer School held in Padua, Italy. The Summer School was focused on 'Leadership and Resilience in gallery education.

About engage

engage is a membership organisation representing gallery, art and education professionals in the UK and over 20 countries worldwide. engage promotes access to, enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts through gallery education. 

More  information about engage and the Summer School can be seen on the engage website:

The AGM closed with a great presentation by guest speaker Richie Cumming who discussed his work with Creative Stirling and the '14OURZERO2014' project

1NE4OURZERO2014 is the second incarnation of Creative Stirling’s Freedom Versions

In summer of 2012 the yard of the Old Town Jail in Stirling was transformed by a large-scale collaborative installation of visual art, musical performance and printed written word exploring the themes of freedom, independence, colonisation and alienation.

The project created a process where Scots people could reflect on the question of independence beyond polarised political debate and through the lens of Scottish culture and heritage. They wanted to create a platform to explore the role of artists and thinkers in Scotland on the question of our contemporary cultural identity.

One of the outcomes of the project was an exhibition of 40 hand screen-printed poster works consisting of the most considered, inspired and powerful statements, poetic/prosaic lines, comments and ideas concerning the landscape of a post-referendum Scotland as submitted by the public; artists, plumbers, engineers, housewives, students and people from all walks.

The installation included a working print studio run by artists and designers employing traditional print methods and the content for the exhibition grew and evolved over the six week installation as responses were gathered.

The project lives on and more information can be found on the website

Saturday, 21 September 2013

New national audience development agency for Scotland

‘Culture Republic’ will be the name for Scotland’s new, national cultural engagement hub, which combines the work of Culture Sparks in Glasgow and The Audience Business in Edinburgh. The new audience-focused agency will provide cultural organisations with support for engaging with the public and developing audiences. While the individual services offered by the two organisations will still be offered, the new agency will bring their partners and clients the advantage of wider data sets and full national reach. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

What Is Creativity? Cultural Icons on What Ideation Is and How It Works by Maria Popova

In a recent newsletter from Brain Pickings, Maria Popova looked at the notion of creativity.

Brain Pickings has a free weekly interestingness digest. It comes out on Sundays and offers excellent articles from the week. The original article can be read at

Bradbury, Eames, Angelou, Gladwell, Einstein, Byrne, Duchamp, Close, Sendak, and more.
“Creativity” is one of those grab-bag terms, like “happiness” and “love,” that can mean so many things it runs the risk of meaning nothing at all. And yet some of history’s greatest minds have attempted to capture, explain, describe, itemize, and dissect the nature of creativity. After similar omnibi of cultural icons’ most beautiful and articulate definitions of art, of science, and of love, here comes one of creativity.

For Ray Bradbury, creativity was the art of muting the rational mind:
The intellect is a great danger to creativity … because you begin to rationalize and make up reasons for things, instead of staying with your own basic truth — who you are, what you are, what you want to be. I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel. Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway. … The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time. And the only way to do this is by being very active and very emotional, and get it out of yourself — making things that you hate and things that you love, you write about these then, intensely.
Long before he was became the artist we know and love, a young Maurice Sendak full of self-doubt wrote in a letter to his editor, the remarkable Ursula Nordstrom:
Knowledge is the driving force that puts creative passion to work.
In writing back, Nordstrom responded with her signature blend of wisdom and assurance:
That is the creative artist — a penalty of the creative artist — wanting to make order out of chaos.

Portrait by Lisa Congdon for our Reconstructionists project. Click image for details.

Bill Moyers is credited with having offered a sort of mirror-image definition that does away with order and seeks, instead, magical chaos:
Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.
For Albert Einstein, its defining characteristic was what he called “combinatory play”. In a letter to a French mathematician, included in Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions (public library), he writes:
The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be “voluntarily” reproduced and combined.
There is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.

Portrait by Lisa Congdon for our Reconstructionists project. Click image for details.
For Maya Angelou, a modern-day sage of the finest kind, the mystery and miracle of creativity is in its self-regenerating nature. In the excellent collection Conversations with Maya Angelou (public library), which also gave us her poignant exchange with Bill Moyers, Angelou says:
Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I don’t understand but something I’m able to harness and use. While electricity remains a mystery, I know I can plug into it and light up a cathedral or a synagogue or an operating room and use it to help save a life. Or I can use it to electrocute someone. Like electricity, creativity makes no judgment. I can use it productive or destructively. The important thing is to use it. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.
Tom Bissell, writing in Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, also celebrates this magical quality of creativity:
To create anything … is to believe, if only momentarily, you are capable of magic. … That magic … is sometimes perilous, sometimes infectious, sometimes fragile, sometimes failed, sometimes infuriating, sometimes triumphant, and sometimes tragic.
But there might be something more precise and less mystical about the creative process. In Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born (public library), the fantastic collection of interviews with MacArthur “genius” grantees by Denise Shekerjian, she recapitulates her findings:
The trick to creativity, if there is a single useful thing to say about it, is to identify your own peculiar talent and then to settle down to work with it for a good long time.
Shekerjian interviews the late Stephen Jay Gould, arguably the best science writer of all time, who describes his own approach to creativity as the art of making connections, which Shekerjian synthesizes:
Gould’s special talent, that rare gift for seeing the connections between seemingly unrelated things, zinged to the heart of the matter. Without meaning to, he had zeroed in on the most popular of the manifold definitions of creativity: the idea of connecting two unrelated things in an efficient way. The surprise we experience at such a linkage brings us up short and causes us to think, Now that’s creative.
This notion, of course, is not new. In his timelessly insightful 1939 treatise A Technique for Producing Ideas (public library), outlining the five stages of ideation, James Webb Young asserts:
An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements [and] the capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships. The habit of mind which leads to a search for relationships between facts becomes of the highest importance in the production of ideas.
Three years later, in 1942, Rosamund Harding added another dimension of stressing the importance of cross-disciplinary combinations in wonderful out-of-print tome An Anatomy of Inspiration:
Originality depends on new and striking combinations of ideas. It is obvious therefore that the more a man knows the greater scope he has for arriving at striking combinations. And not only the more he knows about his own subject but the more he knows beyond it of other subjects. It is a fact that has not yet been sufficiently stressed that those persons who have risen to eminence in arts, letters or sciences have frequently possessed considerable knowledge of subjects outside their own sphere of activity.
Seven decades later, Phil Beadle echoes this concept in his wonderful blueprint field guide to creativity, Dancing About Architecture: A Little Book of Creativity (public library):
It is the ability to spot the potential in the product of connecting things that don’t ordinarily go together that marks out the person who is truly creative.
Steve Jobs famously articulated this notion and took it a step further, emphasizing the importance of building a rich personal library of experiences and ideas to connect:
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
Musician Amanda Palmer puts this even more poetically in her meditation on dot-connecting and creativity:
We can only connect the dots that we collect, which makes everything you write about you. … Your connections are the thread that you weave into the cloth that becomes the story that only you can tell.
Beloved graphic designer Paula Scher has a different metaphor for the same concept. In Debbie Millman’s How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (UK; public library), she likens creativity to a slot machine:
There’s a certain amount of intuitive thinking that goes into everything. It’s so hard to describe how things happen intuitively. I can describe it as a computer and a slot machine. I have a pile of stuff in my brain, a pile of stuff from all the books I’ve read and all the movies I’ve seen. Every piece of artwork I’ve ever looked at. Every conversation that’s inspired me, every piece of street art I’ve seen along the way. Anything I’ve purchased, rejected, loved, hated. It’s all in there. It’s all on one side of the brain.
And on the other side of the brain is a specific brief that comes from my understanding of the project and says, okay, this solution is made up of A, B, C, and D. And if you pull the handle on the slot machine, they sort of run around in a circle, and what you hope is that those three cherries line up, and the cash comes out.
But Arthur Koestler, in his seminal 1964 anatomy of creativity, The Act Of Creation (public library), argues that besides connection, the creative act necessitates contrast, or what he termed “bisociation”:
The pattern underlying [the creative act] is the perceiving of a situation or idea in two self-consistent but habitually incompatible frames of references. The event, in which the two intersect, is made to vibrate simultaneously on two different wavelengths, as it were. While this unusual situation lasts, [the event] is not merely linked to one associative context, but bisociated with two.
I have coined the term ‘bisociation’ in order to make a distinction between the routine skills of thinking on a single ‘plane,’ as it were, and the creative act, which … always operates on more than one plane. The former can be called single-minded, the latter double-minded, transitory state of unstable equilibrium where the balance of both emotion and thought is disturbed.
He differentiated between cognitive habit, or merely associative thought, and originality, or bisociative ideation, thusly:

Twenty years later, creative icon and original Mad Man George Lois echoed Koestler in his influential tome The Art of Advertising: George Lois on Mass Communication (public library):
Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.
For Gretchen Rubin, however, habit isn’t the enemy of creativity but its engine. In Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, she writes:
Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, “A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.
You’re much more likely to spot surprising relationships and to see fresh connections among ideas, if your mind is constantly humming with issues related to your work. … By contrast, working sporadically makes it hard to keep your focus. It’s easy to become blocked, confused, or distracted, or to forget what you were aiming to accomplish.
Creativity arises from a constant churn of ideas, and one of the easiest ways to encourage that fertile froth is to keep your mind engaged with your project. When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly.
In 1926, English social psychologist and London School of Economics co-founder Graham Wallas penned The Art of Thought, laying out his theory for how creativity works. Its gist, preserved in the altogether indispensable The Creativity Question (public library), identifies the four stages of the creative process — preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification — and their essential interplay:
In the daily stream of thought these four different stages constantly overlap each other as we explore different problems. An economist reading a Blue Book, a physiologist watching an experiment, or a business man going through his morning’s letters, may at the same time be “incubating” on a problem which he proposed to himself a few days ago, be accumulating knowledge in “preparation” for a second problem, and be “verifying” his conclusions on a third problem. Even in exploring the same problem, the mind may be unconsciously incubating on one aspect of it, while it is consciously employed in preparing for or verifying another aspect. And it must always be remembered that much very important thinking, done for instance by a poet exploring his own memories, or by a man trying to see clearly his emotional relation to his country or his party, resembles musical composition in that the stages leading to success are not very easily fitted into a “problem and solution” scheme. Yet, even when success in thought means the creation of something felt to be beautiful and true rather than the solution of a prescribed problem, the four stages of Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and the Verification of the final result can generally be distinguished from each other.
But Malcolm Gladwell, in reflecting on the legacy of legendary economist Albert O. Hirscham in his review of Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman, doesn’t think the creative process is so deliberate:
Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we would not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be.
But David Byrne is skeptical of this romantic notion that creativity is a purely subconscious muse that dances to its own mystical drum. In How Music Works (public library), one of the best music books of 2012, he writes:
I had an extremely slow-dawning insight about creation. That insight is that context largely determines what is written, painted, sculpted, sung, or performed. That doesn’t sound like much of an insight, but it’s actually the opposite of conventional wisdom, which maintains that creation emerges out of some interior emotion, from an upwelling of passion or feeling, and that the creative urge will brook no accommodation, that it simply must find an outlet to be heard, read, or seen. The accepted narrative suggests that a classical composer gets a strange look in his or her eye and begins furiously scribbling a fully realized composition that couldn’t exist in any other form. Or that the rock-and-roll singer is driven by desires and demons, and out bursts this amazing, perfectly shaped song that had to be three minutes and twelve seconds — nothing more, nothing less. This is the romantic notion of how creative work comes to be, but I think the path of creation is almost 180ยบ from this model. I believe that we unconsciously and instinctively make work to fit preexisting formats.
Of course, passion can still be present. Just because the form that one’s work will take is predetermined and opportunistic (meaning one makes something because the opportunity is there), it doesn’t mean that creation must be cold, mechanical, and heartless. Dark and emotional materials usually find a way in, and the tailoring process — form being tailored to fit a given context — is largely unconscious, instinctive. We usually don’t even notice it. Opportunity and availability are often the mother of invention.
For John Cleese, creativity is neither a conscious plan of attack nor an unconscious mystery, but a mode of being. In his superb 1991 talk on the five factors of creativity, he asserts in his characteristic manner of laconic wisdom:
Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.
In Inside the Painter’s Studio (public library), celebrated artist Chuck Close is even more exacting in his take on this “way of operating,” equating creativity with work ethic:
Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.
In his short 1957 paper The Creative Act, French surrealist icon Marcel Duchamp considers the work of creativity a participatory project involving both creator and spectator:
The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives a final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artists.
Meanwhile, artist Austin Kleon, author of the wonderful Steal Like an Artist, celebrates the negative space of the creative act in his Newspaper Blackout masterpiece:

But perhaps, after all, we should heed Charles Eames’s admonition:
Recent years have shown a growing preoccupation with the circumstances surrounding the creative act and a search for the ingredients that promote creativity. This preoccupation in itself suggests that we are in a special kind of trouble — and indeed we are.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Scottish Artist Union AGM - 21st September, 2pm, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh

SAU Annual General Meeting, 21st September, 2pm, Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary St Edinburgh EH1 1LT.  

hThis year we have another great programme including a presentation from Richie Cumming.  He will be presenting Creative Stirling's recent 1NE4OURZERO2014 project to create a collaborative screen-printed social document from 140 character tweets, outlining some of the hopes and fears people have for a post referendum Scotland with images from the resulting installation 'Solar Fields' in Stirling Old Town Jail.

Other speakers include SAU Secretary reporting back on the 2013 SAU Member survey, and Vice President Janie Nicoll talking on ‘Resilience and leadership in gallery education’, after her recent participation in the ‘Engage’ summer school in Padua.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Interview with Fiona Millar - Exploration of Career Management Practices of Creative Individuals (CI-CMP)

This afternoon I had a very interesting telephone interview with Fiona Millar, a PhD student at the University of Stirling regarding her Exploration of Career Management Practices of Creative Individuals (CI-CMP).
This is how Fiona explains her research:
I am a PhD Student at the University of Stirling, conducting research that explores the career management practices of creative individuals from Fine Arts and Digital Media backgroundsThe project aims to explore how creative individuals manage their careers by identifying the issues that affect an individuals’ ability to manage their career and the steps an individual takes to make themselves more employable.  Through my research I am hoping to explore how creative individuals manage such traditionally unconventional careers and deal with the obstacles that they face in achieving their career goals. I have currently enjoyed informal chats with three Fine Artists and Four Digital Media Workers in Scotland hearing about their career journeys and educational backgrounds, discussing career decisions and interplays throughout their careers. It’s been really exciting exploring such wonderful and varied careers and the passion from each participant about their career has been overwhelming and truly enjoyable! The data collected is currently being analysed and will lead into a bigger study that hopes to commence in late November this year (2013). 
In a first step, CI-CMP seeks to identify the influences that affect an individual’s ability to manage their career and support their employability. In a second step, CI-CMP will then identify the career strategies that individuals utilise in order to positively support the management of their own careers.  This research endeavours to generate avenues for future research in this field and it is also hoped that valuable data and information on the career management practises of creative individuals will be generated which may enable change in policy or support provisions."
You can follow bites of Fiona's research on Twitter @Fiona_Millar or by following the hashtag #CMgtinCI where she regularly give snippets of her research. She would like to actively engage with persons who have views on this subject.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Grooving exhibition at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall

Grooving exhibition at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall


Grooving exhibition at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall

Grooving exhibition at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall

Install at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall

With the work safely packed in the back of the van, Anne-Louise and I made our way to Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre to install my exhibition, Grooving.

On arrival, we met Isabel who assisted in the hanging of the exhibition.

Once the works were unwrapped, we tested how they would attach to the rods that are the hanging device at the venue. As usual, there were a couple of technical issues, but we found solutions (lets just say that cardboard came in useful...again!)

 Working out the arrangement of the pieces

The arrangement of the works was determined, in part, to the nature of the hanging system and how many rods the gallery has. Although I had made 15 works, only 14 could be exhibited, and so the work that was proving to be most difficult to attach to the rods was left out.

Anne-Louise and Isabel helping with install

I am pleased with how the work looks in the context, and hope to find another venue to exhibit the series.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Colour Studies

The works are wrapped and ready to be installed tomorrow at Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre where they will be exhibited from 4 September 2013 until 30 October 2013.

I am going to take 15 casts with me, but I may not use them all depending on how they work in the space.

I began some colour studies of the different casts:

 Colour study of object painting

  Colour study of object painting

  Colour study of object painting

  Colour study of object painting

  Colour study of object painting

 Colour study of object painting

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Monday 2nd September - Batons attached!

As the start of my exhibition at Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre and draws closer, I am now doing the final preparations to the work ready for the install on Wednesday.

I drilled holes in the batons to be inserted into the back of the casts. The screws on the rods that the work will hang from will then go into the batons.

Some of the casts needed a bit of sanding on the back, so I made good use of my rasp.

Batons have been glued into the backs of the works

I glued the batons into the majority of the casts, and coated the backs of the remaining four casts in diluted polymer.

I tried to match the front colour of each of the casts with a paint sample card and experimented with different orders of colour. As much as it is useful to do such an exercise without the work (the more I move the casts, the more likely they are to get damaged), the final order will ultimately be decided upon on Wednesday when I have them in the space and decide how many to include and see how they interact with the gallery surroundings.

Experimenting with the order of colours

Monday, 2 September 2013

Sunday 1st September - casts revealed

The moment of truth - taking the casts out of the moulds - is always rather daunting, but exciting too.
Casts removed from their moulds and left out to dry
Thankfully, yesterday's fears of the plaster not setting were not necessary. I am pleased with the colours, and they work well with the other casts.

I wrapped the other casts to protect them, and when they were piled on top of each other, the layers really complement each other.

 The casts wrapped and piled on top of each other

  The casts wrapped and piled on top of each other

  The casts wrapped and piled on top of each other

I applied more of the diluted polymer to the casts, doing the backs of the casts that I had added polymer to yesterday, and coating the fronts of the casts that I removed from the moulds earlier today.

  The casts laid out to dry after they had been coated in diluted polymer 

I am slightly concerned that the newest casts are still fairly damp as they were only just removed from their moulds. In an ideal world I would wait until they have fully dried before installing, and I hope that adding the polymer to the surfaces while they are still moist will not be problematic.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Saturday 31st August - casting continues

Since my last batch of casts did not set properly, I have been slightly set back from my intended production schedule.

I spent today producing some new moulds, and then creating another batch of 'object paintings'. Hopefully these will set in time!

 Base layer of plaster in the new moulds

I also coated the surface of the other 'object paintings' that I intend to exhibit with diluted polymer. I wiped this on rather than brushing it on as I don't want any brush marks showing.

 'Object paintings' drying once they have been coated with the polymer dilution

There are a few reasons why I am coating the surface with the diluted polymer:

- the surface develops a slight sheen which then emphasises the texture of the mould
- the surface becomes stronger and does not scratch as easily
- the surface becomes waterproof
- the colours retain their vibrancy and tone (as opposed to fading)
'Object paintings' drying once they have been coated with the polymer dilution 

As is usually the case before an exhibition, my studio is rather full, and it is getting more difficult to find places to leave work to dry. I certainly need to be careful when walking around the studio.