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Magnetic North Blog

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Nicholas Bone is Artistic Director of Magnetic North and has directed all of the company's work.  He has also directed for Scottish Opera, Traverse Theatre, Opera North, Actors' Touring Company, Bristol Old Vic, NIDA and Dundee Rep. Nicholas wrote the text for A Walk at the Edge of the World, co-wrote the libretto of Happy Story (Scottish Opera), co-created Pass the Spoon (Magnetic North/Southbank Centre) and adapted Henry David Thoreau's Walden for the stage.

Time to stop and consider

From tomorrow five artists will embark on a creative retreat we call Space/Time in Dumfries & Galloway. Three of the artists have written about their expectations of this cross-artform residency:

Claire Halleran (set design) 
I’m a Set and Costume designer based in Scotland, but have been fortunate to work overseas and to have work tour internationally. My designs vary from small, compact children’s shows to large immersive events for all. I have created small cardboard houses covered in glitter and hand paint for 2-year-olds to the interior of a cinema/film festival in a disused bingo hall in the north of Scotland.

I love what I do, I enjoy the problem solving and working and collaborating with others, but also taking time to research and develop ideas as an individual. Working in the world of stage design ensures that there is never a day that is the same as another, which keeps things interesting, exciting and I appreciate a challenge. I work in scripted theatre and devised theatre both of which bring their thrilling moments and I’m always astonished at how much I learn from each collaboration.

I am very much looking forward to Space/Time - spending time with artists from other art forms and allowing myself to stop and consider what I do and why I have found my particular way of working. I find myself reacting quickly to create design decisions and have not interrogated my approach to the creative practice since studying both Fine Art (Glasgow School of Art) and a Master of Fine Art (Queen Margaret University). Being able to learn and evolve your creative practice is a fundamental part of being able to maintain an exciting and engaging conversation with both your creative colleagues and your audience. Each time I have seen Space/Time or Rough Mix advertised, I have wanted to be involved, but each time there has been too much going on to take the time. Now I realise that I need to make the time.

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Time and space

From 23 February five artists will embark on a creative retreat we call Space/Time in Dumfries & Galloway.

Space Time is a paid five-day creative retreat for experienced artists. It aims to refresh participants and allow them to re-boot and flourish.

The artists taking part are:

Gillian Brent (sculpture)
Gillian is a sculptor and installation artist based in Sheffield. She has worked with welded steel for all of her career.

Claire Halleran (set design) 
Claire has been working as a freelance designer since 2002. She is based in Glasgow and works on projects at home and abroad.

Harry Harris (songwriter)
Harry is a songwriter based in Edinburgh. His latest release, The Andre The Giant EP, is a collaboration with producers Chemikal Recipe and designer Gavin Day.

Carol McKay (creative writing)
Carol writes fiction, life writing, and poetry, and also teaches creative writing for the Open University along with private classes. She is based in South Lanarkshire.

Ewan Robertson (sculpture)
Based at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Ewan lectures in sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art.

Sign up to our Artist Development mailing list to be notified when more information is available on our next Space/Time residency.

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Successful Creative Scotland Application

Magnetic North has been successful in its application to Creative Scotland for Regular Funding for 2018-21.  This is the first time that the company has joined the RFO portfolio, after 18 years of operating on project funding.  The funding of £100,000 per annum will support Magnetic North’s artist development programme and will enable the company to offer more than 80 artists paid, facilitated, supported time to discuss, experiment, refresh their practice, share skills and create work through residencies, creative retreats, production support, mentoring, networking events, and bespoke attachments to the company.
 
Artistic Director Nicholas Bone said, “We are delighted that Magnetic North’s work has been recognised with this investment from Creative Scotland. We look forward to becoming part of Creative Scotland’s network of Regularly Funded Organisations and to collaborating with other organisations and artists within and outside the network over the next 3 years. The security and continuity of regular funding will enable Magnetic North to expand our work and to offer more project and creative development opportunities to more artists throughout Scotland.”
 
Magnetic North’s mission is to run a multi-art form programme of artist-centred development and production that creates significant paid opportunities for diverse individual artists at different career stages and produces a distinctive body of high quality work for audiences in Scotland, the UK and internationally. 
 
Based in Edinburgh and founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Nicholas Bone, Magnetic North has created 11 stage productions and a film, mounted 12 tours, commissioned 11 new plays, a screenplay and 2 music-theatre pieces, working in collaboration with playwrights, composers, choreographers and visual artists and with co-producing partners from around Scotland and further afield. Since 2006 the company has initiated and grown a programme of artist development and support, giving artists paid time to discuss, experiment, refresh their practice, share skills and create work.
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Announcing 2018 New Zealand Playwright Residency

In partnership with Playwrights' Studio Scotland, Playmarket New Zealand abd Creative New Zealand, we are delighted to announce the opportunity for a playwright based in Scotland to spend three months as writer-in-residence with a theatre company in New Zealand.

The residency foolows Arthur Meek's successful residency with Magnetic North in 2016, which resulted in him writing Erewhon Revisited, which premiered in September this year at the Christchurch Arts Festival.

Experienced playwrights based in Scotland are eligible to apply - you can find out more here. The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday 19 February 2018.

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Application process for February 2018 Space/Time retreat now open

Our next Space Time retreat will run from 23rd-27th February 2018 at the Swallow Theatre in Dumfries and Galloway and the application process is now open. Experienced artists from any art form are welcome to apply by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 22nd December.

Space/Time is a paid creative retreat for experienced artists from all disciplines that asks the question “How does an artist keep developing?”

It aims to refresh participants through a stimulating examination of creativity. During the residency, we will explore how creativity can be nourished and how artists can continue challenging themselves to develop.

The residency combines facilitated dialogue - built around a series of self-generated questions - with time for individual reflection and work. It is led by Nicholas Bone and Alice McGrath.

 You can find out more about how to apply here.

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Latest Comment

J. Sharp Taking A Walk
07 September 2014
Very much enjoyed your show at the Brunton Theatre last night and the silent walk to start was an excellent addition, creating the perfect atmosphere....