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In the Space/Time continuum

In the Space/Time continuum Space/Time at Cove Park, photo by Eoin Carey

During the week of 11th May, we’ll be trialling an online version of our Space/Time retreat.  Usually Space/Time is a residency in a rural location – previously venues include Cove Park in Argyle and Bute, The Old Brewery in Cromarty, Lyth Arts Centre near Wick, Findhorn in Moray, and the Swallow Theatre in Dumfries and Galloway. This is because being away from your regular surroundings is an important element in allowing people to focus on themselves without distraction.  Clearly this is not currently possible, so - like everyone else – we’re having to work out how to do things differently.

People are often intrigued by the idea of these retreats and ask what they’re like. It’s quite hard to explain what the experience itself is like as each person’s experience is different – though participant Rob Young has done a very good job in a previous post – but I can describe what the structure is and what the ideas behind it are.

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Autumn Space/Time Artists

Autumn Space/Time Artists

Our next Space/Time retreat is being held on 4 October at Cove Park.

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.

The artists taking part are:

Cathy Forde
Cathy Forde is a writer from Glasgow. She has written many books for children and young adults and her plays have been produced by National Theatre of Scotland, A Play Pie Pint at Oran Mor and by BBC Radio. She also works extensively as a mentor and creative writing tutor.

Daniel Padden
Daniel Padden is a composer and musician making music and sound for theatre, screen and live performance. His work has included film, orchestral scores, children's theatre, tape collages, vocal improvisation and experimental rock music. He has recently created and co-directed 'WhirlyGig', a theatre piece for families exploring the absurd conventions of musicianship and performance.

Alyson Hallett
Alyson Hallett is an award-winning poet and her latest pamphlet Toots was shortlisted for the Michael Marks and Callum MacDonald Memorial Awards. She has also published fiction and drama and has collaborated with visual artists, musicians, dancers and sculptors. She lives in Somerset and curates The Migration Habits of Stones, a poetry and public art project

Rob Young
Rob Young trained in theatre design, spent 13 years in photographic archives and 20 more as an award-winning writer, working for the UK’s top TV, film and theatre companies. He is currently working on a project about children with chronic, complex pain and his new play opens at Buxton Opera House in January 2020.

Emma Jayne Park
Emma Jayne Park works under the creative handle Cultured Mongrel as a dancer, theatre maker, collaborator and micro-activist.  She is obsessed with finding ways to ask better questions. From creating dance with young dancers in rural community spaces to working as a movement director in established mid-scale theatres, her politics always underline her practice with a focus on creating healthy working spaces, questioning hierarchies, collaborative working and aspiring to positive social change.  Her research focuses on bridging the gap between ideology and practice, exploring themes including identity, communication, failure, re-authorship and creative ownership. 

 

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

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A creative retreat

On 13 March five artists will go on a creative retreat we call Space/Time at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness.

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.

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New insights into creative approaches

Last month, five artists went on our creative retreat called Space/Time in Dumfries & Galloway. One of them, sculptor and visual artist Gillian Brent, reflects on her experience:

I am a sculptor and visual artist with a studio practice and a socially engaged, participatory practice. I am based in Sheffield with a studio at Yorkshire Artspace. I have exhibited around the UK and been commissioned for many public artworks, mostly with consultation and creative input from local communities and organisations in areas of social disadvantage.

Since 2009 I have been working mainly as an artist within art gallery learning programmes in contemporary public art galleries in Nottingham, Sheffield and Yorkshire. I have been developing and facilitating workshops, resources and long term projects and research programmes that engage diverse audiences with exhibitions and collections, and encourage discussion and creative responses in a variety of media. 

Space/Time came at a perfect time for me. Between January to July 2018, I am taking an unpaid six-month sabbatical from working with the galleries where I work on a regular basis, to focus on re-connecting with my studio practice and consider new ways to disseminate my work. My studio practice had become sidelined and I was missing the process of following my own lines of enquiry and making work without the restraints of facilitating others. I was also feeling burnt out by the pressure of constantly responding creatively to other people’s briefs, timescales and agendas.

From the series The Dilemma of the Non-ephemeral Artefact (What are we going to do with all this stuff?).

The retreat gave me the opportunity through the discussions to think through some of my sometimes conflicting positions about being an artist as producer and artist as facilitator and animateur. It was very interesting to find that the other artists attending the Space/Time retreat, although working in other creative disciplines, had worries, issues and barriers that were very similar to ones I have. We were able to share experiences, get new insights into creative approaches and give practical support to each other. The sessions were very deftly facilitated by Alice and Nick to give everyone a chance to ponder on the questions that were concerning us, deconstruct specific situations and consider how to make positive changes.

I found it particularly inspiring to share my work with the group and to get genuine feedback about my ideas and recent sculpture. From this I am now taking forward new ideas of ways to disseminate them and am hoping to collaborate with one of the participants as part of this.

I also gained some useful practical advice about how to manage my various areas of work so that I don’t get into the same situation of burnout and lack of balance again.

Space/Time was a very positive experience; although it didn’t provide concrete answers to all the issues I am facing, it gave me the opportunity to reflect in a supported environment and to feel much stronger about working towards making changes.

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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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