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Community projects/workshops/collaborations

A vital element of my practice is working with schools and community groups. Sometimes this is for a commissioned work, at other times I collaborate with other artists.

Another Hemisphere

In 2015, I was invited, along with Ian Stephen, to take part in a group exhibition; Towards Infinite Horizons in Hobart, Tasmania, as part of the arts programme of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. We were invited by artist Désirée Fitzgibbon and hosted by Margaret Vandenberg. I was to make work in response to our oposing geographical locations and Ian Stephen took part in a performance for the exhibition opening event. During the AWBF weekend, Stephen|Morrison presented a storytelling/visual/poetry performance.

We stayed in Hobart and Bruny Island, an island that lies SE of mainland Tasmania, pretty much the mirror of how the Isle of Lewis lies NW off the Scottish mainland. Then we travelled to Queenstown and Strahan, where again we were hosted by members of the community and met a Morrison that worked with one of the oldest species of wood - Huon Pine.

 

New Territories

I was invited to travel with poet/writer Ian Stephen to central Canada in April 2014. Ian had been asked to take part in the Commonwealth Poets United project, initiated by the Scottish Poetry Libray as part of the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014, celebrations.

Six Scottish poets were sent to six commonwealth countries, and six commonwealth poets returned to Scotland in a cultural, artistic and literary exchange. The project was for two weeks. In order to make the most of travelling such a long distance and to have time to make connections with artists located within the centre of a huge continent, I was able to extend this period to four weeks, thanks to the support of Creative Scotland - Professional Development funding.

I wanted to explore the differences between sailing for three days in open water with no reference to land and journeying overland for three days with no reference to the sea - which was possible by taking the train from Edmonton to Toronto.

During the project, I visited numerous galleries and exhibitions, explored new exhibition oportunities, met a whole new artistic community, learnt new printmaking techniques, installed a new work in the prairie landscape and experienced a cultural immersion in a first nations traditional sweatlodge.

 

Voyage

A collaborative performance, commissioned by the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, for the opening night performance of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, 2013. Work in collaboration with Ian Stephen (storyteller/poet/writer/sailor), Kirsty Law (singer/songwriter) and Giles Perring (sound artist). Voyage (90 mins) journeys through stories from Brittany to Iceland. An on-going project, which can be adapted to each particular performance location.

"Voyage is a superbly crafted storytelling experience in which narrative, song, music and evocative visuals all combine to draw us into the storytelling magic…. the perfect launch for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2013".
Donald Smith, Festival Director

Click here to view a short trailer of the performance

 

Acts of Trust

An ongoing project exploring the relationship between the act of trust in telling a story and the act of trust of letting the imagination control the hand. Initially developed as drawing workshops in Western Isles schools with Western Isles Library's Reader in Residence, Ian Stephen. Documentation of the project has so far resulted in a handmade book and video slideshow's of selected drawings set to extracts of two stories. See a review of the project here . (Page 14)

This project won the"'Outstanding Multi Arts Project/Production'" category of the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence (BASE) 2012.

 

Ars Navigare - Island Working

Artist exchange with Finnish Island Artists. Camping on Pabay Mor, west coast of Lewis.

Festival Ecosse, Grasse, France

A Scottish cultural festival, ecompassing storytelling, art workshops, writing, music, dancing and cooking. Collaboration with writer / storyteller/ poet, Ian Stephen.

Off the Wall. Boat of Garten, Inverness-shire.

The community had recently opened a new community hall for which they wanted a piece of art for the very high vestibule wall. Three workshops were proposed; the photography workshop saw residents going out into the village and surrounding areas to photograph what they felt was an important building / object / view point of the village. The modelling workshop resulted in bas relief sculptures of the identified elements. The painting workshop saw the plaster forms come to life through colour.