After twenty plus years of exhaustion as independent Artists; juggling our time and money to survive careers within the Arts in Theatre and Music. We were super inspired by an international Residency we did at the Carlton Arms independent Art Hotel in NYC in 2017. The Hotel is over 100 years old and steeped in so much rich history, a history that even includes Banksy.
Our resindency there was called ‘turn and face the strange” and marked the 35th opening of rooms at the Hotel. The work we made together as a family for one of the Hotel rooms, as part of that residency is ‘high gloss’.
The Hotel guarantees that the rooms created by the Artists as part of their residencies will remain for at least 2 years. Our room there can still be experienced.
After NYC, we set about trying to get our hands on our own space to invest in, a building that we could try to replicate a similar idea with our own twist here in Scotland for ourselves and those we wish to collaborate with and who wish to work with us.
Our task in finding a building was accomplished in 2017 after a long time looking, we found a 120 year old listed bomber of a space on the east coast of Scotland just outside Dundee. We have spent the last 2 and a half years thinking hard about all the values that are important to us as artists in a relentlessly tough and fickle industry, we have also been lovingly restoring the space which has been no easy task.
Studio Space Art is our tiny attempt to be concious, to rebel, to try to operate creatively under our own set of values, rules and principles. To take control of a space of our own where we can think straight and pursue what we are interested in investigating and talking about as Artists together. To try to reclaim our space in the world and to question what space is and can be together.
It is a delicate, competitive and volatile industry we work in, an industry where current funding and operating models are broken - we have to try to find our own ways of operating that are healthy, supportive of one another and non toxic. Ways of being that are sustainable for us all to survive in and be able to keep practicing our work in. A landscape where maybe the many can have a voice, not just the same few…
We are curious and we love to collaborate. We have been doing so for a very long time, across artforms and disciplines locally and internationally - we believe that collaboration is an art form, a skill, a craft. We believe that when many minds, perspectives, vibes and flows come together, that is where the true magic happens - it makes us stronger, our voices louder and the stories we tell more authentic. This way of working urges us not to become complacent but instead to keep asking ourselves important questions about the world we live in and our place in it.
Collaboration requires an enormous amount of openness, lack of judgement and endless amounts of communication and sometimes it just doesn’t work. And whilst we love and respect the shorthand and security that can be achieved working over time with the same collaborators, we also think it is vitally important and exciting to come out of those comfort zones. To take the risks that scare us and to consider working with those we might not ordinarily. To be open to meeting and working with new people to us; we think that is how we truly grow and keep developing as humans and as Artists - we might even make a difference together.
Come hang out, there is a king size Artist bedroom, it’s dead quiet, it’s right by the sea, the sunsets are killer and anyone really is welcome.
Like manded souls who have come to collaborate | hang out | experiment | stay over and blether with us at our wee ‘Art House’ so far include:
Robin Mason, Steve Kettley, Kim Falconer, Abby Chan, James Yang, Chris O’Connel, Julia Negus, Ross Whyte, Zexuan Qiao, John McCann.
Be kind, it’s tough out there…