Last month we were turned down for Creative Scotland funding. In their reply they stated that they might reconsider my application if I put together a more detailed programme of events.
So, what kind of events have I been attending and hosting? What am I qualified to organise? I have… not been keeping track of the arts events I participate in. Not for years. Usually my justification for calling myself a poet goes something like this:
I AM A POET: ‘I was on the bill for both SlutWalk Edinburgh 2012 & Free Pride Glasgow 2015, and have performed at many poetry events. My work has been published in ‘Naked Among Thistles: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Related Identities and Mental Wellbeing’ edited by Katherine McMahon & Alison Wren as well as in feminist zines.’
I AM AN ARTIST: ‘I have participated in various art exhibitions, including the ‘Any.And.Or.’ women artists’ exhibition at Edinburgh’s Coburn House Gallery from July 11-24, 2013 and the Generator Projects ‘Member’s Show’ from Feb 15 – March 10, 2013. I recently completed an 8-week residency at The Women’s Unit in Castlemilk, Glasgow.
But, this is not enough! It’s not comprehensive – it’s just stuff that resonated with me. So here’s a list of all the places Artificial Womb has been over the last few months. Like, for my own records and so I can get a sense of how many things we can feasibly get to each week.
2015 – HS = had stall, O = organised, P = read poetry
April 6 – WOM Planning Meeting, Dundee (O)
May 23 – Tin Roof Art Fair, Dundee (HS)
May 30 – Wonderlands – The UK Graphic Novel Expo, Sunderland (HS)
Jul 2 – Scottish Cartoonist’s Society Meeting, Glasgow (HS)*
July 12 – Fluph Zine Making Workshop, Dundee (O)
July 17 – Raise Hell! at Broadcast, Glasgow (HS, P)
July 19 – Artificial Womb Hosts: Craft Fair at Madigan’s, Dundee (O)
July 23 – Somewhereto_ Creative Hub, Edinburgh (HS)
Aug 1 – Hydra, Issue #2 Launch & Poetry Open Mic, Bristol (O, P)*
Aug 8 – Leeds Zine Fair, Leeds (HS)
Aug 12 – Speakerbox & Artificial Womb Poetry Night, Dundee (O, P)
Aug 15 – TYCI, Glasgow (HS)*
Aug 22 – Free Pride, Glasgow (HS, P)
Sept 8 – Feminist Society Picnic, St Andrews (HS)*
Sept 12 – DUSA Fresher’s Fair, Dundee (HS)
Sept 20 – Craft Fair at Madigan’s, Dundee (O, HS)
Oct 3 – Comic Mart at Panopticon, Glasgow (HS)
Oct 10 – #artcore Print Fair, Edinburgh (HS)
Oct 13 – Fem Soc Film Screening – Mad Max, Dundee (HS)
Oct 25 – Ex Libris Book Fair, Dundee (HS)
Oct 28 – Nov 1 – Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair, Edinburgh (HS)
Oct 30 – Hey QT!, Edinburgh (HS)
*Stall set up without permission/in alternative venue
Some of these were much more successful than others. I didn’t realise we’d attended so many events in Glasgow. As you can see some of these are film screenings, some zine fairs, some craft fairs, club nights, poetry nights, book fairs, art exhibitions…
I still feel no closer to putting together a programme of events for Creative Scotland. I don’t know whether I want to do something like The Women’s Unit with 10 weeks or whatever of workshops. Or do a touring poetry night around different cites. or do regular craft fairs. I wish I had a set, regular slot in several locations across the country. Maybe I could do workshops in Fluph.
What would that look like?
Tuesdays 1-3pm (suggested contribution £3 to cover cost of materials)
A7 Zine Making, Small Scale Screen-Printing, Mini Lino Printing, Embroidery, Photography, Collage, Poetry, Banner Making… anything else?
Between January 5 and Feb 23 next year I could do eight workshops. Could get some flyers printed up. Does that sound… reasonable?
I’d also like to do more craft fairs at Madigan’s (but without drawing around the city centre in chalk). I understand that the shop is busy over xmas, so again maybe start back in January as a monthly thing. Maybe start those on the 10th of January and have them every month on the 2nd Sunday? Tin Roof could work too (but it’s colder!) At Tin Roof though you could have an evening event (with booze!) Yeah, a feminist fair sort of thing. Will email them about it. *pause* DONE.
That might be enough to get going with. If Tin Roof says ‘yes’ then that would also cover music and poetry.
Wait, that’s only Dundee though! Damn it. What about a touring print exhibition, like the #artcore Print Fair? But with the prints for sale at around £30 each (with 30% commission to, er, us for hosting the thing). Like where? Could we tour round a few places in Glasgow, somewhere in Stirling, Inverness, Irvine, Perth, a few places in Edinburgh, a few places in Dundee, St Andrews, Forfar, Aberdeen. Like, have it constantly on from January onwards – but moving around the place all the time. A week in each place for, like, 30 weeks? From the 2nd week of January to the last week of July would be 30 weeks.
Won’t that be a nightmare to arrange? Maybe once we get into the habit places will start to become available. Is it even feasible? Maybe could do an artist’s talk each week to ‘launch’ the exhibition in the new place. How about on Thursdays?
I want some way of making WOM a proper Scotland-wide thing. There must be 30 places in Scotland you could host a small female-led art exhibition and pop-up shop. Wow, apparently there are slightly more than 50 towns in Scotland with a population of more than 15,000 people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_towns_and_cities_in_Scotland_by_population
Yes, I think this is definitely giving a shape to a Creative Scotland application.