A Space To Be

I think Artificial Womb needs a ‘space’. Of course I love having my desk space at the Fleet Collective, but since the residency ended at The Women’s Unit I’ve been feeling increasingly frustrated not having a… hub.

I also think we need a space to hold events. Distributing the zine I’ve been in a lot of very cool arts spaces recently, multi-functional places where communities can have their main or immediate needs met. Spaces where those using the venue can feel safe, welcome, able to thrive creatively.

And I want somewhere. Somewhere with internet access & desk space, art space & workshop space, a kitchen, a crashing out space (bunk beds or tent-pitching space), free parking. Somewhere warm where you could have late night film screenings or afternoon knitting sessions (or late-night film-based knitting sessions).

I know I’m not the best at sharing. But, I think I’m a decent… boss. I just want to be in control of the little things: opening hours, shop stock, music. Hiring.

But property… property is completely unaffordable. Isn’t it? We crowdfund too often as it is and I don’t know if Creative Scotland will want to help with rental costs.

One issue I think I might have is that I want a space that’s safe to sleep in. Not just for myself (I have a flat and a car for that purpose), but because without one there’s always a point where you have to go ‘home’. What if you don’t have one? Or don’t want to go back – out of fear or pain – to the one you technically do have?

But I think refuges need a different sort of license. I mean, I don’t think you can run a shop from a residential property or sleep in a commercial one. There must be crossover though.

I’ve got a meeting with an adviser from the Cultural Enterprise Office tomorrow so I could always talk it over with her. It’s definitely one of the main things that’s holding me back from organising a programme of events for Artificial Womb. Everywhere – even my own home – requires someone else’s overruling consent to use for events. It’s… frustrating. Waiting. Negotiating permission to use spaces is fine for one-off events, but I got the impression from Creative Scotland when they turned down my application for funding that they were looking for a regular programme of events and for that I need a space. A proper space. Somewhere I can write on the walls, graffiti the toilets & spraypaint the pavement outside. Vacant properties must exist all over Scotland. Where can I find one?

Secret Aim for July 2016.