The Big Room 13 Blog

Welcome the Big Room 13 Blog featuring the latest news and events, from our studios around the world. Look out for new studios, inspirational images and ideas drawn from from our digital scrapbook, informative articles and much, much more.

Poi

poiPoi

A homage to John Cage prepared piano by Lochaber High School S3 Music class; applying new and experimental ideas and methods to music, art and technology.

A screening of this short film by S3 pupils (running time: 2mins 47s) will take place as a fringe event at:

Winter Wind Band Concert, Wednesday 30th November, 7.30pm at Lochaber High School

Tickets are free and can be collected from Lochaber High School Office.

Introduction to Poi

In May/June 2016 Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O’ Brien introduced Mr Young’s S3 Music class to an electronic tool called a touch board – this allows any surface to connect to the digital world by conductive material or electronic paint.

The result was Poi.

This short documentary film is a collage of the pupils work: pictures and film documenting the four week project; sound from field recordings and voice recordings; shaped objects and drawings and artist in residence pictures and sound for the film. The film focuses on an interactive artwork which took place on the final class with the pupils.

Poi Running Time: 2mins 47s

The word ‘Poi’ comes from a tradition of performance art using voice, music, objects and dance (originated from New Zealand). It also means object manipulation and is used here as a symbol of young people shaping and constructing their own learning.

 

This project was made possible with project funding made available to Room 13 a partner in Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.

Lochaber Ideas Week 2016

‘Thinking bigger than the Ben, seeing beyond the scenery…’

Lochaber is a great place to live. There are mcreativity_capitalany opportunities here that we can build upon if we think creatively.  More than murals and backdrops, the arts can contribute significantly to the social and economic wellbeing of a place.  Land use, food production, energy, play and education are some of the many topics that artists and creative groups are getting to grips with throughout Scotland and beyond.

After narrowly missing out on a Creative Places Award in 2015, there is real appetite for creative and enterprising activity in and around Fort William.

Thinking bigger than the Ben, what could be achieved here?

As part of Lochaber Ideas Week 2016, Room 13 will host ‘Creativity = Capital’ a panel discussion exploring the economic benefits of creativity in communities. This event, and accompanying exhibition, will aim to get discussion going about the positive economic and social impact of creativity on communities, and get people thinking ‘Bigger than the Ben’ about what could be achieved here.

Room 13’s lead artist Richard Bracken will be joined by invited guests, each with an interest in, and experience of, developing creative communities. The discussion will be chaired by local artist and creative co-ordinator, Ali Berardelli.

Creativity = Capital – panel discussion hosted by Room 13 International

5 – 7pm at The Moorings Hotel, Fort William 17th November 2016

Places will be limited at this free event, so click here to secure your place

An accompanying exhibition ‘Thinking Bigger than the Ben…’ will be on show at The Moorings Hotel throughout Ideas Week from 14th – 17th November 2016.

With examples from across Scotland and further afield, this event is intended to explore the function of artistic intervention in creating thriving and prosperous communities.

The point is not to replicate these actions in Fort William, but take the opportunity to consider the potential and develop something high quality that is unique to Lochaber. Ideas Week is a great platform for new projects and partnerships to emerge, and it will be exciting to see how these can be taken forward over the coming year.

Richard Bracken, Lead Artist, Room 13 International

Confirmed guests include:

deveronartsJoss Allen, Project Manager, at Deveron Arts
Deveron Arts is a contemporary arts organisation based in Huntly, a market town in the north east of Scotland with a population of 4,500.
Deveron Arts has no building, instead the town is the venue; acting as studio, gallery and stage for artists of all disciplines invited from around the world.
Engaging with local people and the community through topics of both local and global concern, Deveron Arts uses found spaces throughout the town and its surrounding areas. Their approach brings together artistic and social relationships in a global network that extends throughout and beyond the geographic boundaries of Huntly.

www.deveron-arts.com

anealdhain

Ian Peter MacDonald, Chair, An Ealdhain Arts Trust

An Ealdhain Arts Trust is a charitable Trust based in Fort William which aims to excite and inspire and bring world class art to the west Highlands.

www.anealdhainartstrust.co.uk

 

 

 

bright-logo-pngIlona Munro, Bright Productions

www.brightproductions.co.uk

Bright Productions is a performance based company in Lochaber. Bright Productions is run by Ilona Munro as a sole trader, working with a great team of associates, who have a range of creative skills both live and studio based.

Ilona and her team are excited by education, entertainment, radio and theatre productions. Much of their work responds to other organisations’ needs, and they delight in meaningful partnerships.  Current partnerships include Abbeyfield Care Home, Mental Health work in schools and Creative PE Pilot Project with Highland Council.  Bright Productions staged Fort William’s first ever outdoor panto and have been part of training through role play.

In 2017 the company will be premiering three new shows:  Lament: The Massacre of Glencoe, The Recovery Version (Edinburgh Fringe) and Scrooge, and will also be touring an intergenerational show that was part of the Luminate Festival:  Wan Fur The Weans.

Sea to Sky

In August 2016 Resipole Studios & Fine Art Gallery is hosting a collection of multi-media artworks by the late, abstract expressionist, Jon Schueler (1916-1992). Sea to Sky is one of a group of exhibitions, both in the US and in the UK to mark the centennial of Jon Schueler’s birth. Sea to Sky presents a collection of 38 works that are central to his time spent on the West Coast of Scotland, where he frequented throughout his career.

This award winning arts venue provides the perfect backdrop to Schueler’s works of art, which is enveloped by the very landscape that inspired the American artist.

We are thrilled to share news that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of works at this exhibition are to be donated to Room 13 International, making this a perfect opportunity to invest in an internationally significant piece of artwork while also supporting a charity, home grown in the West Highlands, that supports artistic development, creativity and enterprise among young people in Lochaber, Scotland and overseas.

The exhibition will run for six weeks (6 August – 18 September 2016) and will feature a number of events celebrating Jon Schueler’s centennial.  

‘Sea to Sky’ at Resipole Studios & Fine Art Gallery

www.resipolestudios.co.uk

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Participants in the recent Young Artists’ Retreat, visited Resipole Studios & Fine Art Gallery. They enjoyed a talk and a tour by gallery owner Andrew Sinclair, and all voted this one of highlights of their experience. The Artists’ Retreat, aimed at young artists aged 14-17, was run by Room 13 International with support from Highland Youth Arts Hub.

Dada Day!

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first ever dada event, Room 13 invited members of the public to stretch their imaginations in a dada and surrealist manner at a recent event in the new Room 13 Community Studio at Caol.

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Marking 100 years since the first ever dada event, on June 23rd 1916, Room 13’s dada day event was a playful introduction to Dada or Dadaism, an artistic movement that spread across Europe during and after the First World War (1914 – 1918). Short lived but prolific, the movement was a response to war and to what the artists saw as unprecedented horror and human folly. The works they produced were an active engagement of politics and culture.

This event was the inspiration of Audrey O’ Brien, and marked the end of her time as a visiting Artist in Residence at Lochaber High School. Audrey has been in post since October 2015, working with pupils and staff to develop and deliver a series of cross curricular projects and creative engagements.

Audrey likened her experience of Room 13 to this movement and wanted to host a celebration of its 100th anniversary because:

Dada art derided the idea that the artist was deserving of special status. The artist was a fallible mortal like everybody else, conversely, everyone else was capable of the same creative freedom as the artist.

Dada & Surrealism, Robert Short

Room 13’s Dada Day was attended by Art, Music and History classes from Lochaber High School, and curious members of the public.

The event featured film screenings, sound installations, and visual displays representing the spirit and history of dadaism. Participants were encouraged to try out a variety of art techniques popular with the dada artists: Poem recipes, photomontage, experimental film-making and not forgetting to pay a visit to the Toilet Gallery!

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Audrey followed up with a final visit to Lochaber High School on Wednesday 29th June to pose questions to pupils and reflect on their experience of Dada Day. She found that the teenagers have a lot to say in relation to recent events and political upheaval. Audrey explains:

“I am interested in the artistic movement Dada or Dadaism to provoke young people to think about the ideas behind this movement and provoke conversations on what current issues are important to them. It happened that my visit fell in the wake of the referendum. In their responses to questions such as ‘What issues are important to you and why?’ the pupils showed an acute awareness of recent events and concerns for their future.”

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Audrey’s role, and the many projects she has effected during her time with Room 13, was made possible through project funding made available to Room 13 a partner in Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.

As well as supporting an artist to work with Lochaber High School and Room 13 Community Studio, this 2 year project has enabled Room 13 to deliver a range of different activities across Lochaber, involving over 300 young people aged 5-25. Room 13’s programme for Highland Youth Arts Hub has included workshops for Very Young Artists, mentoring and development of a youth volunteer group at Room 13 Community Studio and a series of workshops aimed at helping schools and remote communities to Grow Your Own Room 13.

 

PointingHand.RightDada or Dadaism was an artistic movement – short lived but prolific, it spread across Europe during and after the First World War (1914 – 1918).

The principles of Dadaism centred on deliberate irrationality, anarchy and cynicism, and the rejection of the laws of beauty and social organisation.

Artists, musicians, writers and intellectuals discussed their love of the irrational and the nonsensical in terms of a rejection of the political and cultural values which they argued had created the war in the first place. The movement was based on the principles of deliberate nonsense and ‘childish’ responses; th

Do you see sound and hear colour?

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Synaesthesia Workshop Interactive artwork, Lochaber High School June 2016

Lochaber High School students Maddie Lennon, William Landsborough and Jennifer McKenna worked with Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O Brien to present Synaesthesia, an interactive art workshop using new digital media to explore Synaesthesia, a condition that can make you see sounds as colours.

Taking over a corridor on the second floor of Lochaber High School, the artists splashed colour into the minds of a lunchtime audience. The school is newly refurbished and it is forbidden to hang anything onto the walls. Artist Audrey has been encouraging the group to take ownership of the white spaces and propose changes through visual art ideas and events. This temporal event was the outcome of the Ideas group which developed through a series of quick lunchtime conversations, building tours and ideas sharing.

Room 13's Synaethesia Workshop - see album Room 13's Synaethesia Workshop - see album

The idea came from one of the artist’s experience of synaesthesia. The artists used technology new to the school – a creative electronic tool with touch sensors to present this invention to their audience. Four musical tracks were selected from Maddie’s personal collection and uploaded to a touch board. People touched the interactive surface to set off an audio sensor. MP3 files were played and the audience was to select a colour to represent what they “saw” when listing to the four musical tracks.

Pupils and teachers found common ground in thinking and discussing colour and sound perception, and the following comments were made in response to the piece:

Interesting project – I could “see” shape easier for violin but colour for the others.

Bill Mackenzie

 

Very interesting, I loved the idea of this.

Siobhan

 

I seemed to relate a colour to trumpets and violins which coincided with someone else’s’ choice → weird!

K McIntyre

 

I was most confident of the drums – pink and red and pulsing. The violin was pretty intensely purple too. Very cool, thought provoking project!

S Carruthers

 

Very interesting and fun. Have been using colour as a relaxation tool, related to memory and the colour → related to a shape and sound.

L Blair

 

Interesting, weird, but very easy to see colours – so cool!

Russell

 

This is a great idea! it really made me think about the sounds.

Lucy Fraser

 

Love the idea of this and its a great way to try and understand how some people see, hear, touch and smell the world.

Anna MacDonald

 

Its really strange but it shows how certain colours mean different things to people.

Leo Douglas

 

Room 13's Synaethesia Workshop - see album

Credits:

Artists: Maddie Lennon, William Landsborough and Jennifer McKenna

Photography & Film: Jennifer McKenna, Zuzia Kruk, Audrey O’Brien

Technology: Bare Conductive Touch Board

Tracks:

Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Wynton Marsalis – I Can’t Get Started

Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade- IV. Festival at Baghdad – The Sea – The Ship Breaks [Part 4-4]

Spirited Away OST One Summers Day

Audrey O Brien was appointed by Room 13 International in 2015/16 to work with pupils and staff to develop and deliver a series of cross curricular projects and creative engagements at Lochaber High School. Audrey’s role, and the many projects she effected during her residency with Room 13, was made possible with project funding from Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.

GrowYourOwn_footer

Notes:

Sound-to-Color Synesthesia

When sound triggers the visualization of colored, generic shapes, sound-to-color synesthesia is at play. For certain people, the stimuli are limited, and only a few types of sounds will trigger a perception. However, there are cases wherein many different sounds trigger color visualizations. Usually, the perceived colors appear in generic shapes – squares, circles, etc. http://www.synesthesiatest.org/types-of-synesthesia

Synaesthesia is a condition where a sensation in one of the senses, such as hearing, triggers a sensation in another, such as taste. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/synaesthesia/Pages/Introduction.aspx

The five most common forms are:

  • Grapheme-colour synaesthesia: You see colours in letters and numbers
  • Chromesthesia: You see colours in the sound of, for example, music playing, doors opening or even cars honking
  • Lexical-gustatory synaesthesia: When you hear words, you taste them
  • Spatial sequence synaesthesia: You visualise numerical sequences, like dates and times, as points in space
  • Ordinal linguistic personification: You see distinct personalities in ordered sequences like days and months

Read more at http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/do-you-have-synaesthesia-a-look-at-the-condition-that-means-lorde-sees-sound-in-colour-14639#AySjRPpqDidH0QjO.99

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Very Young Artists at Outlandia

Young artists from three Lochaber schools have been making use of Outlandia, the treehouse and artists’ field station in Glen Nevis, as part of a programme of workshops for very young artists being run by Room 13 with support from the Highland Youth Arts Hub. In May 2016, three school groups were invited to Outlandia to participate in a series of projects with local artists Ali Berardelli and Jen Deschenes.

Spean Bridge Primary School P6/7 class worked with the artists to illustrate an ancient Gaelic poem, Allt an t-Siùcair (The Sugar Burn) by Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair which explores the landscape around a burn in west Lochaber and used screen printing to create final images that have been on display in Outlandia. A sound work accompanied the images. The group travelled to Glen Nevis and walked to Outlandia to view their artwork and also to participate in a drawing and printing activity making mini sketchbooks from Outlandia. The groups were accompanied by Ruari Watt, Forestry Commission’s Communites, Recreation and Tourism Ranger who provided activities and information for all the pupils leading the pupils on adventures through the forest.

A group from the Learning Support Base at Lochaber High School worked with music therapist and teacher Clare Reynolds when they spent time at Outlandia. The group also worked with Ali Austin, the Nevis Property Manager with the John Muir Trust making journey sticks, a method of interpreting and illustrating the journey to Outlandia.

Lundavra Primary 6/7 class visited the West Highland Museum as part of the Outlandia project to view the [wish] [miann] exhibition by Ali Berardelli and Jen Deschenes currently on show until later in the summer. The group then walked from Lundavra School across the Cow Hill to Outlandia where they participated in a drawing workshop and forest craft with Ruari Watt from Forestry Commission Scotland.

Very Young Artsits at Outlandia

“This was a wonderful opportunity for young people to explore Glen Nevis and Outlandia; the pupils tried out different drawing techniques and were encouraged to look closely at the environment and make images that related to this. Taking groups to Outandia has been a real adventure, travelling on the different routes there and everyone enjoyed the experience. Working with a variety of people, artists, rangers, teachers has been very successful and we hope to be able to expand on this project in future years.We are thankful to Room 13 International who have afforded this opportunity.”

Ali Berardelli, lead artist ‘Very Young Artists at Outlandia’ project

This project has been a great example of partnership working within the Lochaber community, from schools, Nevis Landscape Partnership, Forestry Commission Scotland, John Muir Trust, Room 13 International, the Highland Youth Arts Hub, and individual artists. The outcomes from the project and images will be available on the Outlandia blog and website.

Post Author: Ali Berardelli

Very Young Artists at Outlandia

Information:

Ali Berardelli is a visual artist and project manager who lives locally in Fort William. Having been brought up in Lochaber, graduating from Glasgow School of Art in Illustration, and working within the Highland Council in arts development, Ali has been very involved in local community development work and has a strong interest in the visual arts. Ali has a young family and has worked with schools and community groups throughout the area helping to foster creativity in our community.

Jen Deschenes is a textile based artist and designer who comes from the island of Whalsay, off the Shetland mainland. A strong interest in history has led her to design intricate embroidery work and explore printed mediums. Jen has made her home in Spean Bridge and has two children. She has exhibited her artwork widely to international acclaim.

Clare Reynolds is a cellist, music therapist, and support for learning teacher who works with over 100 children from age 6 months to 18 years on a weekly basis in Fort William. She was raised in Lochaber and returned to the area with her family and has since provided extensive musical knowledge and developed unique opportunities for people to engage with music across the community.

Outlandia is an off-grid, treehouse studio imagined by artists London Fieldworks and designed by Edinburgh based Malcolm Fraser Architects. Inspired by childhood dens, wildlife hides and bothies, by forest outlaws and Japanese poetry platforms, it is located in a copse of Norwegian Spruce and Larch in Glen Nevis on Forestry Commission land at the foot of Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands, approximately three miles from the town of Fort William. Outlandia is an artist-led project built as a multi-purpose platform for the use of diverse community groups as well as selected artists and is in line with The Scottish Forestry Strategy that aims to create opportunities for more people to enjoy trees, woods and forests in Scotland, and to help communities benefit from woods and forests.

Other participating organisations:

Forestry Commission Scotland http://www.forestry.gov.uk

John Muir Trust https://www.johnmuirtrust.org

Highland Youth Arts Hub http://hyah.co.uk

 

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