Room 13 International is looking to recruit individuals with a range of skills and expertise to serve on our Board of Trustees.
Currently, Room 13 International is working to consolidate our existing provision locally, while also supporting the development of the Room 13 organisation and network. Through operation of our studio facilities in Lochaber, we aim to set the standard for other communities across Highland and provide a framework that can be applied worldwide.
If you think you have the time and skills to assist us in developing the necessary structures to run a worldwide organisation effectively from our Highland base whilst remaining principally artist led, youth powered and promoting strong links with the surrounding community, we would love to hear from you.
Please Click here for more information or come along to our AGM to us find out more.
The Annual General Meeting of the Members of Room 13 International will take place at 4pm on Tuesday 4thApril at Room 13 Studios, Caol Community Centre, Glenkingie St, Caol, Fort William, PH33 7DS
Lochaber is a great place to live. There are many 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.
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:
Joss 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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
Congratulations to 17 year old Emma Cameron from Strontian, winner of The Rotary Club of Lochaber’s Young Artist of the Year Award, 2016.
Emma attends Ardnamurchan High School, and has been a regular at Room 13 since the age of 8! She was delighted by her win and said: “Thank you to the Lochaber Rotary Club and Room 13, I’m glad that my art was received so well as I’ve put a lot of work into it over the past year.”
Emma won £100 voucher for ArtMedia store in Inverness. Runner up this year was 8 year old Matilda Van de Peer, also from Strontian, who won a £50 voucher.
A further 3 young artists had their work Highly Commended. They were: Bethan White, from Ardnamurchan High Shool, Joanna Wood and Francesca Marie Rose from Lochaber High School.
The prizes were awarded at a presentation and reception for the entrants and their parents hosted by Room 13 Community Studio on 25 May 2016.
The selection panel were delighted by the quality of the entries this year. Portfolios were submitted from across Lochaber and the award winners were chosen by Lorna Finlayson from Art Lochaber, local artist Ali Berardelli, and Margaret Boyd, representing the Rotary Club of Lochaber.
Both Emma and Matilda’s work will be on display at the Art Lochaber exhibition taking place at the Ben Nevis distillery between 20th May and 1st June. The exhibition showcases local artists working in oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels, batik, wood turning, and papier-mache sculpture.
Room 13 International have have been running the award on behalf of the Rotary Club of Lochaber for three years. The Rotary Young Artist of the Year Award is open to young artists aged between 7 and 17 living and working in Lochaber. The winners are selected for demonstrating originality, development and enthusiasm as artists.
Young artists across Lochaber are encouraged to start thinking and preparing for next year’s award straight away!
The aim of this award is to encourage and reward the wealth of visual arts talent present among young people in Lochaber.
The award is open to young artists aged 7 – 17. There are no separate age categories. The Young Artist of the Year will be selected by a panel of judges viewing a small portfolio of work from each entrant. One overall winner will be named Young Artist of the Year,plus 2 runners-up and up to 4 Highly-Commended entrants.
The selection panel will be looking for evidence of a commitment to making artwork and evidence of the young artist’s originality, development and enthusiasm as an artist, regardless of their age or level of skill.
Awards will be made on the basis of overall achievement. Portfolios can contain visual work in any media, and may include photographs, films, sketchbooks and sculpture in addition to drawings, prints and paintings in traditional 2D medium.
Our thanks to all applicants who submitted proposals in response to our brief for an artist to join our team in Lochaber.
After much deliberation, with all candidates being of a very high standard, we are thrilled to announce that we have appointed Audrey O’Brien as a new Artist in Residence working with Room 13 in Lochaber. Audrey will focus on developing and delivering a new series of projects and creative engagements with community groups and local schools, particularly Lochaber High School.
Audrey will work closely with Richard Bracken, who is currently the lead artist for Room 13 in Lochaber and the Room 13 International team. We are very excited about working with her too! She is very passionate about the project and we think she will bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm to the role.
Visit Audrey’s website to take a look at her previous work:
This new role will expand the team of artists working with Room 13 in Lochaber and creates new opportunities for us to promote engagement and understanding of contemporary arts practice among the community and reach out to groups already keen to work with Room 13.
With Audrey on board, we will have greater capacity enthuse, involve and mentor a core of young people as collaborators in visual art projects in and out of school.
This new residency opportunity has been created as part of our delivery as a partner in the Highland Youth Arts Hub and is supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine Fund.
Our thanks to the interview panel including HYAH representative and youth volunteer who gave up their time to help us in the selection process.
Room 13 International is delighted to announce that we are leading the team which has seen Fort William shortlisted for the Creative Place Awards 2015, funded by Creative Scotland.
Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards have been awarded to smaller communities across Scotland, outside of the main cities, to enable them to enhance and promote the creative activities and programmes in their area. The awards recognise the communities’ ambitions in using the arts for the benefit of both local residents and visitors to their area.
‘Being nominated for the Creative Places award offers a wonderful opportunity for communities in Fort William and the surrounding area to celebrate our environment, mountain culture and native woodland through the planting of trees and the installation of innovative sculptures.’
Richard Bracken, Artist in Residence, Room 13 Caol
Working with the Fort William community, we plan to use the Creative Places award to create a series of interwoven art and arboreal projects, at the heart of which is The Liberty Grove / Doire na Saorsa, planting 1,000 native trees throughout the region. Working with different art forms, from sculpture and poetry to film, we will improve the environment for the entire community, and celebrate the world-renowned landscape of Lochaber in new and innovative ways.
As the lead organisation Room 13 International will co-ordinate a substantial programme of community-led activities, fostering an awareness of biodiversity and appreciation of wilderness, working with local and international artists, poets and storytellers.
Thanks to its inspiring surroundings, and initiatives such as the Fort William Mountain Festival, the town has an iconic status for visitors; now we will enhance and transform its identity, through innovative ecologically-sensitive cultural projects. Working amongst a community consisting of a remarkably strong network of local organisations, including woodland, geology and environmental specialists along with creative and cultural organisations, we will create a grove in which they can share their expertise in outdoor education, ecology and heritage. The Liberty Grove / Doire na Saorsa will prove that the region, and the Highlands as a whole, is supportive of visionary cultural projects integrated within wilderness landscapes.
All shortlisted Creative Place applicants have been asked to submit a second stage application, detailing more information about their project. We will find out if the bid from Fort William has been successful when the award winners are announced at a ceremony on 10 June 2015.
The OPEN STUDIO is open to all ages, all levels of experience & it’s free!
We provide a relaxed studio environment for self-directed creative activity – come and use the materials and equipment, do your own thing, work on a shared project, or ask the lead-artist to show you how to make prints, work with clay, make papier mache, stretch a canvas…
Paper, paints, inks, pastels, oil bars, pencils, card & more are available (& free), sketchbooks, clay, canvas, etching plates, lino can be provided at cost. Tea, coffee & water will be available (donations to cover costs welcome).
It’s on 2pm-6pm Wednesdays during term time (and during school holidays by arrangement with lead artist) – pop in, stay for a while, stay longer – we look forward to seeing you!
Room 13 Community Studio, Caol Youth Centre, Glenkingie Street, Caol, Fort William (Scotland)
Are you based in Lochaber (Scotland)? Are you aged 14 – 19? Interested in the arts? Interested in finding out what creative projects young people in your area would like to get involved in? Want to tell the Highland Youth Arts Forum about it?
Room 13 International is looking for 2 young Lochaber people to represent the area at the new Highland Youth Arts Forum which is being set up to lead the development of Highland Youth Arts Hub.
Room 13 International is one of 12 organisations working together to establish a Highland Youth Arts Hub. This is part of a new initiative supported by Creative Scotland which will result in 10 regional youth arts hubs across Scotland. Representatives from each of the member organisations will meet quarterly to plan and deliver a programme of multi-art form projects and explore new ways of working that will result in stronger partnerships between arts organisations working with young people in the Highlands. Integral to the programme will be a new youth arts forum comprising young people with interests across a range of art forms and from a wide geographical area. These young people will develop leadership skills, be creative in their communities, consult with their peers, and advocate for the arts.
As this is a new development, details of how the youth arts forum will function and what being a member will entail are likely to be worked out in consultation with the young people themselves in the first meeting. This is excellent CV stuff and there are good skills to be developed from participating – if you would like to be considered please fill in the form HYAF.APPLICATION-FORM1.JUN14 and send it back to us asap – deadline is 10th July.
Room 13 International
30 Fassifern Road
Scotland PH33 6QX
Lochaber Rotary Club recently decided that recognition and reward for Lochaber’s young visual arts talent was needed. The brief was simple: the new award would be open to artists aged 7 – 17, selection to be based on a portfolio of work showing evidence of originality, development and enthusiasm. Room 13 International was pleased to assist the Rotary Club bring this new award to the attention of Lochaber’s young artists and was delighted to see the quality and hard work evident in all the portfolios submitted.
On May 23rd 2014 at Art Lochaber’s annual exhibition awards were presented by Lesley Benfield, Chief Executive of Fort William Chamber of Commerce, to:
Overall Winner: Ella Robertson Smith, Caol Primary School
Runner-up: Sarah Clelland, Lochaber High School
Runner-up: Wiktoria Zumościk, Lochaber High School
Korrine MacMillan, Lochaber High School
Jamie-Lee Birrell, Lochaber High School
Lachie Robinson, Mallaig High School
Rachel Bolton, Lochaline Primary School
Ella, Sarah and Wiktoria each received a trophy and vouchers for artist materials from Artmedia store in Inverness. In addition, one work from each was selected to be shown in the annual exhibition.
The four Highly Commended young artists each received a sketchbook and certificate. All entrants received a thank-you letter with feedback from the Selection Panel. It is hoped that the award will continue to spark inspiration and encourage young artists to keep making artwork.
Congratulations Ella, Sarah, Wiktoria, Korrine, Jamie-Lee, Lachie and Rachel – and thank you to everyone who got busy, made work and entered portfolios.