Tag Archives: Room13

Notice of AGM & Appointment of Board Directors

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


Generation Creative

We are thrilled to have received an award from Big Lottery Young Start Fund in support of our new ‘Generation Creative’ project.

The aim of ‘Generation Creative’ is to extend the benefits of participation in Room 13, and deliver our cornerstones of creativity, enterprise, arts and philosophy to greater numbers of young people in the Lochaber area, many of whom haven’t been able to access Room 13 previously.

The £49,490.00 award from Big Lottery will ensure the fantastic new Room 13 studio facilities in Caol Joint Campus are used for the wider benefit of the community, with a key focus on developing young people’s creativity throughout the region. This project will enable our lead artist Richard Bracken to work with children and other contributing artists to develop a programme of delivery for primary and high school students, starting January 2017 and continuing throughout the academic year 2017/2018.

In the course of this project, Room 13 will work with 10 primary schools in the Lochaber area to provide opportunities for children to work alongside professional artists and develop creative projects based on their own ideas and initiative. We will also develop and extend our youth volunteer group (aged 13-21) to involve students from the four local High Schools enabling them to develop their own ideas and projects, gain experience and build an understanding of the economic prospects of a career in the creative industries.

Room 13’s Generation Creative project aims to meet two Young Start outcomes:

Confident – children and young people have more confidence and skills.

Enterprising – Young people are better prepared for getting a job or starting a business.

The support from Big Lottery is a really valuable investment in Lochaber’s Room 13 studios. It will allow us develop key aspects of our work with schools and young people at a time when there is more demand than ever for the sort of services our artists and studios can deliver,  with less and less provision to support this work. We are looking forward to getting ‘Generation Creative’ underway!

Claire Gibb, Chief Executive, Room 13 International



Do you see sound and hear colour?


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.



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!



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


Artists: Maddie Lennon, William Landsborough and Jennifer McKenna

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

Technology: Bare Conductive Touch Board


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.



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





Rotary Young Artist of the Year Award 2016

Rotary YA Award Poster2016

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Rotary Club of Lochaber’s Young Artist of the Year Award 2016.

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.

More info on how to enter >

Grow Your Own Room 13


 ‘Grow Your Own Room 13’ is an interactive workshop designed to help you understand what Room 13 is all about and how it works in practice.

Artists involved in the original Room 13 studio in Fort William will share the story of this remarkable initiative and help you explore how you can put Room 13 into action in your own school or community.

We are thrilled to be offering this new series of events to support and develop the Room 13 network. The first of the ‘Grow Your Own Room 13’  will be held at The Window, Room 13 International’s new organisation base in Caol. Look out for dates and  locations of future events across Highland.

Wednesday 16th March 11.00am – 3.00pm
 Caol, Fort William

This workshop is offered free with support from Highland Youth Arts Hub.

Places are limited and will be booked on a first come, first serve basis.

Book your place by contacting:

Interested in hosting a Grow Your Own Room 13 workshop in your community? Please get in touch.


Adventures of Curiosity and Wonder: the Dundry Slopes


Room 13 Hareclive will be having an exhibition in the LIGHT STUDIO at ARNOLFINI Gallery, Bristol. 
Timed to coincide with their Patron Richard Long’s show, Room 13 Hareclive’s exhibition: Adventures of Curiosity and Wonder:  the Dundry Slopes,  Bristol’s hidden treasure in Hartcliffe is open Tuesday 3rd – Sunday 8th November, 11am – 6pm.

Inspired by the work of Richard Long, a group of Room 13 children, young people and adult artists have been exploring this beautiful but under-used green area on the edge of south Bristol. Through clambering, climbing and walking, talking to people, looking at books and listening to stories and memories, their aim was to re-discover new meaning in a landscape that nobody has named, and to encourage new ways of seeing and using the Slopes for all.

This exhibition documents their collective journey of discovery so far. Poetic yet functional maps will be printed for public use in December.

This project is part of Bristol Green Capital 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Programme. #NAP2015



Introducing our new Room 13 artist in Lochaber

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.

TTS Grey Logo Untitled 15.pages

Room 13 Boston


Lead artist and facilitator Amy Raymond has been working with staff and students to establish a new Room 13 studio in Excel High School, South Boston, MA, USA. The team are currently working on a campaign of awareness and fundraising ahead of opening their studio in the fall.

Visit their website to find out more about their school, and their aspirations for the project. Support them by donating a tool or contributing to their crowdfunding campaign!



Room 13 Fingal ~ Ireland

We are pleased to share news of 2 new Room 13 studio start-ups in the Republic of Ireland, supported by Fingal County Council Arts Office.

Room 13~Scoil BhrídeCailíníNational School and Room 13~Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School in Dublin 15 are the first Room 13 studios to open in the Republic of Ireland.

The studio doors were opened for the first time with great excitement in November 2014 with artists Orla Kelly and Anne Cradden. Each artist is working as artist-in-residence in their respective schools, invited by the students,schools and Fingal Arts Office.

By now, both studios are evolving organically and are informed by the students’ line of inquiry. The studios are open five days a week and currently have ages 6-12 sharing the facilities. However the 10-12 year age group are lead protagonists, taking responsibility for directing the studios’ evolution. The studios are in the early stages of development, but they have made a commendable difference in the lives of many already. The students are very proud of their art studios and would choose to work there all day given the choice!

Room 13 Fingal Image1

Some of the key people involved in these 2 new studios explain in their own words what Room 13 means to them:

Room 13~Scoil Bhríde Cailíní Students:

‘If you drop some paint on the floor it’s not a big deal, it’s easier to work when you’re not worried about being clean.’

‘I feel very lucky to have an artist in our school.’

‘The art studio is a freezone.’

‘We get to try different styles of art that we’ve never seen, tried or heard of before.’

‘Room 13 is different, it is a room for art and it’s messy.’

‘It’s not like a classroom.’

‘You get to use lots of art materials and you can work on any art project you want.

‘Sometimes it’s challenging, once I had to go and use the hot glue and Orla was there to rescue me!

Orla Kelly,Artist in Residence, Room 13~Scoil Bhríde Cailíní:

‘I am a contemporary artist working presently with painting and drawing. On a regular day I can have about 20 drop in visitors to my shared studio space in Scoil Bhríde Cailíní to see what I am working on, to chat about art, materials, constructing and engineering, or just to give a hug. It’s not a regular studio environment, as the average age of those I share with are 8-11 years old but it is a perfectly dynamic and rich one,  offering daily crits, posing meaningful aesthetic challenges, providing an enthusiastic and vocal audience for developing work.

The studio is almost always an ordered mess which is perfectly fine. After we visited Francis Bacon’s studio at The Hugh Lane Gallery on one of our cultural visits, we agreed that sometimes a certain amount of chaos is required for creating, although we didn’t want to reach his level just yet. When the young artists and I work together in the space we usually do so on the floor. It means we are all on the same level, investigating together. The conversations we share are a mixture of student –teacher technical inquiry, philosophical wonderings, aesthetic meanderings probing the nature of the arts and life. It is a generous and honest environment.’

Room 13 Fingal Image5

Room 13~Tyrrelstown Educate Together NS Students:

‘Room 13 is not an ordinary place’

‘It’s a place in our school with an artist’

‘The studio is having an Art Mart…we will be making our own art…and selling it and use the money to buy more art stuff like paint, fabric, paper’

‘Room 13 is a place where you can express your feelings’

‘I think about art in a different way now’

Anne Cradden, Artist in Residence, Room 13~Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School

Room 13 has been a revelation for me. At the start, I thought that helping the students with their investigations and then doing my own work in sculpture and drawing would be two entirely separate strands of the same project. However, the fact that we work side by side has meant that an incredibly dynamic creative environment has developed, where I believe the students’ approach to art making, and my own, have evolved and changed at a fundamental level. We have been working with an emphasis on experimentation and process rather than on “the end result,” and I have been amazed not only by the work the students have produced but also the important and exciting issues that come up in the studio, such as the value of contemporary art, the intersection between art and science, and the meaning of beauty. However, Room 13 has also fundamentally changed how I produce my own work. On one level, being able to use the school building for temporary sculptural installations has been incredibly inspiring. More importantly, sharing the studio with the young artists has meant that constant consultation and discussion with them has become the norm for me, and now I find their input, their unique perspective, and their practical help invaluable.

Julie Clarke, Fingal Arts Office:

‘The children are more than capable of generating their own ideas in the studio; our role as the involved adults is to build the capacity of the children to explore, invent, experiment and realise their ideas. The studio is a hub of creative activity, where amazing conversations and creative exchange takes place on a daily basis. The senior students (5th&6th) are gaining an understanding in to my work in Fingal Arts Office and the important role played by organisations and individuals providing contexts within which art can be made, shared and received. For some students this is an exciting element of the studio programme, and for others the art making is more exciting. Wherever their interest lies, there is an important role for everyone who wants to be involved’.

Room 13 ~ Fingal is proudly supported by Fingal County Council Arts Office.

Room 13 Fingal Image6

Update from Nepal

Here is a brief update from Nepal with news on some of the community based recovery programmes we have been supporting with funds raised via Room 13 International.

Our colleagues on the ground in Nepal report that the loss of over eight thousand human lives, more than double that number injured, the perishing of over one lakh* animals, destruction of many buildings, rendering several lakh* people homeless, and the damages caused to other property or valuables has been simply devastating. But the earth-quakes and their aftershocks have taken a mental toll as well. (*one lakh = 100,000)

We aim to distribute the funds we are collecting widely, making small amounts available for locally based organisations to invest as they see fit. This way, we are happy that we can support communities to address a range of issues they have identified from physical needs and infra-structure to social and emotional wellbeing.


Here are some of the groups we have provided support to so far:

Shanti Griha, Kathmandu, Nepal   www.shantigriha.org

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, Shanti Griha volunteers and staff organised distribution of tents and temporary shelter to survivors in stricken villages, working their way outwards from their organisation base in Patan, in the Kathmandu valley. They are also providing water and masks in other areas, working to compliment the support provided by ctw (clean the world earthquake response effort) who are also providing food and shelter.

Our support for Shanti Griha will provide relief to lots people directly hampered by the earthquakes.


Orion Training Center, a skills development and vocational training center, Lekhnath, Pokhara, Nepal: Re-Establishment Program for Earthquake-Hit Schools.

Since the government is busy in immediate rescue and relief operations in the most affected regions, they have not been able to provide necessary aids in the schools that have been destroyed.

Orion Training Center aim to re-establish schools in Kaski district by providing temporary classrooms to urge the students to attend their classes. They will combine this with conducting awareness programs to address the trauma and stress resulting from the deadly earthquake.

After visiting the affected places and learning the traumatized condition of the children all across the district, they have come up with a plan to set up temporary classrooms constructed out of local materials like bamboo, mud, stones, timber including plastics and tents. The same classrooms can be used by the villagers as a shelter for their safety in the event of further quakes.

Many parents are still hesitant to send their children to schools, and the children have naturally become more vulnerable to fear, depression and the tendency to get easily frightened, thus losing self-confidence. Orion Training Center has been granted official permission by the District Education Office to launch this program so as to restore the educational activities of the district, and train teachers how best to handle their students traumatized by the quakes by providing psycho-social counseling to help them get rid of the fear and enjoy their time at school.

kaski1 kaski2 kaski3kaski4

Thank you to the friends and supporters of Room 13 International who have contributed in support of these efforts so far.

We are continuing to collect and distribute donations post updates on the activities as we receive them. The recovery process for Nepal will be a long one and we are counting on the wealth and wisdom of our global community to carry on supporting these local initiatives.

Donations and contributions can be made via Paypal using the link below:


Cheques or money orders can be sent to:

Room 13 International, Unit 1, Glenloy Street, Caol, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 7DR.

Please make cheques payable to Room 13 International, and mark ‘Nepal Fund’ on the back.

Thank you for supporting our global community.