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
Room 13 Hareclive has been awarded a Bristol 2015 European Green Capital commission (Neighbourhood Arts Project).
Inspired by Bristol artist of walking and place Richard Long, and building on previous socially engaged arts practice in the community, Room 13 Hareclive will deliver a collaborative exploration and re-imagining of Dundry Slopes, where the interests, questions, wonder, curiosity, imagination and pioneering spirit of local children will lead the way.
Room 13 Hareclive presents… Adventures of Curiosity and Wonder: the Dundry Slopes
Through dialogue with local people and organisations that know and use the Slopes, and through discovering nature and our own physical and visual responses to the area, Room 13 Hareclive will produce 3 functional yet poetic discovery maps that we will print as one beautiful fold-out map. They will also choose one of the maps to reproduce as a bronze plaque to go on the Slopes themselves. The work will be exhibited and publicised locally and in Bristol via several key exhibitions. Together, the maps and work will open up new ways of seeing and interacting with the Slopes for all ages.
**Room 13 Hareclive will once again be participating in Spike Island Open Studios event from Friday 1st May to Monday 4th May.
Room 13 artists will be opening their studio on site, as well as running pop up sessions for the public on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May, 11am – 2pm.**
Schooling Scotland: Education, Equity & Community, by Daniel Murphy, book 7 in the ‘Postcards from Scotland’ series, will be launched this evening in Glasgow. The book features a chapter on Room 13!
‘Postcards from Scotland’ – a series of small books relevant to Scotland but also about the big issues of our time – is a collaboration between Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing and Argyll Publishing.
Postcards from Scotland aims to help develop new thinking in a readable and accessible format and publicise, to a much greater audience, some of the projects in Scotland which are already aiming to help bring about a new way of living.
Visit the Postcards from Scotland website for more information or to buy any of these fascinating and insightful books.
The webpage contains a link to Daniel Murphys’ Tour Journal in full, which includes a detailed description of his visit to Room 13 Caol. Jump to page 29 for Room 13, or browse the full document to find out about a range of other inspirational schools across Scotland.
Room 13 will be presenting at the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas, in Edinburgh’s Merchant’s Hall. Our dangerous idea comes from the present generation of artists at Room 13 Caol, and is simply that everyone should have a Room 13! We imagine a whole world of people who are prepared to think and act for themselves, as the movement of young artists that we recognise as Room 13 spreads around the world.
Room 13 Hareclive have won a place on the resident thinkers programme nowhere island.
“Instead of making a written submission we made a 3 minute film – and won one of the 5 places open! We have been working closely with Ilene Berman on getting this artwork made. She is a North American artist who has been volunteering a day a week of her time at Room 13 since February. Calling the Shots also helped by loaning equipment and letting us work with their intern.”