A work-in-progress exhibition of contemporary art in Kilsture Forest, 19-20 Aug 2023.
A work-in-progress exhibition of contemporary art in Kilsture Forest, 19‒20 Aug 2023, 11am‒4pm.
Anne Waggot Knott, Del Whitticase, Frances Ross, Hope London, Jack Ky Tan, Sarah Stewart, Savannah Crosby
KILSTURE ROAMING is a weekend exhibition of site-responsive and public art in Kilsture Forest, which is in The Machars, a peninsula in the West of Dumfries & Galloway. The work in this exhibition includes photography, print, ceramic installation, speculative writing, signage, found objects and audio. The artists tackle themes of memory, belonging, survival, grief, attentiveness, more-than-humanness, the in-between, law and landscape, among others. They have practices that span printmaking, sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance.
The exhibition forms the culmination of a yearlong research project by Upland called ROAM (West) to develop and support contemporary art in the region. The project asks whether there is enough support, infrastructure and resourcing for contemporary art to thrive in the West of Dumfries and Galloway. The ROAM (West) artists have been meeting monthly as a supportive peer group who have delivered a skeleton contemporary art programme in 2023: a pop-up show, a public education event, and this final work-in-progress exhibition.
For more information about the project and participating artists, visit ROAM (West).
This exhibition is driven by all the participating artists’ passion and commitment for the region and for progressing contemporary rural creative practice. It acknowledges their desire, creative labour, and a broad range of intangible benefits.
Download the Exhibition Leaflet and accompanying map by Anne Waggot Knott here:
Location 1: Leaving My Body, Hope London. Printed acrylic discs, string.
Last October, my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died at home weeks later. Watching life drain from the body of this beautiful, vibrant man I loved forced me to stand face to face with death. Five months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer requiring mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy. There is almost no way to make sense of any of this except by accepting that we are all part of the natural world, that change and death are part of the cycle of life. 'Leaving My Body' comprises images of my affected breast manipulated digitally to change colour and texture, suspended like leaves on the branches of a tree. It is a direct expression of the parallel I feel between nature and human mortality: the cycle of life. There is a great deal of comfort in that.
About Hope: Art is how Hope attempts to make sense of the world, using whatever media an idea or project seems to demand, including drawing, painting, photography, animation, video, writing, music, performance. This is sometimes risky, but risk leads to discovery and growth. @hopelondonartist https://hopelondon.com
Location 2: Career Path: an alternative artists C.V., Del Whitticase. Repurposed building materials, text.
Most artists earn money through other means than their art. This income is used to support themselves and their practice. This means we effectively subsidise the cultural sector through other jobs. Since buying part of the old Bladnoch Creamery in 2016 and starting to convert it into a live/work space, I’ve not had much time to dedicate to making art. This made me think about all the other things that artists have to do to support themselves and their practice. Career Path is an attempt to draw attention to all the work that isn’t seen or celebrated. This alternative C.V. lists all the jobs that I’ve done to support myself and my art. It also lists the unsuccessful applications that I’ve produced and submitted along the way. For the record my other C.V. isn’t as depressing.
About Del: Based in Bladnoch, near Wigtown, Del is a sculptor working in public art, community projects and outdoor installations. https://delwhitticase.co.uk
Location 3: Disposing Forests (audio), Jack Ky Tan. Web-based audio, QR codes, engraved signage.
Disposing Forests (audio) is a set of 6 short readings about Kilsture Forest’s entanglement with activism, the body, policy, legal history and being more-than-human. The readings come from Jack’s larger text in the book Practising The Planetary: notes on situated ecologies published by Arts Catalyst. Scan the QR codes, listen & walk with me.
About Jack: Jack uses law, policy and customs as a medium of making art. He creates performances, sculpture & participatory projects that highlight the rules that guide human behaviour. @jackkytan https://jackkytan.github.io
Location 4: Home, Savannah Crosby. Photographs, installation.
Home explores belonging and trying to find a sense of place. Throughout this project I started to question “what is home?” and what it means to belong somewhere. For me, I realised that it is not a house, a person or the place I was born. “Home” is a feeling, a warm, safe feeling. It is the places I go where I can be vulnerable and feel most free. Moving to Stranraer I never quite felt at home, I always had the intention to move back to my hometown of Milton Keynes because that is where I was born. So obviously that is where I belong, right? Wrong. Home is also a piece of work which focuses on letting go and saying goodbye. After going back to Milton Keynes, I began to realise that I only wanted to go back because of the happy childhood memories attached, so by destroying photographs of the place that I always thought I belonged, I can finally move on.
About Savannah: Based in Stranraer, Savannah is a photographer whose work explores belonging, escape, nature and wandering. @savannahcrosbyphotography https://savannahcrosby.wixsite.com/mysite
Location 5: a square; a stitch; a row; a grid; a pattern; a feeling; a meaning, Sarah Stewart. Leaves, thread.
Lately, I have been exploring themes of home and belonging. Of the refugee crisis, of homelessness and of the universal, the fundamental human right for everyone to have a safe place to call home. This patchwork quilt is representative of more than bricks and mortar. Not only a place, but a feeling. Not only a physical dwelling, but an emotional state. A belonging, a comfort, a warmth. A safety, a security, a protection. Quilts are historically heirlooms, stories woven, tales told, heritages passed on. But they also symbolise home. Wherever you find yourself in this life, may you find home.
About Sarah: Sarah is an artist and printmaker working in Wigtown, SW Scotland. Taking inspiration from patterns and typography, vintage packaging and ghost writings, Sarah creates work that embraces the past, the thrown away and pre-loved. @sarahmakesprints https://sarahstewartprintmaker.co.uk/
Location 6: connector node field, Frances Ross. Glazed ceramics, installation.
‘When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe’ John Muir. A network of nodes blooms on the surface of the forest floor. Look beyond the nodes and focus on the connections between them. Then look beyond the connections and see the patterns they make. The understanding comes in the spaces in between, in the relational forces that connect and move the points. Move a node and become an agent of change. Take a node and become a custodian.
About Frances: Frances makes experimental work using ceramic materials and processes. @francesrossmakes www.francesrossceramics.com
Location 7/8/9: The Forest, Anne Waggot Knott. Recycled objects, paraphernalia, printmaking, zine.
Anne sees The Forest as a collaborative partner in her work. Together they invite you to experience three interactive installations about independence, reciprocity, and value. Embed: Ssh. Pause. Put your phone away. Relax every muscle. Close your eyes and open your ears. Look up. Give The Forest your full attention and enjoy its sensory wonders in return. Comfort Zone: Head to the periphery, embrace the unexpected, seek out challenge and change. Let’s make new mistakes. We tread our own path. Vend: Arm yourself with a token and seek out this unexpected installation deep in The Forest. Vend explores our transactional approach to both nature and creativity.
About Anne: Anne’s artwork focuses on human connections – and disconnections – with the environment, encouraging deeper relationships with our surroundings. She uses printmaking, sculpture, conversation, and installation to examine the ways we move through the world. @knottintheoffice www.charliealphastudio.com
Upland is a bold, ambitious, rural-based visual art and craft development organisation based in Dumfries & Galloway. https://weareupland.com
KFCG is a registered SCIO (no.SCO50634) working in partnership with Forestry Land Scotland under a volunteer management agreement.