Exploring the potential for a project space run for and by emerging artists in Dumfries & Galloway.
ROAM (Space) is a new project that enables a small collective of early career artists to work alongside an established lead artist to explore ways in which to exhibit work, exchange ideas, experiment creatively and connect via contemporary art practice.
Members of the collective will be supported in undertaking research, being given the opportunity to visit existing artist run spaces and to participate in a group exhibition at the end of the project. Particpiants will be encouraged and supported to come up with their own ideas, the results of which will play a key role in defining the future direction of the project.
This project aims to identify any gaps that might exist for emerging artists in the region and what might be done to help address that need. Is a space necessary? What could it be? How might it be run? It will be up to the group to investigate and produce ideas collectively.
The group will also benefit from a programme of talks and workshops devliered by invited artists, all feeding into their research which we will share as it progresses. The project runs from January - August 2023.
The artists involved in ROAM (Space) are Emily Tough, Joshua Haynes, Liv Kerr, Rhiannon Dewar and Sarah McCusker, supported by D&G based visual artist Kevin Reid. See below for more background on the artists!
This project sits within Upland’s wider programme of activities that seek to investigate, explore and grow space for contemporary art and experimental projects in our rural region, considering new responsive models and routes to engagement.
Alongside ROAM (Space) is a complimentary strand titled, ROAM (West) a sister project exploring how contemporary art practice can be developed in the West of the region of Dumfries and Galloway. Artist-in-residence Jack Tan is exploring questions about how contemporary art is made in the rural context, including: what is needed to support it, whether there is an audience for it, and how a supportive network of contemporary art practitioners can be established. Jack will be working with a cohort of artists which offers opportunities for the two ROAM projects to learn from each other and overlap.
ROAM (Space) Artists
I am a multifaceted artist, being adaptable according to project and medium. Studying Visual Communication at Birmingham City University has left me with a strong illustrative style which permeates through my broad range of work from events, performances and illustration, prints and crafts.
I’ve been steering a loose concept of an artist collective since leaving university – the purpose of We Agree On Eggs is to create interesting and meaningful experiences where people feel connected to themselves and the world around them.
In addition to my degree in Illustration, I have been lucky to receive training in a number of areas. Including wood-works, print-making, climate solutions, and leadership skills.
I am a 20 year old, emerging conceptual, text-based, and installation artist. I have previously studied Art and Design at Dumfries and Galloway College for 2 years, where I attained an A at HND level.
The ROAM project is something that really excites me as it would provide me with the opportunity to be part of something really significant in the Dumfries and Galloway area for young creatives. It would also provide me with new skills and knowledge, in particular, setting up and maintaining exhibitions/artists spaces. This is something that would be really beneficial for my future career.
Olivia McDougall Kerr
I am 19 years old and currently studying art and design at HND level at Dumfries and Galloway College. I am working towards becoming a freelance artist.
I love to use a lot of colour and expression in my work, especially when painting. I’m also very passionate about sculpture and really enjoy putting my emotion into the clay. My work focuses a lot on the female experience and what it means to be human. I am very interested in the primitive work of our ancestors as well and take a lot of inspiration from my Scottish culture. I’m also deeply in touch with nature and feel very inspired by the natural world around me.
As an artist, the focus of my energies for the last decade has been how I can make my community grow. I have spent many years joining in with art-based teams as a way to influence local life in both Dumfries and Dundee.
As an artist within my personal practice, I work primarily in performance and painting. I’m enthralled with the aesthetic of romanticised teenage horror - shrouded in pink, sparkles, and gore. My installations focus on the calm state of the unsettling. Using surrealist paintings of abandoned buildings to adorn the walls, dim lighting, and slow and gentle pace, allowing the viewer to use the space however they wish, be it an uncomfortable and squeamish thrill, or a space in which to unwind and simply dissociate from reality for an hour.
I have recently completed a National Progression Award in Art and Design run by Dumfries College. At the end we curated and held an exhibition of our work at the CatStrand in New Galloway. My creativity thrived on the collective space to work together, inspire and encourage each other.
I consider myself an emerging artist as although I have been creative my whole life, I have only recently begun pursing art in a more focused way. I have been attending art classes in the local community as well as developing my artistic style at home for the past three years since I had my first child.
ROAM (Space) is funded by the Holywood Trust and Creative Scotland.