Winter isn’t exactly renowned for its festival abundance in the city of festivals, except, of course, for that one. So as October draws to a close again, a satisfied man, I figuratively hang up my festival hat for the year. The last month saw me working again with Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, on a programme of events that spanned the regions of Scotland. Performances, workshops, classes, discussions and fairs on subjects from cinema to historical research through to poetry and contemporary art. The umbrella of ‘creative’ is straight-away a broad one.
So too is the handle of ‘ageing.’ I captured a selection of events from the programme and both audiences and participants ranged hugely in years. Nothing in the events were exclusive to older generations, and none of the issues and themes across the works were unique to them either. My assumptions were certainly bruised. New ideas and new technology go through the same processes with older as they do younger. Broad mindedness doesn’t fall out of style as you grow, it’s human nature to search for new means of expression and hidden creative outlets.
From the small moments I shared with the different groups, I realsised ageing is something we all have in common. And not, to contradict popular consensus, necessarily a parallel of maturity.
|Underpass Mural in Livingston
|Stone Carving Workshop at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow
|24 Carat Gold performance at Dancebass, Edinburgh
|Open Mic Night at Glad Cafe, Glasgow
|Poetry Slam at Ghillie Dhu, Edinburgh
|Music Workshop at Howden Park Centre, Livingston
Over the last 6 months, my local Leith Walk has had its grey and shady veneer peeled away to the vibrant, motley heartwood underneath. Leith has always had the handle of being a colourful neighbourhood, but the curatorial eye of LeithLate has seen this put forward in vivid hues. LeithLate chief Morv has paired visual artists with local businesses whose street shutters are lent as a steel canvas to their ideas and artwork. With no shortage of interesting businesses on the walk, and some truly excellent artists in the local, the range of expression and creativity has been awesome.
Speaking as someone visual – it has not only been a great idea, but a great success. My roving eyes have more luscious pigmentation on which to feast on my walk up the street. I think we could all happily see more artistic collaboration within our commnuity – bravo folks.
|Games Master – Jamie Johnson
|Fairtrade Coffee – Bernie Reid
|Paradign Shift – Dave Lemm
|Inner City Sanctum – Liana Moran
|Word Of Mouth – Fraser Gray
|Origano – Richie
Sunday is classically the day for putting your feet up and doing nothing. It’s not often you find an offer good enough to have you on your feet doing everything. Sunday at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus saw a raft of great music dominate the entire day from the early afternoon playing live into the early morning.
Having some great work up our sleeves from an earlier shoot with Discopolis, this was my first chance to see the guys play. With Dems and Dutch Uncles also on the roster, it was really a no brainer where my Sunday was going. Easy knowing it was a bank holiday…
|Author Ian Rankin discusses Dark Road
|Writer and Director Tim Barrow on his writing of Union
|Artistic Director Mark Thomson introduces the season
|Writer David Haig discusses his upcoming premiere of Pressure
From the chaos of March and the illness of April (changing seasons after all), I haven’t been able to man the blog and have had to let it rust by the way side. Well no longer, I have much to talk about.
What better to start with than the most recent and most interesting. Last week, before succumbing totally to a bout of tonsillitis, I attended an event organised by ASCUS, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. They hosted an open workshop where members of the public were presented with a collated version of a published scientific paper and had to in turn interpret the academic rhetoric into a poem.
Teamwork! And interestingly, the room was split accidentally into scientists and artists who banded together. The results were curiously different. Myself, Mark and Graham concocted our own method to blindly extract individual words from the prose. Through the legendary power of the post-it, we curated our words into a work that obeyed rules of poetry but also lovingly summarised the paper at hand, and the nature of academic articles in general.
High Five! It was a very fun way to apply our disciplines to something unfamiliar. Our team’s word choice was so random and so repetitive that we would have been delighted to contrive anything at all, let alone our interesting two stanzas that are posted below.
All too aware that this March is turning into this April all too quickly, I had better step up my pace and keep the world up to date with my whereabouts. 2013, slow down will ya?
To coincide with the release of Steve Mason’s Monkey Minds in the Devils Time, The Skinny asked me to shoot him for this month’s cover. I heard the words “protest” and “somewhere like kind of a wasteland”, and my head skipped a few chapters and went straight to “smokebombs!” We took a walk to a lesser-known spot overlooking Leith Walk and stirred up a storm of smoke and flashes. In hindsight, only in hardy Leith could this go unacknowledged.