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Projects / Residencies & Commissions / Combine to Create
2021
 - 2023

Combine to Create

Supporting Moray communities of identity and place through a series of collaborative residencies responding to Covid-19.

Combine to Create is a new and collaborative programme of creative activities in Moray supported by Creative Scotland through the Culture Collective Fund.

Building on previous work and reflecting on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Combine to Create will test and inspire new ways of working within and between creative practitioners and communities of identity and place through residencies that make creative things happen.

Combine to Create is being developed by Findhorn Bay Arts in partnership with creative practitioners, supported by key community and cultural organisations in Moray and beyond.

As a programme, Combine to Create is all about conversation, collaboration and community. 

The Combine to Create residency programme includes:

  • Six creative practitioners engaged to work closely with Findhorn Bay Arts, each other as a collective and with communities of people / place in Moray throughout 2021 / 2022 (invited). 
  • Four residencies placing creative practitioners with rural communities through their village halls (open call artists and hall in 2022).
  • One invited film/photography residency to document/support telling the Combine to Create programme story
  • One ‘initiation’ residency with artists Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman who worked with FBA and the seven creative practitioners to devise a shared set of values for Combine to Create and explore the emergence of a collective and collective working.

Each residency will conclude with a community sharing and celebration to showcase the creative response of the creative practitioners and community.

Findhorn Bay Arts is deeply committed to partnership working, striving to build and sustain meaningful connections with individuals and organisations as project partners and co-creators. We embrace our responsibility to nurture and support the development of the cultural sector within Moray and across Scotland.

For more information, please contact Combine to Create Programme Coordinator Elidh Brown at elidh@findhornbayarts.com.

You can also follow the story on social media via #CombineToCreate.

The Combine to Create Collective

The Combine to Create Collective is made up of six creative practitioners living and working in Moray who accepted our invitation to take up a residency working alongside FBA and communities in Moray throughout 2021 / 2022.

Drawn from a range of disciplines, the creative practitioners (invited) are part of our commitment to continue to nurture, develop and sustain meaningful relationships with creative practitioners who are experienced in socially engaged and participatory practice.

Together we are testing new ways of working and exploring what it means to be part of a collective underpinned by a shared set of values.  

The collaboration will inform and shape Findhorn Bay Arts future development, exploring how we nurture and work with Creative Practitioners and communities to make creative things happen.

Jen Cantwell

Multidisciplinary artist

Jen Cantwell’s work spans art, design and craft, using drawing, lettering, collage and embroidery alongside technology to communicate in a playful tactile way.

Jen’s residency was based at Moray Women’s Aid in Elgin, working closely with the Therapeutic and Community Outreach Team, and with families and young people through the Children’s and Young People team.

Working one to one with individuals and larger groups, Jen’s focus on ‘slow making’ as a way to explore connection, communication and sustainability helped participants to celebrate themselves, their families and their relationships with each other.

Through facilitating and supporting the women to lead their own sessions and workshops, Jen’s residency work fed into and supported the work of Moray Women’s Aid by encouraging communal making as a way of building confidence and relationships.

Communal making sessions focused on the inaugural Pride in Moray event helped MWA work towards achieving a higher level within the LGBTQ charter.

James Chitty

James Chitty

Designer, maker and artist

James Chitty’s work brings people together. He is inspired by the meaning that people derive from making, shared experience and conversation.

James has been exploring the role that creativity can play in a regenerative approach to restoring our social and river ecosystems.

Working with Nature 4 Health on the ‘Branching Out’ programme and Findhorn, Nairn, Lossie Rivers Trust as they launch the Findhorn Watershed Initiative, and using fireside gatherings, beach art, willow weaving and film screenings, James’ residency has created space for social connection and reflective conversation.

The residency has shown that as we slow down and calm our nervous systems, we observe more, we make space for the new, we can be more inclusive and feel more connected.

Heather Fulton

Heather Fulton

Theatre director, maker and teacher

With 15 years experience of working with children and families, Heather Fulton works in a flexible and open way, adapting and responding creatively to ideas that emerge.

Heather’s residency focused on developing inclusive and accessible interactive sessions for early years children and their parents in Moray. By developing a collaborative partnership with Louise McBride from Lossiemouth’s 2-3 Group, Heather worked with mums and babies who met weekly at the local Youth Cafe by delivering sessions using a mix of messy play, music, projection, dance and drums.

Heather’s residency has been on pause since April 2022 since giving birth, but after a year of hands-on ‘research’, Heather will be reengaging with babies and their families later in 2023.

Rachael Macintyre

Theatre maker

Based in Forres, Rachael directs, produces and performs for Jabuti Theatre, creating visual work for children and young people that combines puppetry, aerial-dance, and music.

Rachael’s residency has involved working with LGTBQ+ teenagers across Moray. Several young people took part in the Cabaret of Misfits at the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival, either behind the scenes, on the stage or in the audience. It was a challenging and hugely rewarding journey, with connections still being made with local organisations such as Revolution for Good and Pride in Moray.

With support from Moray Council youth workers and parents, Rachael helped create space for LGTBQ+ young people to be themselves through painting, playing with circus toys, aerial trapeze, writing poems, playing games and attending Moray’s first Pride event.

Kate MacKay

Multidisciplinary Artist

Kate MacKay studied Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art and has worked as a community artist for over 20 years. Kate’s practice incorporates upcycling, storytelling, costume, illustration and mural painting.

For her residency, Kate collaborated with several partners in Moray who had nurtured wild spaces for wellbeing. In these spaces, Kate delivered workshops exploring how environment, art and storytelling could positively shape the neurodiverse experience.

From this positive journey into neurodiversity, an interactive art work emerged: a card deck that invites others to share in the heightened sensory, emotive and intuitive neurodiverse perspective.

Polychrome is a celebration of human experience, and a tool to explore the relationship between our actions, emotions, environment, and ideas. Polychrome exists just now as an open-ended dialogue, a call to response, an invitation to play.

Ruby Worth

Creative practitioner of dance, movement, theatre, education and therapy

Ruby Worth is an experienced creative practitioner of dance, movement, theatre, education and therapy in community and professional arts settings. Ruby is a registered dance movement psychotherapist and lecturer at UHI.

Ruby’s residency focused on delivering embodied learning activities for primary school children impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This group of young people started their school experience in 2019 at the start of the global pandemic, and this was their first full year together in a school without Covid restrictions.

Working with seven and eight year-olds (Primary Four) at a local primary school, Ruby used movement to develop and support a process of community building, helping them to explore playful and meaningful connections to each other
and the natural world.

Small Hall Artists in Residence

Amy Benzie

Ceramic maker and creative facilitator

Amy Benzie is a ceramic maker and creative facilitator based in Torry, Aberdeen. Amy’s curiosity lies in the alchemy of glaze recipes, firing and the element of spontaneity in her materials.

Amy’s residency took place at Rafford Village Hall, and was delivered with support from Naturally Useful and Marcassie Appreciating People. At a series of creative workshops, participants were invited to work with clay to encourage exploration, collaboration and sharing – a tactile tool for fuelling curiosity in both creativity and place.

Participants learned simple but effective techniques for building with clay which enabled them to recreate, explore, remember and reimagine the environment around them. Their shared stories were captured on bespoke vases which were gifted by Amy to the community at the celebration event at the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival.

Andrea Chappel

Multidisciplinary Artist

Andrea Chappell’s practice continually evolves, from graphic designer to printer to kiltmaker and on. Andrea is driven by a passion for crafts, collaboration and telling stories of people and place.

Working in partnership with Dyke Community Hall, Andrea’s residency supported the renewal of the hall by working with community members to create a textile installation which would enhance its interior and help alleviate acoustic issues.

A flexible wall hanging featuring a dandelion motif was designed to brighten the hall’s interior space. Residents of all ages participated in its creation through a series of collaborative workshops held at the hall and in local schools.

The wall hanging was designed to adapt to changing use over time, while locally sourced natural materials were used in its construction.

Neil Callaghan

Multidisciplinary Artist

Neil Callaghan is an artist who works between theatres, galleries and specific sites. After training in theatre, he has spent twenty years working throughout Europe between dance and socially engaged practice.

As a Small Halls Artists in Residence, Neil was based at Findhorn Village Centre over the summer of 2022, where he supported local residents to create a community cookbook of recipes drawn from memory.

Neil offered homemade soup, bread and cake to local residents in exchange for a recipe which had originated in an encounter — some fleeting, others profound. The collected recipes were gathered into a published book (COOK! BOOK!) which was given to the contributors and shared with others as part of a celebration event at the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival.

Andrea Turner

Multidisciplinary Artist

Andrea Turner is a multidisciplinary artist living in Forres who has been working professionally for over 30 years. Andrea’s work spans visual art; painting and drawing, and music; singing, jazz and folk, and writing poetry.

Andrea’s residency at Edinkillie Village Hall focused on boosting community engagement at the hall through open, accessible drop-in creative sessions, supported by workshops for primary school pupils in nearby Logie.

Delivered in partnership with the hall committee, Logie Primary School and Finderne Development Trust, the residency’s free drop-in drawing, singing and writing workshops successfully attracted over 140 visitors over the summer.

The residency’s final celebration event saw a packed out Edinkillie Hall – silent for much of the pandemic – ringing once more with the sound of voices lifting in conversation, community, and song.

Project Documentarian

Jason Sinclair

Filmmaker

Jason Sinclair is an experienced film maker, producer and founder of Poppycock Films. His practice ranges from brand promotion, music videos, project documentation and collaboration through to live event filming and workshop delivery.

As project documentarian, Jason’s residency brief was to record and support the creative activity of the Combine to Create Collective and the Small Halls Artists, including the culmination of the Small Halls Residencies at the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival.

In keeping with the ethos of the programme, Jason followed a collaborative approach to this documentation, including conducting first person interviews, filming at community events and workshops, and providing technical support to the other residency artists.

Initiation Residency

Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman

Public Artists

Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman are public artists based in Dumfries and Galloway. Their work responds to site, place or community and investigates ecological and socio-cultural systems, processes, relationships and change.

Jo and Robbie collaborated with Findhorn Bay Arts on the initiation phase of Combine to Create, developing a co-creation process that constructed the framing, ethos and timeline of the project.

They facilitated three participatory days for the project artists, exploring together how the project might develop, how different practices might engage communities and building confidence and trust in the project process.

Jo and Robbie’s residency extended to working with communities in Buckie, where they delivered an EcoArt environmental flag making project during the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival – for the arrival of the Tall Ship, The Lady of Avenel – followed by two months working in the wellbeing garden of The Hub.

About the Culture Collective

Culture Collective is a network of 26 participatory arts projects, shaped by local communities alongside artists and creative organisations. Funded by Scottish Government emergency COVID-19 funds through Creative Scotland, these projects will take place across Scotland from March 2021-October 2022. 

From Shetland to Inverclyde, Aberdeen to Hawick, each unique project is designed and driven by the community in which it is rooted, playing an important part in shaping the future cultural life of Scotland. Some projects will work to creatively engage with older community members; some will provide opportunities for young women and non-binary people to find their voices; and some will address disconnection, loneliness and mental health in post-lockdown world.

For the projects themselves, the Culture Collective provides a network: opportunities to share resources, learning and experiences. For the sector as a whole, the Culture Collective shines a light on the crucial importance of participatory arts projects for artists, for communities and for the future. 

Visit culturecollective.scot to find out more.

Programme & Activities

February 2023
Join Small Halls Artist in Residence Neil Callaghan as he launches his new recipe book created in partnership with communities in Findhorn.
Findhorn Village Centre
  • Pop In!
February 2023
Hear from artists and creative practitioners who have been supporting Moray’s communities of identity and place.
Universal Hall, Findhorn
  • Book Now
April 2022
A new residency bringing rural communities and creative practitioners together through village halls - part of Combine to Create.
Four village / community halls in the Forres area
  • Open Call!

From the Blog

Combine to Create residency artists Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman blog about their time working with community groups at The Hub in Buckie.
Developing our new partnership with Glasgow School of Arts to look towards the legacy of Combine to Create
Combine to Create collective member Rachael Macintyre reflects on working with LGBTQ+ young people in Moray through her long-term residency
Over the summer months artist Kate MacKay has been running workshops with neurodivergent communities in Moray as part of her Combine to Create residency.
Combine to Create Small Halls Artist in Residence Neil Callaghan blogs on his time at Findhorn Village Centre
Collective member Rachael Macintyre shares her experiences of working with LGBTQ+ young people

Funders & Partners