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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 seven 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 is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Forres.
Her work spans art, design and craft, using drawing, lettering, collage and embroidery alongside on and off-line technology to communicate in a playful tactile way.
Jen has worked as an independent designer-maker for over 20 years, exhibiting and selling work nationally and internationally. She has art in both public and private collections and makes commercial work for a wide range of clients and companies.
She has taught and facilitated many workshops and classes in art, design and making. Her teaching has a focus on repurposing and rescuing materials from landfill and finding ways of demystifying art, craft and design processes to make them accessible economically and physically, to all.
The focus of Jen’s residency is to engage with people from within the community of Forres using ‘slow making’, as a way to explore connection, communication and sustainability, to celebrate our town and within that, our neighbourhoods, ourselves and our relationships with each other.
‘Making anything together as a group or community brings conversation and connection. Everyone has skills they carry with them, maybe its sewing, painting, writing, building, growing veggies or cooking food, we all have something to contribute. When we make something by hand we’re forced to slow down and focus on whats happening here and now. Slow work allows people to relax into what they’re doing and who they’re with, that makes it particularly relevant to us just now when we’re trying to regroup after an extended period of isolation.’
James Chitty is a designer, maker and artist based in Moray.
James trained in Furniture Design at Edinburgh College of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. He has spent 20 years working in Scotland in furniture design, making, drawing, printmaking and on various collaborative construction projects, from traditional timber framing to boat building, with people and communities in Scotland and beyond.
James’ work brings people together, he is inspired by the satisfaction and meaning that people of all ages can derive from making, from shared experience and shared conversation.
His creative process invites us to keep an open mind, to hold ideas that can seem at odds with each other gently, with an interest in how they interact and where they can meet. He perceives these skills are more important now than ever.
James’ residency will start by looking at traditional making skills, the shoots of creativity that have germinated for many during lockdown and the natural environment as a resource for perspective and wellbeing.
‘I’m excited about this year-long residency working with people in Moray and exploring the role that making and creativity can play in our lives. Some themes that I am interested in hearing from people about are: identity and belonging, nets and networks. Coming out of the last couple of years, how can we work together? What do we want to leave behind and what do we want to take forward?’
Heather Fulton is a theatre director, maker and teacher who has been working with children and families for over 15 years.
Heather’s work includes creating shows for babies, children, teens and adults and working with all sorts of people to help their own creative ideas flourish.
She has worked in nurseries, schools, colleges, detention centres and theatres and is fueled by the different perspectives on life such a range of people have to offer. She works in a flexible and open way, adapting and responding creatively to ideas that emerge.
Heather’s residency focuses on working with people in Lossiemouth through creativity as the community adapts to change, providing opportunities for and with people to connect, share and participate in creative conversations and activities.
‘The town of Lossiemouth is expanding and going through change, I am interested in hearing what people feel about this. Throughout my residency I’ll be making connections, and feel I could be useful in terms of initiating and mobilising ideas with children, young people and their network of friends and families.’
Rachael Macintyre is a theatre maker based in Forres, Moray.
Rachael directs, produces and performs for Jabuti Theatre, creating visual work for children and young people that combines puppetry, aerial-dance, and music. She also co-runs Moray Flying Circus, an aerial and circus school run from Dyke & District Village Hall.
Rachael is interested in projects that bring people together of all ages and allows them to share stories. Making moments that connect people over familiar interests and ideas, and inspiring them to create new things from these connections.
The focus of Rachael’s residency begins with the connections that we have as people across generations and the stories that we have that thread us all together with who and where we are in Moray.
‘This residency will give me an opportunity to connect my practice with people in Moray; focusing on creating intergenerational spaces to explore our connections with our landscape from an environmental perspective. Through creative gatherings inspired by seasons and the local environment of rivers, seas, woods, and fields, I am excited to further develop my own practice whilst making meaningful connections with the people I engage with in Moray.’
Kate MacKay studied Fine Art at E.C.A and has worked as a community artist for over 20 years.
Kate’s practice incorporates upcycling, storytelling, costume, illustration and mural painting. She has exhibited widely including: the Royal Scottish Academy, Mall Galleries, South Bank Centre and Edinburgh Printmakers.
She founded Alchemy Arts collective in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and went on to develop upcycling initiatives to bring sustainable artwork into communities.
She has devised participatory projects with international collaborators such as “Journey of 1000 Wings” and most recently “Moray Polaris” a regional artwork which nurtures connection through a time of isolation.
Kate’s residency will focus on working with people in and around the communities of Burghead and Hopeman.
‘The coastline from Burghead to Hopeman is alive in tradition and abundant in wildlife. There are infinite stories, characters, flora and fauna, flotsam and jetsam to explore. I am interested in collaborating with local skills and wisdom to create living artworks that draw a line from this rich heritage into a sustainable future.’
Ruby Worth is a creative practitioner who works across the forms of dance, movement, theatre, education and therapy.
Ruby is also a teacher and a registered dance movement psychotherapist, graduating from Dartington College of Arts and holding an MSc in Dance Movement Psychotherapy with Distinction from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
She has practiced in community/professional arts settings and within the health/social care and education sectors for almost thirty years.
Her creative practice invites people of all ages and abilities to discover, recover, adventure with, their innately creative selves, their bodies, imaginations, thoughts, feelings and passions, to listen to what moves and inspires and brings an aliveness and sense of wonder to life.
Ruby’s residency aims to focus on working with young people and staff in the community of one or two schools, within specific localities in Moray.
‘Through this residency I will explore an embodied approach to learning; a mindful listening and attending to the wisdom, intelligence and creativity of our bodies. Everybody is a body and every body is extraordinarily clever.’
Small Hall Artists in Residence
Amy Benzie is a ceramic maker and creative facilitator based in Torry, Aberdeen. Her curiosity lies in the alchemy of glaze recipes and firing. The element of unpredictability that comes from working with her materials, and the exchanges between art and science greatly inspire the forms and textures of the work, leading to innovative and unorthodox methods of pattern application.
Within her practice, great value is found in lifting others up by using clay as a tool for fuelling curiosity in both creativity and in science. This is explored through collaborations, research residencies and delivering workshops – which naturally germinate and develop into otherworldly functional and sculptural ceramic collections which have been exhibited nationally.
Amy holds a First Class BA (Hons) in Ceramics from Gray’s School of Art (2016), and has experience facilitating within academic and community settings. Currently, Amy is working as a Senior Creative Practitioner with the Grampian Hospitals Art Trust in Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation at Woodend Hospital.
Andrea Chappell originally studied graphic design in the nineties, developing a passion for print that grew into a love affair with traditional crafts. This has been explored through Acme Studios, a design collective creating interpretive experiences in museums and heritage centres that used craft collaborations to interpret the stories of people and places world-wide. The epilogue to each story was the making of a kilt—a garment historically associating its wearer with a people, or a place and a familiar part of Andrea’s wardrobe since childhood. Andrea’s kilts then became a commemoration of each project and a long standing idiosyncratic personal tradition.
In 2018 Andrea retrained as a traditional kiltmaker at Keith Kilt School and established Acme Atelier in 2020, to combine heritage craft skills and contemporary design, promoting the traditional handstitched method whilst exploring wider possibilities for pleating and construction techniques, as well as original textile creation. Through collaborations with other craftspeople I hope to broaden the appeal of this historic garment and support cultural and economic regeneration of this endangered craft.
Neil Callaghan is an artist who works between theatres, galleries and specific sites. After training in theatre at Darlington College of Arts, he has spent the last twenty years working between dance and socially engaged practice.
He has worked across Europe with various constellations of people and companies. His own work has been shown at venues and festivals including: Sadlers Wells, Somerset House, Hepworth Gallery Wakefield, NOTTdance, Fierce, Undercurrent, amongst others.
He is involved in an ongoing collaboration with Simone Kenyon with whom he has been working for over 12 years. Most recently they have made an audio work for Homo Novus Festival, Latvia.
Andrea Turner is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Forres.
Her work spans visual art; mainly painting and drawing. Music; mainly singing, in particular jazz and folk, and writing poetry. She is also a highly experienced vocal coach.
Andrea has been working professionally in the arts for over 30 years. She has a BA(hons) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London, studied Dip(HE) Classical music at Edinburgh College and Mlitt Creating Writing core module at Dundee University.
Her paintings are held in numerous public and private collections. As a jazz singer Andrea has sung in venues throughout Scotland and has devised, produced and performed shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She was recently selected by Carol Ann Duffy for her poetry masterclass at Moniack Mhor and for the Stanza Masterclass at St Andrew’s.
Working as Poppycock Films, Jason Sinclair’s film and media work ranges from brand promotion, music videos, project documentation/collaboration and live event filming. Jason has also co-delivered numerous media and music workshops across Scotland.
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.