Friday, 15 March 2013

Our 'Foundation Gathering

The 'Foundation Gathering' always sounded more like a cheesy Sci-Fi convention than an art event…..The Stove’s ‘Foundation Gathering’ has now  landed on earth complete with dry ice (or was that just folk breathing in the ‘bracing’ conditions) and wobbly flying saucers.
Its Art Jim but not as...etc
More than 60 folk turned out on Wednesday – drawn by an invitation to come and be part of the future of the arts in the region by shaping the idea of a membership that will be at the heart of the organisations operation and decision -making.
Phil Jones (Business Development Manager) gave a welcome and defined the Stove as a project with potential to be at the vanguard of a new genre of arts provision in Scotland – a social enterprise that aims to means for residents of Dumfries to play an active part in the future of their town.

Phil describes the Stove as ‘Two things: 1) A Building - fully accessible arts resource for general public and creative practitioners….and 2) An Organisation – delivering participative public arts projects and undertaking commissions in the region and nationally”
The Stove - 'Punkin' the Jubilee'
One of the Stove’s founder members Colin Tennant then gave a brief illustrated presentation of work completed by the group to date and their plans for the future. To date, The Stove has delivered a highly successful programme of public arts events including ‘First Foot’ (part of Big Burns Supper 2012), ‘Punkin’ the Jubilee’ (Guid Nychburris 2012) and the Dumfries Music Conference – which brought industry professionals to the town to explain the contemporary digital music scene to the regions young music entrepreneurs.

In 2013/14 The Stove will refurbish and open premises at 100 High St as a public arts centre, complete a sculpture commission in Creetown and work as one of three local partners delivering the inaugural Environmental Art Festival Scotland.
Andrew Lyon explains a sculpture made by, amongst others, Zoe Blamire (McGill Duncan Gallery) and Cathy Agnew (Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust)
For the main part of the evening Andrew Lyon of the International Futures Forum led a workshop that started people working in small groups to make sculptures from a pile of recycled materials. Andrew’s organisation works to find creative ways of thinking about the future and he asked groups to build a  sculpture that illustrated ideas and hope they had for what The Stove could do for themselves and the wider community.
Local organic farmer Ross Paten demonstrates how regular drain clearing will be a valuable part of The Stove’s remit…
An amazing outpouring of creativity ensued and groups then explained to others what their sculpture represented. Andrew Lyon then skilfully gathered all these ideas together into a creative discussion about how The Stove could operate as a democratic organisation with a membership, a board and an ‘curatorial committee’. A general discussion followed and 43 people signed up as the initial membership of The Stove.
Membership is open to everyone and is free – if you would like to be a part of the innovative experiment in building a collaborative creative organisation for Dumfries and Galloway then please send an email to and you’ll be sent a membership form.
The first Stove AGM is set for mid May 2013 where the membership will be invited to elect a board to run the organisation on their behalf.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Foundation Meeting at the Stove

The Stove's foundation meeting was deemed a success, thanks to Andrew Lyon from International Futures Forum and a large group keen to demonstrate their found-art sculpture. More pictures on flickr here

Friday, 8 March 2013

Evie is an internet sensation

8 year old Evie Cloy has been the Town Crier of Creetown for 6 days now.....just try Googling her!

Bookings via The Stove - reasonable commission rates ;-)   - is this what they call Social Enterprise??

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Creetown Appoints Nation's Youngest Town Crier

 from South West News Service. com

A schoolgirl has become Britain’s youngest town crier – at the tender age of eight.
Evie Cloy found herself in with a shout when she turned up to a contest to find the next ‘bellman’ for the seaside town of Creetown in Dumfries.
The town has been without a crier since 1962, when WW1 veteran James Blake died at the age of 74 after 33 years of service.

Britain's youngest town crier Evie Cloy dressed in her contemporary new uniform armed with the original bell gets to work
Britain’s youngest town crier Evie Cloy dressed in her contemporary new uniform armed with the original bell gets to work

But not a single adult took part in the competition to find a successor, so up stepped Evie – with a very direct bid for the job. Looking the judges straight in the eye, she took a breath and yelled: “My name is Evie Cloy and I want to be the next town crier of Creetown.” 

One of the panel, Allan Lowden, the town crier from nearby Gatehouse, said: “Evie might have been the smallest contestant but she definitely had the biggest voice.” The youngster, who has been given a hand-made ceremonial jacket and will be appearing in the town over the next few months, said:  ”I’m really pleased. There hasn’t been a town crier in Creetown for 51 years so I love my new job. “I was a bit nervous but once I started shouting I felt better.  I’m quite glad no grown-ups wanted the job.”
Her proud dad David, 45, said: “She’ll be making announcements at local events and fetes.
“There were two categories in the competition, over-16s and under-16s, but nobody over 16 turned up.  It seems like the youngsters were more interested in it. “Evie’s chuffed.  Her little sister Katie, who’s five, was very excited about the competition but was a bit too shy to take part.” 

Organiser Will Levi Marshall said: “It’s great that Creetown finally has a town crier again after all these years and we’re delighted that Evie will be doing the honours. “Recently we’ve been exploring different methods of communications throughout Creetown’s history, including flags, the ancient ferry route to Wigtown, flares, bell casting and, of course, reviving the tradition of the Town Crier.”
James Blake, Creetown’s last town crier, was something of a local legend. After his death in 1962,  his obituary recorded that “as a bellman he had few equals, his fine resonant voice often being heard a mile away and visitors to Creetown often stared in amazement when they met him on his rounds.”