Monday, 26 May 2014

Opportunity: Public Art Research Residency

A Public Art Research Residency based in Dumfries with The Stove Network, with outcomes that are presented as part of the TheStove@TheStove public art programme (18 month duration)

The successful applicant will be expected to spend a significant amount of time in Dumfries. During this research period the artist will conduct both archival and broadly engaged research. The Stove can assist with meaningful connections to enable this process, however the artist is expected to show initiative and have an outward facing approach to their practice. 
We are open about the direction the research may take, an example of a stepping off point might include:- Dumfries Common Good 
The Stove Network is an emerging artist-led organisation based in Dumfries. The organisation is led by a Curatorial Team who in turn lead a diverse membership in excess of 100 people in projects that work creatively with local people in Dumfries and surrounding area to collectively build a new vision for the town.We do this through developing participative artwork projects in public spaces, delivering workshops and training opportunities, providing a hub for creative practice in our region and working in partnership with other local organisations.
Timescale: July 2014 – February 2015
Budget: £8,000 + additional production budget for Required Outcome 2 to be agreed

Full brief and info on application/selection – 
Deadline for Application: 14th June

project supported by  

Opportunity: Public Communicator and Herald


for The Stove’s 2014/2015 art programme in Dumfries

The Stove Network is looking for an interpreter, a recorder, a herald, a bridger. Above all…. a communicator. 
This residency commission is to research and understand the dozen or so projects in public spaces that constitute The Stove’s creative programme from June 2014 to June 2015, then to interpret them for the people of Dumfries in ways that are engaging, informative and  creative. We are looking for tangible physical outcomes instead of or as well as digital ones.
You should have significant experience in at least one of the following: event production, socially engaged art in public, the written word… or something we have not thought of... surprise and inspire us (and Dumfries). You will also need to convince us of your experience and ability to interpret and communicate. 
The nature of the commission requires considerable time on location in Dumfries, and the successful artist will be required to attend specific project dates. Please be aware of this if intending to travel from a significant distance.
Timescale – July 2014 – September 2015
Fee - £6,500 (to include all expenses and VAT if applicable)
For full brief and details of application/selection process  - 
Deadline for application submission: 14th June

project supported by 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Organisational manager and Projects Coordinator for The Stove

The Stove Network is an exciting artist-led organisation working on multi-artform projects in the public realm with our community in Dumfries. With the generous support of organisations including Creative Scotland, The Stove Network will deliver an 18 month programme of art in public that includes artist residencies, participative projects in public space, a capital programme including art commissions integrated into The Stove HQ and a ‘cultural economy’ project to establish The Stove Network as a sustainable social enterprise.  The artistic direction and project production of The Stove is led by the Curatorial Team, comprising 6 experienced artists working collaboratively. The CT decide and deliver the artistic vision, supported by a Board. The Stove Network has a general membership of 110 people ranging from contemporary artists to cafĂ©-owners, to video artists and DJs. 

Everyone at The Stove Network is 100% committed to the collective vision. We are now looking for someone who will share our passion, and who has the energy and skills required to help deliver the vision. Although the initial appointment is for a six-month period, it is the intention for this to grow into a permanent position (subject to funding and performance) and the successful candidate will be required to contribute to developing and shaping the role in line with the growth of the organisation

There are two key fields of responsibility within this contract: management of the organisation at The Stove, and project co-ordination of The Stove artworks programme.  This appointment is on a self–employed, freelance basis: 3 days per week @ £125 per day for an initial period of 6 months (with a review at 3 months).  We are looking for someone with excellent organisational skills, and experience of project management and event management in an arts environment.

Please e-mail The Stove Network  for more information and a complete job description, and send CV and a covering letter outlining why you think you are the best person for this role to: by 14th June.  Two stage interview process 26th June.

Monday, 19 May 2014

What the F K is an Emerging Artist

a recent Graduate, Final Year Student or Young Artist?
under 25 and based in Dumfries and Galloway?
interested in a career in the Arts?

The Stove is pleased to announce the first of a series of events during the course of our current arts programme TheStove@TheStove inviting emerging practitioners and students to meet with members of our team and wider network on a one-to-one basis. Our team collectively have years of professional practice both in the region and nationally, as both practising artists and as part of arts management teams. 

Topics covered during the day:
Presenting your Practice - CVs/Statements + Approaching Galleries
Applying for Grants and Commissions
Promotion and Social Media
Working as an Artist - Business and Budgeting
Plotting a Career Path through the Arts
+ Artist Talk by a Stove member
+ chance to meet other artists

For more information and booking get in touch at
Deadline for last minute applications and enquiries: Get in touch with us before the 18th June 2014 please!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

'Making Dumfries' - a new Charter

Members of The Stove Network are gearing up for Guid Nychburris again. We have been involved in the festivities for the last 2 years and are finding it a brilliant opportunity to work with and talk to people in Dumfries about the future of the town.
Back2Back - The Stove @ Guid Nychburris 2013
Recently we have been inspired by some of our researches into local movements of people working together to make the places that they live in better by thinking creatively and taking practical measures like pooling skills.
The 100 citizens who re-wrote the Irish Consitution (66 ordinary people, 33 politicians and 1 independent Chairperson)
Guid Nychburris celebrates the granting of a Royal Charter to the Burgh of Dumfries in 1395. We thought it would be interesting to speculate about the sort of Charter the people of Dumfries might grant themselves for the future prosperity of the town.
The earliest surviving copy of the Dumfries Burgh Charter was written down in 1580 - the original Charter being given in 1395

For absolute clarity…this idea of a popular Charter is NO way ‘official’ – it will have no formal status at all…it has not been ‘commissioned’ in any way. A group of local artists just thought this could be an interesting contribution to the conversation about the future of the town.

We plan to launch the Charter on Guid Nychburris Day (21st June) – getting people to help us ‘unveil’ it in a typically Stoveish manner and offering people special memorial copies that they can also add to and edit as they choose.
Publishing 'stove style' at Nithraid 2013
We are getting in touch now to invite you to contribute to the new Charter – our idea is that the Charter should focus on people and what is important to quality of life… to paraphrase the US constitution ‘ Each Citizen covenants with the whole people and the whole people covenants with each Citizen that all shall respect certain principles for the common good’

beginning of the US 'Bill of Rights'
The Stove already has long standing partnerships with groups and individuals working in these areas – over the next couple of weeks we will be asking people to help us come up with a phrase (20 words max) for their particular area of interest that we can add to the new Charter.

We propose that the Charter begins with the statement that:

“Dumfries is what we make together.We promise each other that our making together will be shaped by these values, for the common good:”

Our idea is that this opening is followed by a series of statements about how the town regards the following:

·       Young People

·       Diversity

·       People with disabilities

·       Enterprise and opportunity

·       Culture and Creativity

·       Heritage

·       Environment

·       Belief

·       Education 

 Civic Society and Local Democracy

Health and Wellbeing 

This is also a completely open invitation to anyone with an interest in this project to take part….please either leave a comment at the bottom of this post, drop us an email at or contact us through Facebook or Twitter.

Also let us know if you are interested to be involved in being part of the project team to bring all this to fruition for Guid Nuychburris Day and beyond

We are not intending crediting individual contributions on the Charter itself – but we would hope to list everyone involved as part of the project documentation. Please include with your contribution the way you would like to be credited or a confirmation that your contribution should be anonymous

Monday, 12 May 2014

Bordeaux and Public Space

The Stove have been coined 'cultural ambassadors for Dumfries' as last week we packed our trunks and headed off for Bordeaux.

Why Bordeaux you might have asked?
To which we may have replied, 

'Although it is undoubtedly bigger, better and sunnier, Bordeaux has several interesting parallels with Dumfries: it was a one-time great trading port on a river; its historic buildings and waterfront had suffered from misuse and neglect. The difference comes in how it has succeeded in regenerating itself in the last decade or so, with a strong focus on culture and environment.' Indeed.

Regeneration and the River.
This is Bordeaux (before above, and after). Familiar, anyone? #CreativeDumfries
Bordeaux's vast infrastructure and city centre regeneration over the past 15 years has focused largely on the riverside, and the design and creation of people friendly places over vehicle orientated ones.

Time and again we gravitated towards the area, for meetings, coffee, discussions and - possibly our most favourite public space, the fountain –also known as the Mirror.

By day an engaging and constantly changing interactive space
By night a reflection to the reborn river front buildings and quays

The Mirror reminded one of the Stovies of Simon Faithfull's Shy Fountain - a fountain which only exists when no one is there… as we spent a lot of time trying to catch the Mirror's brief changes

The Mirror, which alternates between a shallow pool and ephemeral fog, forms part of the promenade extending along the river - filled with people on all manner and number of (human powered) wheels. Glasgow based artist Jacqueline Donnachie's Slow Down project has been tested in a few towns and cities, most recently in Glasgow in the run up to the Commonwealth which sees bikes fitted with chalks that mark the routes taken by cyclists in the city to encourage cycling use… Cycling Dumfries looks to improve cycling closer to home - how could we think about our transport differently? 

Jacqueline Donnachie's Slow Down Glasgow, commissioned by Velocity
The city centre's new look and feel, as well as Bordeaux's Unesco Heritage status, has had input too on a cultural front with the AGORA (Architecture, Urban Planning and Design) biennale which has grown out of the regeneration works in the town into a fully fledged national event of it's own standing. This year AGORA coincides with the Nithraid - taking place from 11th - 14th September.. but more on this later!
The first sunday of the month is Car Free Day in Bordeaux

Of course, as much as the city centre is all absorbing and beautiful, the Stovies got an itch to explore a little more into the periphery spaces of Bordeaux - so we took (the very sleek) tram up to the Bacalan area - which is pretty serious about it's regeneration on all fronts, as new builds and cranes jostled for space amongst established arts and social enterprise organisations.

Le garage moderne - a social enterprise with groups across France, teaches practical mechanics whilst also doubling up as exhibition space, and artists studios and office spaces - it caught the Stove's wildest imagination - we're quickly realising that we could outgrow 100 High Street...

The construction industry hot on the heels of the Bordelaise artists (and a little love for Black Cat White Cat)
And finally for this week - we've become a bit obsessed with the space out the back of the Stove, as we explore the mechanism for creating a new rear entrance for 100 High Street, discussions have been ongoing as to how to alter the sense and atmosphere of a place, especially one with shared use and ownership. Grand plans are being finalised as the impact of 100 High Street and it's relationship to it's surroundings grows and changes from the forgotten Happitt store into the Stove proper… as ever, we'll keep you posted. 

Les Vivres de l'Art - one of the wildest creative spaces we came across in Bordeaux