Thursday 26 June 2014

Dumfries is what we All Make Together - Charter14 Unveiled

If you’ve never been to Guid Nychburris before, it’s too late - you’ll have to wait until next year. The annual event, which celebrates the 1395 Royal Charter for the Burgh of Dumfries, has become a regular in The Stove calendar (previous exploits here and here).

Drawing inspiration from the 'original' Charter (an update from the earlier 1186 Charter), which is read out on Guid Nychburris Day, The Stove embarked on the ambitious task of writing a new ‘People’s Charter’ for the town, inviting input and inclusions from community groups, organisations and individuals living, working and inhabiting Dumfries. Where the original Charter granted land and fishing rights, Charter14 set out a declaration, of values for the future prosperity of Dumfries. “Dumfries is what we all make together.”

We were overwhelmed by the response to the idea with contributions coming in from all walks of life - all underlining the depth of felling that people have about Dumfries. The first draft of Charter14 was compiled with the help of local writer and lecturer Dave Borthwick from the contributions of the public and was unveiled in grand fashion, with the Dumfries Fountain as the centrepiece on Saturday with lots of help and the handy adage ‘Just Add Water’….

Thanks to Mike for all his work on the Fountain’s new structure!

The text on the banners around the fountain changed colour when they became wet....buckets were filled from the fountain and people were invited to hurl wet sponges at the banners to reveal their message.

Charter14 is not intended as a finished document. Like the original, revisited and amended – The Stove invited Doonhamers from across the town to add their mark; editing, adding and signing over 150 variations of the new charter over the course of the afternoon.

The 1395 Charter was venerably sealed with the town seal, also celebrated in the Guid Nychburris festivities, and Charter14 was no different, with it’s very own seal created by artist David Ralston.

The project prompted discourse late into the evening, around notions of authentication and validity, as each charter was signed by a unique signatory, ranging in age from 5 to 85, including everyone from local politicians, to the Queen (of the South)’s attendants, and passers by.

The Stove has been absolutely overwhelmed with the amazing response to #MakingDumfries and the Charter14, and would like to sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to the Charter, joined in on Saturday, helped facilitate the day and worked from our studio-in-exile in the run up to the event.

Dumfries is what we all Make Together.

Brave Enough to Take Risks and Surprise People.

To see more images of the day - have a look at our flickr set here
All Photo Credits: Colin Tennant.

Thursday 12 June 2014

The Grand Unveiling of a Charter in Process....your invitation

Revealed in the streets as only The Stove Network can
.......@ Guid Nychburris

'just add water'
12.30pm on Saturday 21st June

The artists of The Stove Network have challenged the town to create a ‘peoples charter’ for the future of Dumfries.  The 1395 Royal Charter for the Burgh of Dumfries, is read out each year as part of Guid Nychburris (Good Neighbours) Festival – this year there will be an alternative version as well….

The Dumfries Charter 14 is made up of contributions from individuals and community groups and begins with the premise that people are responsible for making their place – and they do not need to ask anyone’s permission other than their fellow citizens.
Dumfries Charter 14 near the town fountain on the High Street immediately after the crowning of the Queen of the South at 12.30pm on Saturday 21st June

You're invited to come and be part of it - see you there!

It is all too common for people to think that ‘someone else is in charge’ of what happens here – we hope this new people's Charter will inspire more people to believe that we all have a part to play in making Dumfries the best place for everyone to live, work and play
From enterprise and opportunity to diversity and bus srevices, ‘Dumfries is something that we all make together’ has sparked conversation and debate as suggestions towards a new charter have flown in. 
'We were delighted to be approached to contribute to the new charter. We exist to give a voice to people who do not always feel included and we feel very proud to be part of a charter which reflects local people’s commitment to increase understanding and promote equality'  Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association

Dumfries Charter 14 will be launched on the High Street on a series of giant canvas banners – the text on the banners requires the application of water to make it visible – Stove members will be inviting members of the public to assist them in ‘applying’ the water and revealing the Charter to the world.

Also people will be invited to edit, stamp, sign and seal their own personal version of the Charter to take away with them and members of The Stove team will be there to help and talk. Proceedings will also be helped along by the visit of a mystery guest from history who has already played a part in social movements in Scotland.
 Background - here

and on Stove Facebook - here 

This is The Stove Network's third year at Guid Nychburris:
2012 - Punkin' the Jubilee
2013 - Back2Back Dumfries 

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Opportunity: A Temporary Installation in a River

A temporary public art commission forming a central feature for Nithraid 2014, a temporary public participation event developed by The Stove Network as part of TheStove@TheStove public art programme.

Nithraid is a challenging sailing race from Carsethorn on the estuary, up the River Nith to the very heart of Dumfries – a distance of about 10 miles.

The Nithraid, and all its constituent parts are about re-connecting people with the River and the spaces around it. Whilst waiting for the sailors to arrive at the finishing line, the audience lining the banks of the river (2,000 last year, hoping for over 5,000 this year) will be engaged in activities created by artists as part of the overall event which are likely to include:
* A marching band in procession
* A street market along the river
* Skateboarders and rollerbladers performing

The temporary river installation commission
We want to mark the race finishing point in the river with a dramatic feature, in place just for the day of the event, Saturday 13 September.

We have few preconceptions regarding the final form of the installation, so are hoping to be surprised and inspired! The installation could definitely (but by no means exclusively) use water as its main material.

Key Dates
* Submission date for spplications 4 July 2014
* Nithraid Event date 13 September 2014

£3,000, including fees, all materials and costs, VAT.

Application procedure
A detailed brief is available from
Digital applications only, to be received by 4 July 2014

for images from the inaugural Nithraid staged by The Stove - see here