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Snapshots and Sketches – from inspiring artworks to street motifs

What a strange time it was to be involved with a community art project! It has been challenging in many respects, but very thought-provoking. Without the social restrictions we would undoubtedly have met as a whole group much more often, both outdoors and in different indoor venues. We would have spent time in the library with books and objects, and in the Town House where many original historical resources are kept. We would have met up at Maker to draw together and share ideas, and, perhaps most importantly, we would have enjoyed an opening night of our exhibition together, inviting friends, family and community members to share in our artistic endeavours.

But on the other hand these are historic times. We added the significant phrase ‘Inverkeithing Past, Present and Future’ to the brief in order to reflect this. In the times of Covid we look back at the past with new eyes, perhaps feeling more kinship with people who lived in less certain times, when illness and disease had devastating effects on a more regular basis than we are used to now in the richer nations. ‘The Lazaretto Book’, (as we called ‘Reminiscences of childhood at Inverkeithing; or, life at a lazaretto’ by James Simpson, b. 1826), was especially fascinating, as were stories of plague ships docking in the harbour and being flooded with sea water to disinfect them, and a quarantine shanty town on the outskirts, just outside the town walls.

In the lazaretto book the narrator writes: “The cholera season of 1832 is vividly impressed on my memory. For some time before that I had been at the parish school, which was dismissed when the pestilence made its appearance in the town and neighbourhood. I have no recollection of having realised in any form the solemnity connected with this visitation of the angel of death; and I am satisfied that I was incapable of doing it at that age, unless it had been the death of an inmate of the family, or of one which whom I had stood in close and contact relationship. My associations connected with the cholera are those of the most unalloyed pleasure I have ever experienced; the event was the golden age of my existence, the epoch to which I soon began to look back as the dim antiquity of real happiness. There were the dismissal of the school, the beautiful weather, the family all at home, their variety of plays and amusements, the bigger body of the town sailing and squabbling all over the bay, the burning of tar barrels, and the half solemn, half exciting discussions of what to me were in incomprehensible. Then there were the bustle about the Lazaretto, which had been disused some time before, the boatmen moving about, the receipt and dispatch of merchandise of vessels, the supplying of the men inside the building with necessities, and my daily watching all the operations. Then there was my father going about the house several times a day with a saucer containing saltpetre and vinegar, and fumigating everything by stirring the contents with a red-hot poker. Then there was us children taking our meals (not playing with ‘tea-things’) inside of the hedge at the bottom of the garden, under the trees, on tablecloths spread on the ground.”

This period in history has been very difficult for many people, and we felt that this piece of text, written from the perspective of a small boy, had a brilliant resonance with the times, especially during the spring and summer of 2020, when the project was started. As 12 year old Hope Francis wrote ‘during lockdown, I started a dream diary’. There seemed to be a possibility for us to remember what is important in life, and like Hope, dare to dream (about better times?). In early 2021, however, with a second wave of infections underway, with its suffering and tragedy, combined with the winter darkness and cold, it was hard to have much sense of the possibilities for change which the children’s texts across generations seem to invite.

Now as spring approaches and we maybe feel a bit more positive again, we can perhaps begin again to reflect on the present and dare to hope for the future?

A key motif has been discovered and decided on, and its based on a piece of work that wasn’t actually in the project exhibition at Maker. Some of the artists continued to work after the exhibition had been installed, including Donna Sinclair, who continued her work based around the buildings of Inverkeithing, recreating them from old photographs and paintings. She remembered a small statue of a Janus head that sat on top of the Town House when she was a little girl. Her memory is that it disappeared at some point in the 1980s, she presumes stolen. For the project she made some sketches of Janus heads from her imagination, inspired by the concepts it encapsulates. When we saw the drawings, one in particular had a lovely lively quality, with swirling hair, creating a poetic and very balanced shape.

We found that the imagery and symbolism of a Janus reflects so many aspects of our project, and of Inverkeithing. The heads face in opposite ways and Janus heads are usually set north and south, and often represent the past and future, and the transformative period in between. It can reflect dichotomies such as the land and the sea, church and trade, home and of other places. Janus was a roman god, and used in statuary at gateways into towns and cities, so we can see it can represent transitions and limens, and also represent a welcome to a place. Given that the regeneration project as a whole is about placemaking and improved experiences for both residents and visitors, this really spoke to us.

This motif is key, but we also want to incorporate everyone’s work, paying homage to all of their talent, engagement, hard work and imagination. These have been created and are currently awaiting the final say to make them available to the public. In the meantime, do you remember the Janus Head on the Town House? Let us know if you have any stories about it, or any thoughts on the symbolism and meaning of Janus heads.

Incorporating the artists’ work into the motifs

The work has been developed in progress towards motifs which will be integrated in upcoming public realm works throughout the town centre. It was developed by members of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative and commissioned for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Fife Council.  The project, running 2019-2024, is being delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust.

Noticing the details: Snapshots & Sketches

I have spent some initial quiet exploratory time with the collated work done by eight local artists for the Snapshots and Sketches project at Maker. I wanted to heed the selection, giving it some space to reveal the artists’ engagement with the themes of past, present and future. I noticed many delightful details, and captured some images to share. The work will remain in-situ in Maker now so it can be viewed from Thursday – Saturday 11am-5.30pm. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the work below.

The work has been developed in progress towards motifs which will be integrated in upcoming public realm works throughout the town centre, taking inspiration from Inverkeithing past, present and future. It is being developed by members of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative and commissioned for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Fife Council.  The project, running 2019-2024, is being delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust.

Snapshots & Sketches: an exhibition and work in progress

Making our mark in Inverkeithing – Thurs 15th – Sat 17th October. Thanks to everyone who have already been to Maker on the 8th, 9th and 10th to have a look at the exhibited work – ‘Snapshots and Sketches: making our mark in Inverkeithing.’ It’s tough just now with social restrictions to do anything very easily, and coming out to look at other people’s artwork is an act of both support and tremendous hope. This is a project whose aim is to explore and speak of Inverkeithing past, present and future, and the present time we’re going through together will be an integral part. Your feedback has been tremendously positive and complementary, as well it should be; the artists have certainly created some wonderful stuff. The work will remain in-situ in Maker now so the themes can be explored further and we can move towards developing motifs and text for the upcoming public realm project. Public viewing is during Maker’s opening hours of Thursday – Saturday 11am-5.30pm.

The work has been developed in progress towards motifs which will be integrated in upcoming public realm works throughout the town centre. It was developed by members of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative and commissioned for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Fife Council.  The project, running 2019-2024, is being delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust.

Snapshots & Sketches – making our mark in Inverkeithing

Inverkeithing Past, Present and Future:

Over the next two weeks Maker will be home to SNAPSHOTS & SKETCHES – Making our mark in Inverkeithing, an exhibition of work created by eight of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative’s student artists, from our local community.

The work has been developed in progress towards motifs which will be integrated in upcoming public realm works throughout the town centre, taking inspiration from Inverkeithing past, present and future. it was developed by members of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative and commissioned for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Fife Council.  The project, running 2019-2024, is being delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust.

You can view the work from Friday 9th – Saturday 10th, and Thursday 15th – Saturday 17th October. 10.30 am – 5.30 pm. 

Central Fife Open Studios 2019

Mary Farrell and Jane Francis will be taking part in Central Fife Open Studios again this September at Maker. The open studios are open for 2 weekends this year, to give visitors more opportunity to visit more of the artists they are interested in. The dates are Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th and Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th. The doors will be open from 10am – 6pm on all four days. Two of the thirty artists and makers taking part, Mary and Jane will be showing some of the work they’ve been working on over the past year, and discussing with visitors their inspirations and creative processes. You can pick up a brochure in Maker, with details of how to find all thirty participants across central Fife.

www.centralfifeopenstudios.org

www.centralfifeopenstudios.org/mary-farrell

www.centralfifeopenstudios.org/jane-francis.

Beginning Watercolour Painting with Jeanne Dron

Have you ever fancied producing your own beautiful paintings in watercolours, but not known where to start? Jeanne Dron is here to take you through her popular six week beginner’s course, starting with information about paints, papers and brushes, working you through water handling, effects and styles and taking you on to producing your own beautiful paintings! Starting next Monday 26th September,  there are still places on this course – so email us at info@inverkeithingarts.org,  call 01383 271839 or pop in to Maker on Friday 23rd or Saturday 24th to get booked in!

Level 1 August 2019

 

Glass Fusing Summer Programme @ Maker

Carole Robinson has devised a programme of glass fusing and slumping workshops over four evenings this summer at Maker. Book just one class or as many as you like! You can work on several projects during each session, developing colourful and exciting designs and mastering new techniques.

£20 per person per session + £2-£5 per project for materials

Wednesday 10th July 6-8pm
Wednesday 24th July 6-8pm
Wednesday 7th August 6-8pm
Wednesday 21st August 6-8pm

booking classes:
email:info@inverkeithingarts.org
call: 01383 271 839

or drop into Maker during shop opening hours:
Thursday – Saturday, 10 am – 5.30 pm

For more information about any of our activities:
 www.inverkeithingarts.org

 

The colourful art of glass fusing

Join Carole Robinson on 26th June at Maker and explore the exciting medium of glass fusing. Open to all levels, from beginners to more experienced makers, her class will allow you to create beautiful and colourful creations, such as bowls, suncatchers and coasters.

This is Carole’s second time running a class at Maker – sharing her knowledge, skills and love of the material.

This is an evening class.

booking classes:
email:info@inverkeithingarts.org
call: 01383 271 839

or drop into Maker during shop opening hours:
Thursday – Saturday, 10 am – 5.30 pm

For more information about any of our activities:
 www.inverkeithingarts.org

Maker Workshop June 26th 2019 2

Three Creative Classes, May & June 2019

MAKER, 2a High Street, Inverkeithing, Fife KY11 1NN

Join tutors Jo Barrett and Carole Robinson this May and June at Maker for some more relaxing and creative classes. Jo is offering two of the most popular classes that she offers; the first, on 28th May will be making leather bound journals using lovely recycled leather. Then, on 4th June, she’ll be leading a workshop casting botanical materials in plaster, a technique which creates fascinating and sculptural designs.

Carole is joining Inverkeithing Arts Initiative for the first time for a colourful fused glass pendant making class on 29th May. She intends to run more glass classes throughout this summer at Maker, helping participants develop their techniques with mirror frames, vessels and decorative hangings.

For more class details see below. 

booking classes:
email: info@inverkeithingarts.org
call: 01383 271 839

or drop into Maker during shop opening hours:
Thursday – Saturday, 10 am – 5.30 pm

For more information about any of our activities:
www.inverkeithingarts.org

MAKING A LEATHER JOURNA1 april

MAKER Glass Fusing WorkshopMay 2019

BOTANICAL PLASTER CASTING

 

 

Spring Into Summer Workshops at Maker

We’ve got loads of new creative workshops coming up at Maker over the next two or three months, so we thought we’d make it easier for you to find just the one you want by listing the dates, times, costs etc in one post.

For more details visit the workshops page on this website. All of the workshops will take place at Maker, 2a High Street, Inverkeithing, KY11 1NN. To book your place on any of the workshops you can email us at info@inverkeithingarts.org, call 01383 271839 or pop in to Maker. We’re open Thursday – Saturday 10am-5.30pm.

Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 20.07.23

Images clockwise from top left: Silk Painting, Up-cycled Mirror Making, Easter Angel Decorations, Watercolour Painting level 3, Drawing For Fun For Kids