WORDS: Pecha Kucha Night Vol 12

In May 2015 I was asked to speak at Dundee Pecha Kucha Night Vol 12, with the open invitation to discuss any topic. The only limit being the format = 20 images, each for 20 seconds. 

I selected to discuss words.

I planned what I was going to say. 20 seconds per slide really doesn’t seem like alot, it goes even quicker when you are on a stage with a couple of hundred people in front of you. So I didn’t keep to my plan exactly. However, I’ve embedded the words and images that I planned to say below. You can compare and contrast. Continue reading “WORDS: Pecha Kucha Night Vol 12”

Dundee Print Collective – Edition 1

Sometimes it is nice to slow down. I think this is what I have enjoyed most about my recent foray into printmaking. I like the process. It slows me down. It slows the printing process down. This gives me time to think and a chance to figure out how I would like the ink to dry on the paper. Going through this printing process makes me appreciate and value my prints more.

I spent a few weekends last year in the print studio at Dundee Contemporary Arts, as I was experimenting with developing some print designs for the new Dundee Print Collective. The print collective set no theme, but there was a set format. So the print had to be specific dimensions, with one black layer and one optional further colour. It was busy in the studio, with a number of people in the newly formed collective working away – at various stages of the printing process. I developed two prints over a two different weekends and I have discussed them a little more below.

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Love Sunny Days
With my Love Sunny Days print I started a quick brainstorm around this idea on the Friday and on Sunday I started printing… In some ways it is quite simple in concept and is a development of the first screen print I ever made in a basics class, where I chose to cut out the words ‘Love Sunny Days’. It was done very quickly and quite childlike in its aesthetic. However, at the time I was super happy with it! A year on, I still love sunny days and so decided these words needed a refresh and that was the base for developing this print. Simple really. However, there is definitely more to read into it if you want to.

Continue reading “Dundee Print Collective – Edition 1”

Fun A Day Dundee 2014

I have to confess – I have been thinking about FUN quite a lot recently.

The FUN thoughts first appeared when we decided upon our motto for the Dundee Sustainability Jam. They continued to lurk as Seaton Baxter took up the challenge to discuss this motto and whilst he spoke about a number of projects, he highlighted how much FUN actually exists in a number of words if you look for it: FUNgibility, FUNdamental and even FUNeral.

So it seems that if you look hard enough, you can find FUN lurking in some unexpected places.

Subsequently, thoughts of FUN have been drfting around my mind ever since. They are hard to shake, and as I have since volunteered to help organise this years Fun A Day in Dundee, they may be set to stay for the time being.

For the uninitiated, I have to warn that the Fun A Day project will be encouraging the people of Dundee to have FUN in January 2014… on a daily basis! We don’t mean to shock, so we think it is good to be honest about our intentions from the start. We want the people of Dundee to have more FUN!

Fun A Day dundee, 2014

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Design Jams in Dundee

I took part in the Global Service Jam in Dundee in March 2013. This was the first service jam I had joined in Dundee, although I had taken part in the Glasgow Service Jam in both 2011 and 2012. Plus during my five years of design studies (in Glasgow, Cologne and Paris), I was lucky to take part in a number of short week-long projects that had similar elements to a jam.

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I think to really enjoy a jam you have to start the weekend with the right mindset, and you need to make sure you have charged your energy resources (that means get some sleep before and remember to plug in camera/ipad to charge at the same time).

My motto for the Dundee weekend in March reflected that of the Jam organisers and it was to have as much fun as possible – it was the weekend after all. I knew that the most successful projects I’d seen in previous jams were from people that didn’t spend hours talking about a project, but those who got out into the city to talk to people, who made quick decisions and gave themselves enough time to prototype a project well – even if based on a simple idea. Continue reading “Design Jams in Dundee”

Why You Should Join The Dundee Sustainability Jam

What does a weekend normally consist of?

  • Do you normally hike up a mountain?
  • Do you often cycle for miles and miles?
  • Do you drink until your head hurts?
  • Do you practice the art of doing absolutely nothing?
  • Do you shop until your purse is empty?
  • Do you eat until you feel sleepy?

Whatever the main activities in your one hundred odd weekends in a year may be is not really my concern… but what activity you are doing on the weekend of the 22nd to the 24th November is…

On that weekend, on those two short days in the 365 days that exist in a year. These are the days you should dedicate to a sustainable design adventure. That is the weekend you should make sure you are in Dundee. That is the weekend you should learn how to jam. That is the weekend you should join hundreds of people in over 26 countries who will be trying to save the world. It is quite a challenge for one weekend. It is something that would be difficult to do on your own in one weekend (although that shouldn’t stop you trying). However, most things are better with other people. So if you would like to join other people, who would also like to try to save the world through design, then you should join the Dundee Sustainability Jam.

Picture 52

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There Will Be New Rules Next Week

Upon entering There Will Be New Rules Next Week I was greeted with a powerful ten-point compendium of advice titled The Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules.

sister corita, dca, rules, creativity, art, immaculate heart art college rules, 2013, dundee

This set the tone for this print exhibition which brought colour and text to walls of Dundee Contemporary Arts during the inaugural Print Festival Scotland. The rules were developed by the lead artist of the exhibition, Sister Corita Kent (1918 – 1986), an activist nun who ran the art department at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles for over 20 years.

Sister Corita Kent, DCA, Dundee Contemporary Arts, There will be new rules next week, 2013, ruth ewan, print festival scotland, dundee, art

I found these rules woven into the exhibition in a myriad of forms. Strands were found printed blatantly on cardboard boxes that built a wall of words, I watched a classroom discussion that featured the rules in the short film ‘We Have No Art’ and I discovered elements of the rules present in the work of the five contemporary artists chosen to display alongside Sister Corita Kent in this exhibition.

Sister Corita Kent, DCA, Dundee Contemporary Arts, There will be new rules next week, 2013, ruth ewan, print festival scotland, dundee, art

Ruth Ewan’s direct print Nae Rules at first seems to be in direct juxtaposition to Kent’s teaching, but on reflection it also manages to resonate with Kent’s message that the rules are in constant flux and there will be new rules next week.

Sister Corita Kent, DCA, Dundee Contemporary Arts, There will be new rules next week, 2013, ruth ewan, print festival scotland, dundee, art

The fluidity of these rules is also evident in Ciara Phillips screenprint  A Lot of Things Put Together that manages to convey both a rigid, repetitive style, alongside a sense of flowing movement. Her layered cotton screen creates an strong impact in the space, yet captures a freshness in spirit akin to what remains in Kent’s work decades after creation. Continue reading “There Will Be New Rules Next Week”

Bill Thompson – How to work in a world of makers

Bill Thompson visited Dundee last week to discuss how people are working in a world of makers. Bill started his lecture by introducing us to his 3D printed mini-bill, which he later divulged had been crafted in a womb shaped scanner & 3D printing unit. This intriguing project was created by digital agency Developing Dreams and Brighton based Italian artist Emilia Telese and was recently showcased as part of The Brighton Digital Festival. Bill stated that it is exciting projects like this that make him question what will happen in a world where 3D printing is readily available. It is this type of project (that encourage the public to interact with this brilliant technology) that help to promote the idea that in this new world of makers – a very important role for the maker is also to be a sharer.

bill thompson, dundee, lecture, djcad, makers, bbc, journalist

Continue reading “Bill Thompson – How to work in a world of makers”

You Are Invited…

I have just received the most delightful item through the post. I discovered it whilst wandering round my house looking for something to inspire or motivate me to move.

Now most letters that come through my door are largely disappointing. They look colourful, but once I have read past the headlines (and deciphered whether they are inviting me to sign up for the most ‘incredible’ new service or simply reminding I am already signed up), there isn’t much substance that is of interest to me. So I often relegate it to the second drawer down in my desk and revisit it when necessary to do administration, or it gets dropped into the paper recycling.

So imagine my delight when I noticed this white envelope was not like the others. There was no postage stamp, no plastic window with my details extracted from a long database peeking through, no brand stamped on the corner, no return address – this white envelope simply said:

HAZEL

It had been hand delivered. It was not flat in form. It was a little bumpy. I let my mind wander for a minute and imagine a few possible sources for the mystery package. Yet, I had not let my mind wander far enough – as I had not imagined that inside I would find:

A BISCUIT

Not just a biscuit. But a hand baked cookie that had chocolate embedded into it, wrapped up preciously in brown paper. I peeled open the paper and took a quick bite. It was delicious. I thought about waiting to eat the rest later, so that perhaps I would appreciate it more. But after a quick moment of thought – I decided just to enjoy the biscuit now. I am glad I did. Behind the biscuit was an invite, one that offers me the chance to put creative ideas into action and join:

CIRCLE TIME

A place where a myriad of creative practices will come together, to share existing work and create new. I don’t really know what will happen in this time, I don’t really mind what happens. At this point, it is simply nice to be invited. No doubt I will report back here with the results at some point. In the mean time, I am simply going to ponder what I can bring to the circle, how nice it is to receive a surprising letter on a Sunday and how tasty the biscuit was.

Words & Images © Hazel Saunderson

N is for NILK

Are you going to Nilk? This was a question I asked a number of people this summer and on the most part the response was resoundingly YES! With just a few queries of – what is Nilk? So for the uninitiated – Nilk is a micro music festival that combines music, film and art and is held at Dundee’s Botanic Gardens.

Organisers (Paul Gault and Craig Gallacher) teamed up with the Rusty Hip Collective (an exciting new collective championing Dundee’s live music scene) and Ickle Film Festival (an independent, artist led short film festival in Dundee) to ensure 2013’s festival bounced back with a bang!

This combination meant that they welcomed a few hundred people to a truly unique event to enjoy a carefully curated selection of electronic music, live bands and fascinating films – all with the added extra that it didn’t rain a drop!

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I respect the way Nilk Festival manages to maintain a unique balance with the space it inhabits. This not to be sniffed at – even if the attendee numbers are much smaller than large festivals – the atmosphere at Nilk encouraged people to explore the beautiful surrounds of the stunning botanic gardens rather than trash them.

nilk, festival, scotland, dundee, 2013, micro festival, uk

Perhaps it was the addition of this colourful (and indestructible) Pinnata by artist Camila Richardson that ensured any tension could be taken out on it! I also liked the addition of the other striking N’s that populated the site – this one below was illustrated N by Jen Collins and there was another floating structure crafted by Roy Shearer.

Nilk, Dundee, Festival, 2013, Scotland, Dundee, music, rusty hip collective, ickle film festival

I am definitely no expert when it comes to discussing the musical content…

However, the highlights for me this year were definitely Golden Teacher, their energy was infectious and I loved their eclectic mix of acoustic and electronic sounds. They also did a brilliant job of working through a minor electrical black-out with rogue phone strobe lights, their bongos and their energy to keep the crowd entertained until the boys managed to re-wire a plug fuse in the dark! They have just released their second 12” on Glasgow’s Optimo Music label and they are definitely a group I would like to see live again.

nilk, dundee, festival, scotland, uk, 2013, micro festival, nilk festival

I caught just a little of The Strangers Almanac in The Rusty Hip cabin, but I really like the sounds this duo create and I must admit that Ten Feet Tall has been featuring regularly on my playlist for over a month now… I love the part when the sound of the strings kick in.

There was also a ton of other good music being played during the day, but my memory wanes and I won’t go into detail about them all.

Other fun highlights included the awesome motion graphics by Duncan Barton.

nilk, dundee, festival, scotland, 2013, micro festival, nilkfestival

Infusing balloons with LEDs and hanging them from the trees in the afternoon…

nilk, dundee, festival, scotland, 2013, micro festival, nilkfestival

nilk, dundee, festival, scotland, 2013, micro festival, nilkfestival

and subsequently watching their glow emerge from the darkness as the evening progressed!

N is for Nilk

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday in September. I hope they do it again next year!

+ Nilk Festival

+ Rusty Hip Collective

+ Ickle Film Festival

Words & Images © Hazel Saunderson