Durness - The Residency

OFF THE WALL, took place in Durness, Scottish Highlands on the 15th December 2004 as part of a residency from September 2004 to January 2005 - supported by the Scottish Arts Council

Durness, set in a sparsely populated mountainous area. The surrounding community is a traditional highland/island crofting community. There is a community house where I set up a number of interactive events. These were events in themselves but opportunities for me to develop and take away subject material for the final public artwork. I set up a media studio and invited the young people to participate in filmmaking and digital photography. This continues. I also set up screening evenings where shorts made in the studio were shown before world cinema films followed by discussion and provided links to London artists by taking young people to the UK capital.

I took the position as artist in residence for three months with the intention of leaving something behind for the community after I left, in support of the remit for the public art to promote social inclusion. The local built architecture was insignificant in relation to the natural architecture of mountains, caves and underground formations. The people were constantly in conflict with the natural elements and their lives were shaped by isolation as well as the agricultural and fishing activities around this.

Off the Wall - moving image and architecture work: The landscape and natural architecture of the cave being the most dominant architecture. the people living with it moving in and out of significance. they were filmed in sequences that were then taken apart and reassembled to capture hidden moments of pleasure, anxiety.

Connecting flights - flying djs in and locals out to close the urban,london/highland,island divide temporarily in a creative exchange. I took young people from Durness to meet artists in London and brought London DJ to share skills in Durness. I hope regular exchanges take place.

Momentum - moving image lab -setting up of the studio/lab with the intention of it continuing after I leave. It offers a creative space for moving image work and paid work and part of the social inclusion partnership to produce cultural products and share skills/ideas.

Remote and temporary - I set up a Sunday evening film club that offers a venue for the studio films that are made. It also offers the opportunity to screen world films and instigate lively discussion within the community. These evenings screened the disaster/horror short films made in the studio by the artist with the young people of Durness. The Film Club now continues.