community, ecology and cultural activism
Mappa Dundee was part of a wider research project entitled Curating City and Space by Donna Holford-Lovell. Donna’s primary research question was: what makes a healthy creative community? Donna’s specific focus was on the visual arts community in Dundee and her research investigated the ‘collective relationships’ within the city. Two further questions were posed by Donna’s research: ‘what is needed for the visual arts community to better survive?’ and ‘what benefits might this have for the wider community?’
Mappa Dundee complemented Donna’s research through an on site mapping project within Dundee. 5 artists and 2 artist-run organisations were asked to map their own ‘creative communities’ in Dundee. Environmental, social and economic relationships were all taken into account when reflecting on what it means to ‘survive’ as an artist in Dundee. However, in the context of this commission equal attention was given to what ‘sustains’ an artist’s personal life and how this connects – or fails to connect – to an artist’s professional practice. The time-frame for each mapping was 5 years. This assumed 4 years of past activity and 1 year of projected possibilities. Thus the maps aimed to document the space and time through which each artist or artist-run organisation lives.
A note on the selection of artists:
Artists selected for this project were all known to the curator in advance of this commission. (It was not an open call.) They were selected strategically in order to cover various bases within the visual arts community: DCA, DJCAD, GENERATORprojects, HMC, Roseangle Studios, Tin Roof Collective, and WASPS. Inevitably this selection was limited. Other artists would have mapped the city in alternative ways. Nevertheless, it was hoped that this singular and collaborative mapping would offer a snapshot of the visual arts community in Dundee whilst providing material for further research and discussion.
Commissioned artists were Ruth Aitken, Anton Beaver, Yvonne Billimore, Morgan Cahn, Owen Daily, Catrin Jeans, Holly Keasey, James Lee, Kirsty McKeown, Fraser MacDonald, and the Tin Roof Collective. GENERATOR committee were also invited to participate in the mapping. They chose to work as individual artists.
Maps were exhibited or performed between 13th – 18th December 2013 in the context of GENERATOR’s first ‘take-over’ exhibition. (Note the legacy of this ‘take over’ for subsequent programming.)
For more information about the project and it’s findings please contact Jonathan.