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Arts and non-arts sectors collaborate to See, Learn, Share

Published: 27 Feb 2019

Seven artists and creative learning staff in arts organisations have received funding to collaborate with non-arts sector organisations to develop skills, knowledge and understanding that will inform their creative learning work with communities and people across Scotland.

The See, Learn, Share fund, supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, will enable recipients work on a range of projects including exploration of the role theatre can play in political policy making and how the arts can help encourage compassion for those in healthcare.

Through observing, exchanging experiences, and exploring and testing ideas participants will develop their professional understanding for enabling better creative learning activity and generating new ways of working- Joan Parr, Creative Scotland

Artist and heart transplant patient Brian Keeley, arts worker Kate Temple, dance artists Julia McGhee and Vince Virr, textile artist Ellie Turner, and Deveron Arts and Active Inquiry are being supported to explore ideas with organisations across healthcare, technology, education and the third sector including Care4Calais in France, The Welcoming in Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University’s department of Diagnostic Radiology in Aberdeen, the Scottish Parliament, and the Chinese education system.

Joan Parr, Interim Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland, said: “The fund set out to test the potential of arts and creative learning across sectors. We’re excited about the opportunities these connections present for the artists and organisations and for communities and people across Scotland.  Through observing, exchanging experiences, and exploring and testing ideas participants will develop their professional understanding for enabling better creative learning activity and generating new ways of working.”

Supported projects include: Edinburgh based arts company Active Inquiry will shadow MSP’s and policy-makers in the Scottish Parliament to explore how the policy-making process can be enhanced by the involvement of participatory theatre. (Award: £1,000)

Active Inquiry Artistic Director Gavin Crichton commented: “The Scottish Government and Parliament have the ambition of being open and inclusive and we believe that this opportunity will help us to explore how theatre could help to achieve this ambition.”



Artist and heart transplant patient Brian Keely will work with Robert Gordon University’s School of Health Sciences, department of Diagnostic Radiology to explore how arts can foster the department’s ethos of ‘encouraging compassion and values-based radiography’. (Award: £1,000)

Brian Keeley commented: “I envisage working collaboratively, where I learn about different medical imaging techniques from a diagnostic viewpoint. I will then encourage staff and students to engage with medical imagery in aesthetic terms from a human perspective. I will combine my approach as a visual artist with my personal, and on-going, relationship with having medical imaging interventions carried out.”

Deveron Arts will work with humanitarian aid organisation Care4Calais to better understand the lived experience of migrants arriving or living in Aberdeenshire and how they might help meet their individual needs. (Award: £1,000)

Deveron Arts artistic Director, Claudia Zeiske commented: “Amongst other refugees, more than 150 Syrian New Scots now call Aberdeenshire their home. Coming from a war-torn country, each individual has had to endure a traumatic and tumultuous journey to reach their new home in Aberdeenshire - of which we know very little about. This exchange of experiences and knowledge will benefit both organisations and migrant communities on a local and wider level.”

Aberdeen based practitioner and textile artist Ellie Turner will learn from the work of Ewan Sinclair and Bal Cooke, who are the creators of the interactive Soundplay Dome, and develop ideas to test with third sector organisations. She will explore how textiles, music and interactive technology could create meaningful and engaging play experiences for individuals with support needs. (Award: £386)

Ellie Turner said: “This opportunity will contribute greatly to my professional development and learning, with a view to innovating in my work with third sector organisations.”

Highland based dance artist Julia McGhee will collaborate with computer graphics specialist, Fraser MacDonald, to map the physicality and movement qualities of young people who have learning disabilities. (Award: £926). Julia McGee commented: “I’m keen to gain an insight into the practicalities of using specific motion capture equipment called Perception Neuron.  This will provide the groundwork for the creation of open source digital tools that will be freely available to both dance and digital technology communities.”

Kate Temple will work with The Welcoming, a charity that supports migrants and refugees to build new lives in Edinburgh on a re-design of their creative activity programme: Creative Space. (Award: £1,000)

Kate Temple commented: “I first met The Welcoming while working as Learning & Engagement Coordinator for Edinburgh Art Festival in 2018. I was struck by the warmth of the atmosphere they created, and it occurred to me that I could learn a lot from them that would inform my own creative learning practice.”

Glasgow based dance artist Vince Virr and Arts Space for Kids, Shanghai will explore what aspects of creative learning are most valued in the Chinese education system by meeting with a range of schools and education focused organisations in China. (Award: £1,000)

Vince Virr commented: “I believe Scotland is pioneering in the value of the arts in education, yet we can still learn greatly from exchanges with other organisations and countries. I’m interested in exploring the perceived value of the arts in the Chinese education system. This dialogue will help me to create new creative learning strategies and techniques collaboratively with partners in both China and Scotland.”

Media Contact: Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations & PR Officer, Creative Scotland. E: sophie.bambrough@creativescotland.com / T: (+44) 0 7747 606 146.

Notes to Editors

See Learn Share is a fund offering small grants to enable freelance artists or creative learning staff in arts organisations to spend time working with people from another non-arts sector, observing work and discussing, exploring or testing ideas.  The fund enables applicants to connect with another sector (such as healthcare, science, business, education or the third sector) locally or further afield; in Scotland, another area of the UK or abroad. It provides an opportunity to observe the work of other professionals, join relevant activities and get involved in a dialogue about excellent practice with people. For further information please visit: creativescotland.com/funding/funding-programmes/targeted-funding/see-learn-share-fund.

In the context of Creative Scotland’s remit across the arts, screen and creative industries, creative learning takes place when arts and cultural activity leads intentionally to the development of understanding, knowledge and skills. For more about Creative Scotland’s work supporting Creative Learning please visit our website: creativescotland.com/creativelearning.

(Images: Eillie Turner; Deveron Projects - Understanding the Middle East; Brian Keeley Renaissance (mixed media))