Mindfulness and Creative Constraints with VAU at The Pearce Institute
On Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of September, Visual Artist Unit hosted an open doors workshop on the themes of found materials, mindfulness and the everyday as an inspiration and a constraint.
The workshop event aimed to allow attendees to engage with their everyday environment: surroundings that they might not otherwise consider as important or particularly contributory to their creative concepts. Visitors to the open day were encouraged to reflect on their actions of the day: where they had been, what they had observed, where they planned to be later in the day.
In such reflection visitors were forced to confront the origins and intents of their actions, their reasoning, and the emotions and thoughts they associated with these activities. This aspect of conscious mindfulness – intentional focus on present emotions and reality – aimed to provoke creative thought about how individuals interpret or identify objects or landscapes.
Much of the workshop focused on the creation of a collaborative collage-style piece, interweaving the contributions of VAU members with local residents and those otherwise involved in the Pearce Institute. The PI hosts a huge range of community groups and organisations with a social economy ethos, all with the combined aim of meeting, and providing for, the needs of the people of Govan. The Visual Artist Unit event was a feature of the PI Open Doors Day, as part of this continual effort to encourage local participation.
As well as this social sustainability ethos, the collaborative collage work was realised through the use of recycled or reclaimed materials, embedding the concept of natural resource use in the workshop, and encouraging visitors to consider recycled materials as an inspiration for creation, rather than as a waste material or a constraint.
On Thursday September 25th, Creative Carbon Scotland is hosting one of their Glasgow Green Tease events at Glasgow Sculpture Studios on a similar theme with ceramist Teena Gould. We’ll be exploring the use of found materials in ceramic making and firing, using newspaper to create elements for paper kilns, and clay to make individual objects for baking.
Visual Artist Unit (VAU) is an artist led, not-for-profit Community Interest Company. It supports emerging artists based in Scotland, and improves access and public engagement in contemporary art for the wider community. They are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to enable the provision of affordable studio space to artists, and to help develop their practice through self-direction, group critiques and skill shares.