The building and gardens have a fascinating history, dating back to the monks who first lived on the site in the 13th century. We were given a tour of the place by director Lucy Byatt who told us about her exciting redevelopment plans – we were especially interested in the restoration plans for the Victorian fernery and the walled gardens.
During our stay we were treated to some delicious meals by Hospialfields’ new chef Gillian Veal. Gillian is a trained artist and uses her interest in the history of Hospitalfieds to inform her cooking. She is currently working with volunteers and garden staff on plans to grow heritage varieties of herbs, fruit and vegetables.
During the board meeting we reflected our 21st anniversary celebrations at the end of last year and our recent change of name, and discussed new ways forward for Deveron Projects in the years to come.
Check out the project here
Lisz and Hannah from the vienna based artist group WochenKlausur are visting Huntly over the next few days trying to get a feel for the place.
What is the role of travel in the art? The need for distance, new places and experiences? What is the relationship between visitor and host? What is remote in the age of globalisation?
Fernweh was a train travelling symposium of eight curators from Europe and the Americas across Scotland. During their journeys they visited villages, towns and art venues around the country to investigate the relationship between place, hospitality, collaboration, distance and the urban-rural, as well as other matters.
Claudia was invited to the Wigtown Book Festival to talk about her book, Artocracy. None of us having been before, we decided to make a team trip out of it. In true Deveron Arts style we used each leg of the journey to frame a series of discussions concerning our areas of investigation and future programming. As such, we talked about hospitality, the future of Scotland post-referendum and pilgrimage, to name but a few.
During the festival we attended some very interesting talks on subjects ranging from the first world war to Russian poets; listened to a trio playing traditional folk music from Eastern Europe, Japan and beyond; took a walk down to inspect the salt marshes; and spent a lot of time in second hand bookshops - we all came home with more books than we could carry!
Each organisation will curate a Slow Prototype (SP) bringing together internationally renowned contemporary artists with crafts/trades people in residencies of up to 4 weeks in August / September 2014. Each SP is about different sets of skills coming together on equal terms and mutually affecting each other, generating something unexpected, unfolding through each collaboration.
The North East of Scotland has a reputation as Scotland's larder (fishing, Aberdeen Angus, traditional products such as shortbread and whisky...) but there is not a reputation for eating well in the North East. The five invited artists will spend time engaging with local food organisations and the local community. The creativity of artists and their curiosity will question the paradox of a less than ideal diet in a place of amazing produce.
A broad view will be taken of food production and consumption: ranging from artisanal food, to leftovers and food banks; surplus as well as scarcity will be considered. We will look both at Aberdeen's inner city (where there are large areas of deprivation) and at rural Aberdeenshire, traditionally a farming community. We want to know the reality of food production and consumption in these places and engage in conversation with the public at large.
The artists and food projects will be selected by each arts organisation:
- Gray's School of Art: Celia Gonzalez and Community Food Initiatives North East looking at food security;
- Sound festival: Stephen Montague composer and Brewdog, looking at the sounds of a brewery;
- Deveron Arts: Gayle Chong Kwan looking at issues of waste with Deans Shortbread;
- Scottish Sculpture Workshop (located in an old bakery): Stephen Brandes and a local mill producing oatmeal;
- Woodend Barn: Tom Pritchard choreographer and an artisan cheese monger, looking specifically at the senses.
The project will culminate in the form of a 2-day Skills Biennale on the 6th September 2014, taking visitors on a coach tour of the collaborations: the results of Slow Prototype projects (performances and exhibitions) will show the breadth and quality of work that is created in Aberdeenshire. A one-day bus tour is available to tour around the five projects, allowing audiences to see all five Slow Prototypes.
Coach departs Grays School of Art, Aberdeen at 9.30am and will visit Aberdeen Foodbank - Banchory / Cambus O'May - Lumsden / Alford - Huntly - Ellon. Returning to Aberdeen approx 8pm Biennale Tour - £15 / £10 conc. (full time students, u/waged, o/60s) includes light refreshments throughout the day.
You can see the results so far of the collaboration between Gayle Chong Kwan and Deans Shortbread in the Stewarts Hall, Huntly between 1.30pm and 5pm, on Saturday 6th September.
For more information on Gayle's project.
On the day of his arrival, Tuesday 3rd June 2014, Xension informed Deveron Arts of the current happenings in Uganda that same day; it was Uganda's Martyrs Day. Thousands of people/believers from all over the world were gathered at the Namugongo Catholic Shrine in respect and homage to the 45 young men, from various Christian denominations, that were killed by Kabaka Mwanga in 1886. In knowledge of this, Xenson exhibited a spectacular and captivating Martyrs's Day performance.
You can see all the images on Facebook.
You can find out more about Xenson's work on his and Sanaa Gateja's Artist Profile.
The aim of the Huntly Cultural Fund is to help local groups and individuals make Huntly and district an even better place to live, work and visit by showcasing the creative talents of the area and encouraging even more creative activities. The fund has been designed specifically to support cultural activities by local organisations and individuals which are linked to the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and the Year of Homecoming 2014.
The position is available to young people living locally, as accommodation is not provided as part of the apprenticeship. This should be considered an excellent opportunity for school leavers looking to pursue a career in the arts.
We have a history of a high calibre of applicants for our internships, and will also be looking for a high standard of applicants for the apprenticeship.
For more details and to apply go to http://www.youngscot.net/contact-us/jobs/modern-apprenticeship-young-scot-digital-creative.aspx
Huntly has developed world-wide creative community links through its 'Town is the Venue' programme. Several projects, including the town re-branding, have been led by artists initiatives involving the community. The Creative Places Award will enable Huntly to create a roaming initiative, 'Walks of Life', bringing together physical walking initiatives with creative and cultural opportunities. In addition, over three years, including the Year of Natural Scotland and Homecoming Scotland, local arts groups and individual artists will be able to collaborate on a new initiative 'Hospitality in Huntly and District'.
Visit the Creative Scotland website for more information.
To take part email your Last Supper idea, with subject heading 'Last Supper' to email@example.com, including your name and phone number by the 12th November and you will be entered into the prize draw to win your dish to be cooked for you and a friend as part of a three course dinner prepared by Keira Allan, chef at the Huntly Hotel.
A 10am start from the tin hut took the group through mud and bogs, uphill and down dale to a very welcome picnic of corn and potato chowder, sandwiches and wraps, cakes and of course 'Tap O' Noth' cinnamon buns from the Huntly Signature Menu, provided and set up by Daisy Williamson and her family. With revived spirits from the delicious lunch the group set off again to finish up at the Ashgrove Petrol Station. Here after a welcome cup of tea Michael set off alone to find camp.
On Wednesday 28th November our Shadow Curator Elisabetta Rattalino joins Michael for a day and night. Watch out on our website to see how she gets on....
To find out more about Michael's project visit his page.