John Kinross Scholar in 2014
Uist Corrigan, Bell Tower, bronze, wood and steel, 2018
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
I undertook the John Kinross Scholarship in November/December of 2014, it was my first experience of working on an art practice out with the art college environment and gave me an opportunity to explore my work reacting to a different environment. I have always been interested in collecting stories and narratives in my work and really enjoyed learning about the city through the small details, from the monument to all of the work animals that put in their labour in the building of the Duomo, to the astrological symbols interspersed with early Christian imagery on the walls of San Miniato al Monte. The scholarship was key to the development of my practice outside of art school by giving me new material and ideas in which to create new works.
What was the impact on your practice?
I was working as the second technician at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop at the time of undertaking the scholarship. This was a very intense period of learning technical skills and I twinned a lot of this learning with the ideas I had collected during my time in Florence. This time of my life was a crucial point in working out what my practice was about and what themes I wanted to explore with it.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
I am still digesting ideas and stories that I picked up during my time in Florence. It gave me an insight in the ways that I should go about researching and collecting narratives that I was interested in making work about. I created a piece of work for ‘Platform 2017’, the emerging artist show for the Edinburgh Art Festival. The work was a decontructed bell tower that was moved around Scotland as a way of exploring the landscape. The initial idea for this was thought up during my time in Florence while exploring stories of the monk Savonarola and his infamous bell that was thrown from the bell tower of San Marco and exiled from the city. In 2016 I also undertook a residency at the bothy projects on the isle of Eigg where I undertook a series of short performances exploring Scottish Folk tales and looking at their relationship with the stories I had taken home from Florence. I also loved the opportunity to go to Florence alongside the other scholars. I am still in contact with a lot of them and was great to start to build a network of artists that I could learn from talk through ideas with. I love meeting others that have been on the scholarship, it gives me a great sense of an expanded network of artists that I am connected to. It gives a good in road into the sharing of stories and practice that were collected while in Florence. I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to be a John Kinross Scholar.