Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Artists and craft makers fund reopens

Artists and craft makers fund reopens
15 August 2017

A scheme aimed at helping local artists and craftspeople take their creative and business ideas to the next level is open again for applications, following renewed backing from Creative Scotland.

The Visual Artists and Craft Makers Awards offers grants of £500 and £1500 to support individual artists and craft makers develop professionally and creatively.

Sheena Graham-George, pictured below, is one local artist who had benefited from the scheme in the past.

Local artist Sheena Graham George has benefitted from the Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award in the past.

It is run by Orkney Islands Council on behalf of Creative Scotland, with the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Funding can be used to support research, skills training, studio work, exhibitions and mentoring.

The Councils’ Arts Officer, Antony Mottershead, said the scheme is aimed at supporting artists in the county to continue to develop their practice.

“This is the fourth year of the Award and we’re grateful to Creative Scotland for their continued investment in the scheme here in Orkney.

“So far the scheme has helped 13 local artists and makers to get ideas and projects off the ground.

“Despite the modest size of the awards we know that they have made a real difference to people.”

The Council, in partnership with Creative Scotland, will be running a workshop to give interested artists and craftspeople the chance to find out more. A successful applicant from previous years will present their project as a result of the Award. The workshop will also focus on how to develop a good application and present budgets and supporting materials.

Local artist Sheena Graham-George was awarded funding last year to help her explore the world of sound-based work:

“I’ve recently started working collaboratively with a film maker and I found I was becoming more and more interested, as a visual artist, to see the things you can do when you strip the visual away and work with just sound.”

Sheena used the funds to purchase sound recording equipment, software and training. Now, she is working on a piece of sound work telling the story of the witchcraft trials in Orkney in the 16th Century, and is exploring setting up places where people can listen to sound installations outside typical gallery spaces, in locations such as phone boxes.

This follows on from her recent sound installation ‘Summer Love’ in County Kerry in Ireland, which she hopes will also tour the Liverpool Irish Festival later this year.

She says the grant has helped provide a footing for these new directions:

"Sound engineering is quite new to me and there’s a lot to learn. The fund has really helped me get the training and equipment I need take my work in this new direction.”

The VACMA workshop will take place on Wednesday 6 September from 18:00pm to 19:00pm at the St Magnus Centre. Book a place using the details below.

Applications to the Award close on Wednesday 4 October at 17:00pm.

To find out more, visit the Council website, or contact Antony Mottershead at the Council on 01856873737 ext 2406, drop him an email , or write to him care of Education, Leisure and Housing Services, Orkney Islands Council, School Place KW172SS.