Case Studies

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards

Kirstie Bruce

Funding granted to work with a mentor to improve knowledge and understanding of making glazes from raw materials to enable the creation of new colours and finishes in her ceramic practice.

"I couldn't have done this project without the award. I could have made some basic glazes...but it would not have been successful and therefore not have had such an impact on my work."

Carolyn Dixon

Funding granted for establishing ways to use intaglio in particular etching processes without impact on adjacent aquatic environments by developing an ecologically sound approach to intaglio etching.

"The process of investigation has sharpened the issues that I and other creative practitioners face living on a small island. Certainly receiving the award acted as a direct stimulus to action and provided a (rare) sense of validation."

Cassia Dodman

Funding used to train in welding practices with a local welder and software to produce professional documentation of practice as well as digital practice.

"The award allowed me to be much more ambitious with my expectations and with the scale of my work. The project has been a good stepping stone to other opportunities as the work was exposed to such a wide audience and I have gone on to collaborate with other artists and organisations I met subsequent to the exhibition."

Images of work completed by artists who received VACMA funding.

India Johnson

Funding to research the history of women’s weaving in Orkney and explore these practices, exhibiting in Alnmouth, Northumberland and in the Get Your Tweed Out event at Kirkwall Library.

“The fund meant I was able to invest in my painting and weaving practice, developing a body of work which investigated the role of women as an Observer. I used the cloth that I had woven as a subject in my paintings, and began to question the hierarchy between different crafts.”

Collage of work by India Johnson.

Alex Leonard

Award given to enrol on an online course, 'Advanced Character Design' with Stephen Silver. The aim was to develop and improve illustration skill set.

"The course was very useful in exposing some of the hitherto unknown bad habits I have picked up [...] and while it was sometimes difficult to take on board (!) it was a real eye-opener and has fundamentally made me a better designer."

Work by Alex Leonard.

Diana Leslie

For Acrylic Resist Etching training at Edinburgh Printmakers to gain insight into innovations in processes:

“Fundamentally I have ironed out conflicts between older ways of doing things and new ways. You can’t teach when you aren’t sure why things aren’t working right. I needed the expertise of specialists in my field. The award was essential to going away and doing the project. I couldn’t have afforded the travel, the course or the time without your support”.

Work by Diana Leslie.

Jack Whitwell

Funded to undertake research and a period of experimentation in ‘photographic sculptures’: photographic installations that can exhibit in a three dimensional manner.

“Using the research I had gathered I applied (and was successful) for the Balfour Transition commission to produce larger scale photographic sculptures to exhibit at the new hospital, which has taken the project to a stage I didn’t think would be possible. It has also pushed my practice artistically and professionally. The period of research was the most vital element of the whole project as it gave me a greater understanding of where I live and the history behind the place. The research project has developed organically into a larger more public fronted project that has engaged with a wide range of people. This wouldn’t have happened without the initial award that allowed me to undertake research and a period of experimentation.”

Rosey Priestman

2018-2019, Gardemeles Museum

"I used the award toward buying the equipment I needed to take photographs of my collection of found objects (and training). My creative practice has expanded with photography becoming a new and important element. The session with Rebecca Marr was very important, until this project I have always worked things out for myself, so it was a very positive and interesting experience to discover how valuable it was to receive instruction. Teran Community have asked me to do a feature on the museum and Simple Things magazine. I’ve been approached by a fashion photographer who is interested in a photoshoot/ collaboration and I’ve had interest from other museums such as Elgin, Pitt Rivers and the Fitzwilliam. The award made a critical difference as the Museum was not in my means without that financial help. It was also encouraging that my idea was accepted."

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS