Responding to the current pandemic, the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) has pioneered a new artist residency model in Aberdeenshire for caregivers in collaboration with Counterflows festival, bringing about a new approach to working with artists for 2021, and giving caregivers priority, in an adaptation of the SSW’s existing SSW x Counterflows Caregivers residency programme.
According to Sam Trotman, Director of SSW, the caregivers residency offers artists with caring responsibilities funding, flexibility, respite and space for self-care, to focus on their own needs and support their continued learning and development. Alasdair Campbell, Counterflows festival’s Director describes the move as an important continuation of the festival’s ‘commitment to supporting artists in their pursuit of creativity at a time when the difficulties and discrepancies artists face in navigating support are so apparent.’
Is a response to the pressing need for institutional provision of this sort for artists, the initiative allows three artists to take up residency during at SSW’s Lumsden workshop facilities, working with SSW’s team, using its workshop and facilities, and making the most of the locality. The three artists selected are Glasgow-based Laura Bradshaw, Chris Dooks from Edinburgh, and Hang Linton, based in Stewarton, Kilmarnock. In addition to the opportunities afforded by the residency, the move makes a strong statement about how art organisations and artists can contribute to the national recovery and its ‘wellbeing economy’, after the findings of a survey of the visual arts in Scotland was presented to a parliamentary committee of MSPs, alongside a series of recommendations from SCAN, the Scottish Contemporary Art Network.