£15,000 awarded through Moray Artists Bursary 2019

The arts, screen and creative industries in Moray have been bolstered by £15,000 funding through the Moray Artists Bursary from We Make Moray, with 12 applicants receiving grants of between £800 and £1,500 to develop activities, skills and creative practice.

We Make Moray is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Creative Scotland, as part of Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership Programme. It was created to encourage and support local organisations to work together in the community to strengthen creative development and widen access to creative activity in the area.

Following the success of the inaugural Moray Artists Bursary in 2018, 26 individuals applied for the 2019 Bursary, an increase on the 23 applicants received last year. Successful applicants include visual artists, choreographers, media artists, musicians, craft-makers, a silversmith, a singer and a sculptor.

The funding allocated through the 2019 Bursary will see a number of projects brought to life. From the development of a walking art project in Moray that connects art, the landscape and cultural settings, through to collaborative work, the production of a musical album featuring local artists, and new installations and performances.

The Moray Artists Bursary will also support an emerging artist to create new two-dimensional works while pursuing opportunities to exhibit. Additionally, the grants will allow Moray-based creatives to learn more about their craft from experts in their field, bringing back traditional little-practised skills to the region to benefit future generations and the local industry.

Scotland’s creative industries contribute more than £5 billion to the Scottish economy each year, and initiatives like the Moray Artists Bursary will help the arts, screen and creative industries in the region continue to thrive.

Sandra Morrison, Place Partnership Co-ordinator, We Make Moray, said: “The creative industries in Moray are continuously growing and it was fantastic to receive so many applications for the 2019 Moray Artists Bursary. The panel was impressed by the high standard of applications received, and the diverse work taking place here, making the final decision a very difficult one.

“I’d like to once again congratulate the 12 successful applicants, who each demonstrated a passion for their practice and desire to showcase Moray’s creativity and skillset. Last year 10 projects were awarded funding, so it’s fantastic to be able to support even more individuals to develop activities, skills and creative practice this year and I look forward to seeing each project develop and positively impact the local community.”

Jennifer Tipton, Place, Partnerships and Communities Officer, Creative Scotland, commented: “The applications for this year’s Moray Artists Bursary programme were hugely diverse and truly reflected the breadth of creative talent in Moray. The We Make Moray Place Partnership has empowered artists and makers across the community to develop their practice and contribute to the cultural growth of the region.”

The Moray Artists Bursary was established by We Make Moray, a place partnership project which supports arts and culture initiatives. The bursary is designed to enable the recipients to realise their own potential while helping to advance the wider Moray Cultural Strategy.

To keep up to date with We Make Moray and our news, including the Moray Artists Bursary, follow us on social media. Find us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.  

The impact of the Moray Artists Bursary

Visual art from Duncan Wilson

Following the latest funding application round for the Moray Artists Bursary 2019, we decided to speak to those who benefitted from the grants last year to find out more about the impact it had on their organisation and ambitions.

Here, we find out how Duncan Wilson, a visual artist based in Findhorn, Moray, used his funding and how it has helped shape his future plans.

I was awarded £1,500 funding from the Moray Artists Bursary in 2018, to develop a research project in partnership with Professor Jim MacPherson and the history department at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

Through researching Moray’s military past, I hoped to create a new artwork which would explore the themes of World War 1, masculinity and class. The project and artwork were inspired by a large photographic work I created in 2017, entitled ‘Distant Voices’, where I drew parallels between the young men from Inverclyde who fought in WW1 and the young men living there today.

Last year I relocated to Moray from the central belt, a move which made me want to explore this theme further. My end goal was to create a companion piece to ‘Distant Voices’ that would focus on those men from Moray who had lost their lives in World War 1 and the soldiers living in the area who are preparing to fight in conflict today.

As a visual artist I mainly work alone, however, through the Moray Artists Bursary funding I was able to undertake a truly in-depth partnership research project for the first time and explore how working with academics could lead me down new and exciting creative avenues, and consider new ideas.

Throughout the project my focus shifted from what was initially an inquiry into which ‘class’ went to war, through to exploring what it means to be brave, conscientious objectors, and what secrets lie beneath a car park in Aberdeen…

Thanks to the Moray Artists Bursary I was able to continue to work as an artist in a new part of the country, following my move from the central belt. It also gave me the opportunity to connect with the broader arts community in Moray and meet some amazing creative people.

Following my initial research work, I’m going to continue to explore the ideas and creative opportunities this project brought me, with a view to securing future funding to produce and showcase the new artwork I’m creating in my mind.

For anyone considering applying for the Moray Artists Bursary or similar funding opportunities in the future, I’d highly recommend it – not only do you receive monetary support but the encouragement and insight I received from the team at We Make Moray proved invaluable.

To keep up to date with future funding opportunities like the Moray Artists Bursary, follow We Make Moray on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or contact Sandra Morrison on sandra@tsimoray.org.uk / 01343 205274.

Showcasing the success of the Moray Artists Bursary

With the Moray Artists Bursary 2019 now open for applications, we decided to speak to those who benefitted from the grants last year to find out more about the impact it had on their organisation and ambitions.

Here, we find out how Graeme Roger, a visual artist working across film, public art, performance, photography, installation and theatre, used his funding and how it has helped his future plans.

In 2018 I was awarded £1,500 funding from the Moray Artists Bursary for a period of research and the development of new work for the collaborative partnership Roger & Reid.

The funding allowed us to visit historical sites of significance, with a view to creating film work that explores recurring themes of eccentrics and impromptu performance. Travelling with props, cameras and sound equipment, we planned to capture footage at these sites that would either inform future projects or be used as completed video artworks.

During this time, we created a new short film entitled ‘Yokinges’, which was filmed at Glenlivet Battlefield. We have since submitted the film to artist film festivals in the UK and internationally, and incorporated it as part of a proposal for new work that we’re seeking funding for.

Thanks to the funding from the Moray Artists Bursary we were able to travel to Glenlivet Battlefield for filming and to test the idea and creative elements we wanted to incorporate into the video, like this cannon test:

Having the time and funding to create new work has generated new ideas for us and helped in our approach towards performance-based work.

Through our collaborative partnership, Roger & Reid, we also recently curated a Lux Scotland screening at Eden Court Cinema, which was a further chance for us to share our creative ideas and show other films that are ‘playful and concerned with cultural oddballs, outsiders and psychotropic adventures in the Scottish landscape’.

I think funding like the Moray Artists Bursary is important because it gives artists the space and time to develop new work. For me, it gave me the opportunity to experiment with ideas that have since inspired a host of new narratives which I’ll be exploring over the coming year…watch this space.

For more information on Roger & Reid or to keep up to date with Graeme’s latest creative outputs, visit the website.

The Moray Artists Bursary 2019 is now open for applications and is available to anyone working across the arts, screen and creative industries in Moray. Emerging and established local artists are encouraged to apply for funding of between £500 and £1,500 by midnight on Friday 25th October 2019, to support activities including advancing skills and technical expertise, ideation, research, and presenting new and innovative work.

For more information or to download your application form visit www.wemakemoray.org/opportunities or contact Sandra on sandra@tsimoray.org.uk  or 01343 205274. Large format materials are available on request.

To keep up to date with We Make Moray and our news, follow us on social media. Find us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook .