Memories and Stories with ST/ART at The McManus

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The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum is very excited to be working in partnership with Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust as part of a national ‘Year of Scotland’s Stories’ community project called ‘Scottish Creations’. 

Inspired by the resilience of the UK’s non-professional art sector during this challenging year and in celebration of 2022 Year of Scotland's Stories, Creative Lives and Scottish Ensemble have invited local amateur artists from across the country to respond to the theme of storytelling through a range of artforms: visual art, sculpture, poetry, creative writing and photography. These creative responses will form part of both travelling and digital exhibitions, celebrating and sharing the diversity and creativity of Scotland.  

The museum’s Creative Learning Team has been working as part of this with Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust’s ST/ART group participants to represent Dundee. The theme of the programme was ‘Memories and Stories’ delivered by local professional artists and a writer who enabled the group over eight weeks to explore mixed media artforms, including, collage, photography, and creative writing.   

The group of participants, who all have challenging long term health conditions, took creative inspiration from the museum’s permanent collection and both temporary exhibitions: ‘The Street @ The McManus’ and ‘A Love letter to Dundee: Joseph McKenzie photographs 1964 – 1987, to produce the body of work. Friends, family and guests from The McManus and Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust came together to view the work and hear about the forthcoming national exhibitions that it will feature in. 

Anna Robertson, Fine and Applied Art Manager at The McManus said: 

“This project illustrates just how important our role in supporting our communities to participate in creative activity is. The work that has been produced by the participants is a testament to their individuality and we are delighted that the inspiration of our exhibitions has proved so fruitful.”  

Chris Kelly, Projects Coordinator, Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) said: 

“It has been fantastic to get a group into the McManus for an activity-based programme.  Our first building-based partnership was cancelled two years ago because of the pandemic, but after a fruitful online collaboration last year this programme has really taken advantage of the assets of the Museum and brought our participants into the heart of its work.” 

Quote from one of the participants:  

“I had my stroke at the start of lockdown and have felt incredibly isolated, but this has brought me out and got me motivated again.  It’s been great!” 

In May 2022, there will be a both a digital and tour of ‘Scottish Creations’ work across Scotland, revisiting participating locations across all four corners of the country. In each location, Scottish Ensemble will perform a programme of 40 minutes of music based on the project’s theme, including a brand-new commission by Ailie Robertson. There will also be communal sessions showcasing the diversity of Scottish Ensemble’s music-making, featuring smaller chamber groups and a broad range of music genres. Audiences will also be invited to explore the exhibitions.  

The project has been made possible thanks to additional support from Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust and Creative Lives as part of their current ‘Scottish Creations’ project. 

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