We are CiRCUS, an artists collective based in Inverness, Scottish Highlands and we want to establish a new artist-run gallery called CiRCUS ARTSPACE.
Help us to build a supportive community for contemporary visual artist as well as provide access to new work in the city. With increasing numbers of recent art graduates from the University of the Highlands & Islands living in Inverness - it needs a place for them to get involved, contribute enthusiastically and most importantly stick around!
We want to crowdfund to cover rental overheads, materials required for setting up the gallery and exhibition costs along with paying our interns a small fee. Over the course of one year we will offer a programme of exhibitions, mentoring for new graduates, social meet-ups, discussion events and artists' talks.
CiRCUS ARTSPACE wants to:
- Help Inverness’ artists to flourish and make our city a vibrant and welcoming place;
- Create an inclusive space aiming to support emergent artists, as well as providing access to new contemporary visual arts to the wider community of the Highlands;
- Become the central hub for artists’ support and dialogue within our area.
- Promoting contemporary art as integral part of culture in the Highlands;
- Artist-led ethos embedded in all we do;
- Valuing aspiration over previous experience;
- Developing a community of support, experimentation, exchange and ideas;
- Nurture graduate artist interns and new forms of artistic practice;
- Encouraging sharing of values and collaboration between art forms.
CiRCUS ARTSPACE Programme
In the first year we aim to:
- Offer high quality, contemporary exhibitions and work to support artists and projects that share our aspirations (8 exhibitions);
- Develop connections to national and international networks of artists by building relationships with artists visiting the UK to host them in Inverness as well as exchange projects with other national artist-run spaces;
- Host 4 graduate internships - each will last two months. Graduate interns will develop their professional practice knowledge and skills through actively taking part in all aspects of the galleries projects and events. During this period they will be encouraged and supported by the core committee to develop new work with mentoring/peer review sessions and a fee;
- Host regular free talks on different aspects of artists’ practices as well as social meet-ups (12 events);
- We will share skills and resources, as well as the support our local Highland community by facilitating workshops, reading groups and critical discussions/salons (6 events);
- We will work with other disciplines to deliver film nights, music, architecture and more.
We are a voluntary group of practising, professional artists and producers committed to making contemporary art accessible to a broader Highland audience as well as supporting recent art graduates from our area. We are all based in Inverness and work across many different disciplines including painting, printmaking, sculpture, film, curating, participatory art and performance. As a collective we have 50 years of experience supporting artists through exhibiting opportunities and collaborative projects.
left - right: Mike, Suzie, Lorna (front), Kirsten, Cat (front), Nicky and Shaun
Cat Meighan has a visual arts practice looks to the expanded field of painting, sculpture and installation and participatory forms of working. She collaborates with other artists, exhibits and has undertaken residencies in Iceland and Japan. Mainly focusing on collaborative working, organising peer-led projects and events in community settings, she also regularly teaches workshops that involve a wide constituency of participants as well as tutoring at Moray School of Art, Elgin. She is currently researching her MA Art & Social Practice at UHI.
Kirsten Body returned to the Highlands 8 years ago after working in Edinburgh for numerous galleries and arts organisations including Collective. Having worked in the visual arts sector as a curator/producer for 16 years, she is passionate about supporting artists to make new work and to enable new connections to be formed. Her experience spans outdoor arts events, commissioning and residencies. Currently she co-ordinators contemporary exhibitions for four Highland galleries and provides project support for local arts networks Creative Inverness and Lonely Arts Club.
Lorna Campbell graduated from Moray College in 2016 and her practice focuses on moving image, installation & print making. Her interest in creativity & wellbeing informs a practice rooted in people & community and she regularly works with people living with dementia and long term mental health conditions. in 2017 Lorna spent a month as artist in residence at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire. She can bring experience of group work facilitation & peer to peer learning to Circus Artspace.
Nicola Gear specialising in multi-media public art as well as exhibiting in galleries, she has worked with the international organisation Triangle Arts to bring artists from all over the world to Scotland. Nicky's skills include coordination of international projects, collaborating with other artists and working with people in complex contexts such as with a Glasgow assylum seekers organisation, patients in an Intensive Care Unit and making work within a public transport system in Johannesburg city centre.
Shaun Fraser is originally from Inverness and has a diverse practice which includes printmaking, sculpture and glass casting, his work comments upon notions of identity and connections with our place the Highlands and Islands. Shaun is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. He has been featured in exhibits internationally and he has received awards for his work in his home of Scotland.
Suzie Eggins is a recent graduate from Moray School of Art, Elgin and is currently exhibiting in RSA New Contemporaries at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and part of Embassy Gallery's GradJob project. During her recent solo exhibition and residency ‘Many Ways to Be an Ecologist’ at Moray Art Centre, Findhorn she facilitated a series of workshops aimed at 16 to 20-year-olds. Suzie’s practice uses architecture to reimagine the environment around us.
Mike Webster is freelance filmmaker and creative force behind Spiral Out Pictures and our crowdfunding video. His practice includes being a film tutor and workshop leader at Eden Court, Inverness. Over the past 10 years he has filmed documentaries in Morocco and Peru, and filmed climbing all over Scotland.
How Will This Happen
We need your backing, your pledge will help us to secure a city centre space as well as support our interns and artists to enable them to create new work for our FREE public exhibitions and events programme.
What's the money for?
All the funds raised from this Crowdfunder will be spent on fitting out our space (wood/plasterboard), paying local graduate interns a fee (approximately £200 each), costs associated the exhibitions costs like artists' materials, print and transport.
If we reach our target, we plan to launch the gallery space and programme in June 2019. If we achieve our goal the funds from this Crowdfunder campaign will support us for one year until May 2020.
CiRCUS ARTSPACE is supported by Creative Inverness Limited (SC496380). Founded in 2015, Creative Inverness is a social media platform raising the profile of the city's creativity across all artforms, sharing opportunities for Highland practitioners and supporting the development of the arts in Inverness.
This campaign has been supported by Crowdfunding Creativity - a mentorship programme from Creative Scotland and Paved With Gold. If you help us reach our goal, we'll be awarded £2,500 from Creative Scotland to make this project a reality.
You can chose from a range of rewards, and we promise to keep you up to date with regular CiRCUS ARTSPACE newsletters as well as advanced invites to all our events.
What's on offer:
- £5 High Five! For some, it might not seem much, but for us it means the world. Thank you for donating.
- £10 Badgetastic! We’ll send you an artist designed badge and signed thank you card as well as advanced invitations to events.
- £25 Founding Supporter All the above plus you will be acknowledged as a founding supporter on our website as well as an invite to special supporters launch event.
- £50 CiRCUS Tote Bag All the above plus an ethically produced, cotton tote bag designed by CiRCUS artists to offer unique, contemporary designs, and help promote the project whenever you go shopping.
- £100 Adopt an Intern You will be contributing towards making sure our interns receive a fee for their time with CiRCUS ARTSPACE. You will receive all the above as well as a certificate of adoption and thank you letter from your intern at the end of their placement.
- £200 Get Hands On! You and up to 4 friends can get creative in this 2 hour workshop with CiRCUS artist, Cat Meighan, in her studio. Choose from printmaking or bookbinding, all materials will be provided and no previous experience is necessary. Why not make your work do or friend's birthday more memorable with this unique experience & everyone gets to take home something they've crafted by hand.
Please back this project and help us build a community that supports emergent artists and provides greater access to contemporary work in the Highlands.
Come join the CiRCUS!
Cat, Kirsten, Lorna, Nicky, Shaun, Suzie and Mike
Risks and challenges
If we don't reach out target we may have to scale back some of our ambitions for the gallery programme. Without your donations and support we may not be able to deliver as many events as we've outline above.
We are currently in discussions with city centre landlords in order to secure our home for the next year and aim to launch the gallery in June, however there is the possibility of delays with the building. Please don't worry, if you back us we will keep you informed every step of the way.
By backing this project you are investing in artists and providing new cultural experiences in the Highlands, you are amazing!