Welcome To The “Lockdown Lounge”

Welcome To The “Lockdown Lounge”

In late March 2020 I watched with disbelief as my diary of project meetings, stock deliveries and workshops was wiped as the corona virus pandemic hit, leaving me wondering what next for my small business?

I’ve worked hard over the past five years to establish Gatekeeper Art with two main strands of business, as a selling artist and as a social historian delivering community heritage projects.

Following the initial clearing of my diary I salvaged some of the workshops in the projects I was working on then and adapted them to an online format and thus I was introduced to the wonderful world of “Zoom”. This is a new world for me and I have to admit to being both terrified and excited at the prospect of online delivery but willing to take on the challenge of a steep learning curve! (more…)

Why Every Little Helps the Arts to Thrive

Why Every Little Helps the Arts to Thrive

“The genie is out of the bottle now,” said the delegate from Paris looking glumly out of my lap-top screen, “We are giving away all of this work for free. How will we ever get people to pay for the arts again?” It was June 2020 and I was attending one of those seminars that have only seemed possible since the Covid pandemic closed performing arts venues last March. 250 creative industry delegates from across Europe sitting in their kitchens or studios sharing their plans about how to keep the sector alive without a live audience. (more…)

Our Publications Page has had an Overhaul

Our Publications Page has had an Overhaul

To better showcase our outputs from the work we undertake at CCSE with our colleagues and partners in Renfrewshire, Scotland the UK and further afield, we’ve given our Publications page an overhaul. We’ve categorised the content to make navigation more straightforward. The interface now provides easy access to our commissioned research and consultation reports, academic articles and book chapters. The short films that have been made to document some of the work we’ve undertaken and events we’ve hosted over the course of Centre activities are also accessible here. (more…)

Fetching a Coat: Finding a Concept that Fits Arts, Culture, Health & Wellbeing

Fetching a Coat: Finding a Concept that Fits Arts, Culture, Health & Wellbeing

The search for concepts I feel comfortable with to describe arts, culture, health and wellbeing has been a long one. Theories and concepts have been described as a lens to see the world or a framework to scaffold the thesis. For me it has felt more like trying on many coats. It is not just the case of finding one that can help me get the job done, though it is helping me to progress my research. There are projects and services where I know there is a health and wellbeing impact but previously I didn’t have the lens to discern the mechanisms that ‘created’ health and wellbeing. It’s also a process of finding a lens that melds with the values I have and how I see the world; that I can be comfortable in and reflects how I want to encounter the world. The current coat is a quite new, it’s a little stiff, not yet snug. I’m not quite used to it and its possibilities. But, with time and some reflective journeys, I hope I can break it in make it my own. (more…)

GlasGLOW: Parks, Commercial Events and the Pandemic

GlasGLOW: Parks, Commercial Events and the Pandemic

This week’s reblog revisits Séverin Guillard’s reflections on the 2020 edition of GlasGLOW

For the third year in a row, the Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens was the site for a commercial event, GlasGLOW, organised by the Scottish PR and event management company Itison. GlasGLOW is a sound and light extravaganza which aims, through a walk in a well-known public park in the city’s West End, to immerse attendees in a fantasy universe. While the 2019 edition displayed successively different thematic “worlds” focused on diverse topics such as Halloween, aliens, or a Stanger Things-inspired labyrinth, the 2020 edition was focused on the singular theme of superheroes, illustrated by the event’s motto: “the power within”. (more…)

The PhD and the Pandemic Part Two: The ‘New Normal’ for a PhD Student

The PhD and the Pandemic Part Two: The ‘New Normal’ for a PhD Student

Back at the beginning of April, I wrote a short blog post sharing my experiences of some of the challenges of doing a PhD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes we might have been in lockdown, but the sun was shining and the colours of spring were beginning to bloom around us. Ok, I’m talking about Paisley here so it might be more accurate to say that it was getting slightly less cold and the sky had gone from grey to a slightly lighter shade of grey, but two things were certain: it wasn’t winter, and we had no idea how long the purgatory of the lockdown would continue. As summer drew in, the days grew longer and life eased slightly closer to normal. One by one, the zoom quizzes disappeared, the travel restrictions eased and family and friends were reunited during those glorious nights we sat, socially distanced, in local beer-gardens. But it wasn’t to last, the nights closed in as the days grew shorted and I find myself once again resigned to my flat trying to keep writing, presenting, teaching and researching during this strange, strange year. (more…)

One Crisis after Another: The Impact of COVID-19 on Roma Communities in Glasgow

One Crisis after Another: The Impact of COVID-19 on Roma Communities in Glasgow

It is evident that COVID-19 is radically changing the way we go about our everyday lives and the things we normally take for granted, whether it is community events, festivals, family celebrations and even attending funerals to show our respects. Through my voluntary trustee work with Romano Lav (Roma Voice), a small NGO based in Govanhill, it is apparent that COVID-19 is having a serious impact on the lives and livelihoods of the various Roma communities who stay in the neighbourhood. (more…)

UKRI Place Based Partnership – Evidence Review Launch

UKRI Place Based Partnership – Evidence Review Launch

At the beginning of 2020, colleagues from STAR Project, Renfrewshire Council and the University of the West of Scotland organised a workshop, Paisley Art & Soul. The workshop brought together members of Renfrewshire’s local communities and other stakeholders to discuss the ways that art and culture affects individual and community prosperity and wellbeing. This co-produced research project aligns closely with the aims of Future Paisley, a wide-ranging cultural regeneration programme currently ongoing and, in which, local communities are collaborating with a broad range of partners to reshape the town’s future. (more…)

Light in the Dark Days

Light in the Dark Days

On an average Monday morning at Wallace Street, I start my working day greeted by Margaret with her little Chihuahua pup in arms. She tells me about her latest knitted dog coat purchase as other bodies start to shuffle through the narrow corridor. We settle in a semi-circle of kind faces and laughter, and I can hear the sound of mugs clinking and the smell of coffee brewing in the background.

Now, my morning begins with adjusting the volume of my laptop, fixing my fringe in the camera and making sure everyone can hear me ok. (more…)

Create Paisley’s Second Open Minds Summit

Create Paisley’s Second Open Minds Summit

CCSE were partners to the Open Mind Summit along with Future Paisley, Renfrewshire Leisure, Kibble. The second annual summit hosted by Create Paisley launched the day before World Mental Health Day. It explored the role of creativity and culture in improving mental health and wellbeing for children and young people. This year’s theme was ‘how can creativity help children and young people overcome isolation and loneliness’. (more…)