At the beginning of June, CCSE had the perhaps slightly unexpected pleasure of one again hosting our annual conference virtually. As CCSE Director – Prof Gayle McPherson – pointed out in her opening remarks; at the time of our first virtual outing in May last year, there were few among us who believed we’d be gearing up for a second digital event just over twelve months later.
Home offices, dining, kitchen and side tables served as our venue once again and everyone bore responsibility for their own tea and biscuits. While far from the traditional conference offering, it is potentially the case that the widespread development of digital – and in future hybrid – events will be one of the longterm legacies of the pandemic response, ultimately enabling greater engagement with a wider audience. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)