on reflection

On reflection - there are times when standing back and assessing where you are at is essential. In Abbeyview the activity of planning has drawn to a close – artists have been introduced to the place, projects are standing themselves and the activity of making is gathering speed around me. Meanwhile the wonderfully successful SEE EYE Event in March 2007 has been documented and embellished by the Book and the Curiosity Cabinet. What is left for me to do is to collaborate and create. Giving the Abbeyview community a year that was a bit out of the ordinary. (The Fly)

This week Nicola gave a presentation at the ROA Programme Board Meeting about the work she is doing in Abbeyview. It was very interesting to meet the board and an outcome of the meeting was an invite to give a couple of talks, one being a Keynote Speaker at the 4th KnowFife Research Fair ‘Sharing Knowledge & Involving All ‘ on Nov 26th @ 4.00pm at the Police Headquarters, Glenrothes.

“Art as Evidence?” is the title of the talk and will discuss how art can give a voice to people who might not be engaged in surveys or more conventional research methods, to explore and express their experience, views or aspirations, and to convey the subtleties of expression that can otherwise be missed by counting stats or surveying opinion?

She will present the art work in Abbeyview and other art works in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Karachi, Dublin, Havana, Bosnia & Herzegovina and across the UK to demonstrate this. This will encourage people to think about the notion of evidence and what we use to create the knowledge and understanding of Fife, which we then apply to delivering people's public and voluntary services.

It’s all going on at Woodmill High

Everyone is looking forward to hearing the pupils play Stevie Jackson’s Songs on Wednesday 26th September in Woodmill High School when pupils will play alongside him.

The Curiosity Cabinet continues to engage and inspire as it stands in all its splendour in the reception of the High School. Here are some of the comments so far:

I think that the curiosity cabinet is an extravagant & beautiful piece of art put together by the genius that is Nick Millar. But… Hmmm how did they get that lamp there? (Leroy Moffat)

My experience with the curiosity cabinet has been both interesting and entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the look of the younger pupils faces when first encountering the artwork. It surprised me how many of the pupils showed a genuine interest and how many wanted to help. I have enjoyed being part of the Curiosity Cabinet and would love to find out more. (Ashleigh Mc Gregor)

I quite liked looking after the curiosity cabinet. Pupils and teachers alike were very curious as to what this piece of art was and where it came from. Many people enjoyed the music and some even danced to it. We took some pupils and teachers around it and told them different information to do with certain parts. We liked looking at the artists book particularly Post Secret which we browsed most days. The group would like to thank Nicola Atkinson Does Fly, Jackie Powton and Stevie Jackson for this opportunity. (Kieran Startup)

I enjoyed taking care and showing people about the Curiosity Cabinet. The pupils and teachers asked lots of questions and wondered what the piece was. The pupils really enjoyed listening to Stevie Jacksons record, played in the cabinet in the hall. I liked handing out the dilemmas to the staff and pupils and some of them were quite confused by their choice. I’d like to thank Nicola Atkinson Does Fly and Jackie Powton for the opportunity. (Mark Queen)

Looking after the curiosity cabinet was interesting because I learned that not all art is done with paint and pencil and that peoples perception about art varies from person to person. (Gavin Cockerell)

The Curiosity Cabinet is off on its travels and has already touched those who have experienced it, as we see from the great comments above. Much like Nicola, as she reflects this week on her role and home in Abbeyview, who is here this year to open up art and its possibilities to those who encounter her. It reminds me of a programme when I was a kid called “The Littlest Hobo” about a dog who roamed, stayed for a while, became loved by those who encountered him and helped them through the situation he found them in. The theme tune, drawn from dusty memories, sums it up. (The Lamb)

There’s a voice, keeps on callin’ me
Down the road, that’s where I’ll always be

Every stop I make, I make a new friend
Just carry on, then turn around and I’m gone again

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wanna settle down
Until tomorrow I’ll just keep movin on

So if you wanna join me for a while
Just grab your hat, I travel light
That’s hobo style

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wanna settle down
Until tomorrow I’ll just keep movin on.

Photographs © Nicola Atkinson Does Fly

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