Guest's speakers presented to the group with Kelly opening up about the challenges we face as creatives and a bit of sound advice like when to take a step back. Jane Ronnie spoke about her own journey into the creative realm via an open access arts group which gave her a taste for the arts. She soon began exploring more opportunities and went from being participant to organiser, hosting a pop up gallery event at the Waldorf School. Its no mean feat to transform a gym hall into a fully functioning gallery space but she did it. Sandy Cheyne delivered a wonderful and inspiring talk about his 20 year stint in Berlin, working as an art tutor and bearing witness to the fall of the Berlin Wall! The tales of people shot and left for dead were heartbreaking, compacted by his striking and somewhat beautiful renderings of the structures and landscapes where these deadly shots were fired from. With a unique insight into the landscape of that time, we were treated to a unique history lesson and one I'm sure everyone will remember. He also kindly gave everyone their own small piece of the Berlin Wall, which he chipped off back when it fell. I rounded off the talks by speaking about some of my own stencil adventures with tales of abandoned factory toilets and multicoloured toy soldiers. It was almost surreal that the things I did almost 10 years ago have now come to hold a bit of weight, especially with the arrival of Nuart and a wider interest in street art.
With the talks finished we were given a chance to meet the other people in attendance, a sort of arts mixer. There were many new faces in attendance and it was great to have a chance to chat with some of them, explaining how I made some of the stencils and also about trying to add something meaningful to the landscape. A special notice board was set up with adverts for up coming events and opportunities to get involved, rip off a tab and get involved. It felt like a nice way to share projects beyond the digital world. I also delivered a stencil making workshop. Armed with some pre made designs based on the 3D artwork for Blue Lines (is he Banksy?), I showed people how to cut out their designs and how to avoid the dreaded over spray from the paint cans. It was great to see people pick up a spray can for the first time and experience the power it can hold. Of course it can be a messy business and my hands were clarted by the end but it was worth it to see people heading home with their own little unique piece of art.
All in all I think Kelly and the team did a fantastic job on their first event. It was so far removed from the usual stuff art meeting, instead it was fun and I think testament to the diverse and talented people we have in Aberdeen. The plans are coming together for the next event which will be held at The Anatomy Rooms in the next few weeks so follow the Art Hive facebook page to keep in the loop! Special thanks to the team for having me and also to Nicola Whyte for the photos.