“You can do both!” Thoughts on art, politics + cultural policy

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 19.42.44“Don’t think of art and politics as separate parts of your life – you can do both”. These were the simple words of Katharine from The Stove in Dumfries that, in a few seconds, managed to make disparate bits of my life make sense. Our conversation took place at a thoroughly inspiring event – Art_Inbetween – at the newly refurbished Stove on Dumfries high street last week. Luckily for me, it was just one of a whole day full of provocative, compelling and exciting conversations with artists, performers, community workers and more.  Continue reading

On Lanark, creativity and our cultural cringe

Last night I went to see David Greig’s phenomenal theatre adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s epic novel Lanark. Afterwards David’s mum asked me what I thought. I was dumbstruck.  And not just because it was a brilliant piece of theatre but because I knew that if I started to talk about how I really felt, I’d burst into tears. With more time to think it over, here’s my thoughts on why Lanark made such an impact on me.

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To Biggar and beyond!

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale. It’s the Westminster constituency currently home to Scotland’s only Tory and it’s roughly the same size as Belgium. But those facts don’t tell you much about the area, its people and the issues they face. To find out what the constituency is really like, I accompanied Scottish Green Party candidate for the seat Jody Jamieson on a wee tour. Continue reading

On grief

me and Mike
me and Mike

This time three years ago I was keeping busy catching up with a different friend every night over a pint, coming to terms with the loss of a dear friend. Mike, a beautiful radge I met when I was 15 had been killed in a car crash and the loss was devastating to the huge number of people whose lives he’d been part of. Thinking about him this year on the anniversary of the accident, it struck me that then, as now, I’d spent the weeks before Christmas running on adrenalin, keeping busy, coping, being with others who’d been part of his life. This year I’ve been busier than ever, spinning a lot of plates and trying to give as much time as I can, not just to my close friends but to the people I’ve met through the last couple of years of campaigning for a Yes vote. Continue reading