A rising star in Scottish art is showcasing her new work this autumn.
Perth-based artist Kaya Fraser – the Mount Stuart Emerging Artist in Residence for 2021 – will present a new exhibition this Autumn at the Discovery Centre on the Island of Bute.
Kaya was the successful artist chosen for an annual opportunity for a recent graduate to create a new socially engaged artwork in collaboration with communities living on Bute.
Milk + Two Sugars Please is the sound work that evolved from the socially engaged project of the same name earlier in the year. During the pandemic, the artist reached out to island participants to phone her, via a landline installed in her own kitchen on the other side of the country, to give her an update on everyday life.
Through these remote telephone conversations, the artist invited residents of two island housing schemes, the Goy and the Bush, to blether with her over a cup of tea.
The conversations, Kaya hoped, recalled discussions that would more usually evolve in a cafe or over an evening pint in ordinary times. Chatting to four residents Molly, Betty, Euan and Virginia, from the Bush, the Goy and Barone; a collaborative process led to the creation of the completed sound work. Their voices are combined with field recordings of the places each collaborator calls home.
Kaya, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2020 with BA Hons First Class in Art & Philosophy in 2020, said: ‘With Milk + Two Sugars, I aim to extend these connections beyond a screen and focus on the house phone as my source of extension. Via a phone in my kitchen, several conversations will be hosted over a cuppa and telling tales of everyday life from Brandanes of Ballochgoy and the Bush.
‘I anticipate these oral histories will create an enticing sound landscape reverberated in public spaces for the very community that it captures. The work will also be available to call and hear via a phone number—extending off the island the essence of Bute, those who call it home.
‘The sound work’s original purpose was to open dialogue and connection to the island’s essence and its people, something often overlooked because of its idyllic landscapes. The work begins with a cuppa tea and starts the day talking of the home’s day-to-day history through the conversations, be it the four walls, the scheme, the town, or the island. And some of the specifics these effects have on shaping our memories and place in a community.’
The residency, now in its third iteration, creates an opportunity for emerging artists, whose practice is rooted in social engagement.
The Contemporary Visual Art Programme is led by Sophie Crichton-Stuart and curated by Morven Gregor.
The call out for a fourth artist will be made in 2022.
Mount Stuart is an extraordinary Neo-Gothic mansion on the Island of Bute, sitting between Glasgow, Argyll and Ayrshire on the Firth of Clyde. Since 2001, this unorthodox building has provided both the inspiration and location for an acclaimed Contemporary Visual Arts Programme.
The programme enables the Trust to promote and facilitate interest in the contemporary visual arts and bring exhibitions of international standard to Bute and Argyll. Each exhibition is complemented by a programme of events, publications and educational activities.
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