A few months ago my sister and I were sitting at our Mum's table after Sunday dinner trying to work out what we could do to help spread the message of Yes. We would canvass for sure, we could deliver leaflets for sure but what about trying to engage people in the debate on another level. Maybe on an entertaining and artistic level? We both love making art and crafts. How could we combine the two? The idea of an art exhibition where all the art was inspired by the idea of Scottish Independence could be great. But could it be done?
The next Saturday I set up a web page and took to twitter to test the waters. We just wanted to put a small indyref art show in Aberdeen, our home town. What would folk think? Over the course of one day I had 25 artists from all over Scotland asking how they could contribute. By Sunday it was over 40. This print of mine came to mind:
Those familiar with my original print will see
I've yessed it up...
Clearly the appetite was there and clearly this was not just a local thing anymore. We had emails from as far away as Barcelona and Nova Scotia. We had the artists. Now where could we show the art? Well I can't reveal that yet, but we're showing that art and you'll find out where in early June, but let's just say we're pretty sure that most Scots won't be a stone's throw from Aye Inspired, in some shape or form.
We then realised we needed funding. Here's what we needed to fund:
Banners and signs
An exhibition brochure
Presentation equipment like easels and stands
.....And more stuff we probably haven't even thought of yet.
People have been so generous already. We've 40% of our target and we reckon we can get most of the above. But we're struggling to cover that van lease to take our art to venues safely. And we've only 7 days left of our indiegogo funding left. And to be honest we feel slightly embarrassed asking because if you're for independence and have a few extra quid there are so many amazing organisations you could give it to:
Women for Independence (I'm the Aberdeen Exec for that, so yes please!)
Labour for Independence
The YES campaign
The Scottish Green party
So why spare a portion of that for us? Hmm, because I think we're trying to speak to folk who might not approach a Yes table, or want to engage on a purely political level. We want to speak to folk about art and ideas and why we're moved to create art that is inspired by what we want politically. Could a curious person stop by a free art exhibition and have a conversation that might make them think about voting yes, or at the very least start finding out more?
All revolutions have their art. There's a reason for that. It's effective and it hits parts of the brain that political conversation doesn't. We are already working together with the Yes campaigns, Labour for Indy and Women for Indy in Aberdeen and Shire who will be participating in our exhibitions, maybe the folk that come into see the free art might just end up taking a leaflet or Yes pin or two. Who knows?
Please help us reach the folk that might not take a leaflet but might just come in and appreciate a meaningful piece of art.
Gillian and Lindsay
Still meeting at Mum's kitchen table.....
You can contribute here;
Thank you to everyone who is making this show happen. Together we can achieve an independent Scotland.
Seagull by Lindsay Allardyce
Jaws and Iain Banks by Gillian Martin