2021 for us

In 2021, we turned 10! A decade of making the projects, telling the stories and working with incredible artists and communities across the UK and regularly dabbing our toes into taking work internationally. First and foremost — thank you to our trustees Lizzy Moriarty, Callum Madge, Sarah Cockburn and Tina Benepayo Andrews.

On 1st January we released a short film — Lone Wolves — which you can watch here. It’s six minutes long and it’s filmed on the beach where we go swimming. 

In January, February and March we ran tend to wellbeing — supporting Scottish-based freelance cultural leaders to spend time together learning and sharing experiences which developed their wellbeing toolkits for self-care and for supporting those they work with. The sessions were led by the brilliant Lou Platt from Artist Wellbeing and supported by Foundation Scotland, ensuring that the artists taking part were paid.

Our audio piece A Journey of a Home was presented by Activate Dorset.

In February we also ran time to respond, a curated residency with Dance Base Scotland supporting seven artist groups to make work, with funding for their time, equipment and access needs. Each day we met for a lunch conversation on various topics and the rest of the day the artists made work in their locale. The participants were able to call on the support of Beth Chalmers around recording and editing video, and of Louise Gregory for production and technical management.

In March we ran a FIELD conversational residency holding, facilitating and supporting 12 Scottish freelance artists and 15 cultural workers from RFOs. This was brilliant and difficult in equal measures, as everyone reeled from the impact of extended health measures. We listened lots and we learned buckets! The artists taking part were paid so they could spend this time thinking and reflecting on each other’s ideas! Huge thanks to Creative Scotland and the support of Tramway, Macrobert, Imaginate, The Workroom, Eden Court and Redbridge Arts for their support.

Our audio piece A Journey of a Home was presented by Cambridge Junction.

In April we were busy making a publication and we began work on My Land Your Land foregrounding stories of home directly from young people from migrant families. In partnership with The Bulgarian Educational and Cultural Centre Edinburgh and commissioned by Imaginate. 

Our audio piece A Journey of a Home was presented by Art Power San Diego, USA.

In May we finished making and premiered My Land Your Land at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as part of the ever-amazing Edinburgh International Children's Festival. We also hosted a one-off FIELD conversation On Value at Gateshead International Festival of Theatre. 

Our audio piece A Journey of a Home was presented by Duns Playfest.

In June we published FIELD Scotland: On Value (which you can buy here for a tenner). We also started detailed planning for the next FIELD in partnership with East Street Arts. Preparations were also in full swing for My Land Your Land at Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester — working with local young people to share their stories and hopes.

Meanwhile, we supported the original FIELD 2020 cohort so they could spend time mentoring one another, as well as keeping our FIELD Kitchen open. (You can buy the first FIELD publication here also for a tenner.)

In July we curated the group of artists for FIELD with Ingrid at East Street Arts, Leeds.

We also started work with people from St.Abbs and Eyemouth for our rural project Of Time and Place Berwickshire. 

In August we spent time in Leicester meeting more young people and making a local version of My Land Your Land for University of Leicester's Centennial, supported by Attenborough Arts Centre. Work with people from Berwickshire for Of Time and Place continued. We welcomed Leonor as our first Creative Assistant — a post we worked so hard to fundraise for.

In September 2021, we came together to host and facilitate 11 artists from North England for the first hybrid model of FIELD, with attendees in the space in Leeds and others taking part virtually. In partnership with East Street Arts, it was brilliant and revealing of the challenges we face. We again listened lots and learned buckets! All artists were paid and, where useful, accommodated in Leeds. The project was supported by Arts Council England, Unlimited, Leeds 2023, The Baltic, Lancaster Arts, Theatre in the Mill Bradford and ARC Stockton. 

Our audio piece A Journey of a Home was presented by Aberystwyth University.

In October we opened My Land Your Land at Attenborough Arts Centre, and we started Of Time and Place in the village of Stillington, North Yorkshire, commissioned by Rural Arts.

In November we premiered Of Time and Place with portraits of people from Stillington, St Abbs and Eyemouth. We ran two packed-to-the-rafters community events with food, drink and a crazy amount of laughter! It was electric! 

We also performed Near Gone at Home Manchester. It was also electric, being back in a theatre with a live audience after such a long time away!

Now, it’s December and this 10th year has been immense - we have listened and we have learned tonnes. This month we also welcomed Jyothi Giles to the team, initially producing Of Time and Place.

Throughout the year Kat supported eight artists with advice on applying for DYCP and Alister threw in a few mentoring sessions for pals in need of a sympathetic ear.

Across the year, there was also lots we didn’t manage to do, mainly because of the challenges of raising funds — from supporting multi-year projects to new roles within the organisation, there is lots we’ve wanted to use to extend our impact, improving creative sustainability. Some of that news came while we were delivering FIELD, which made it extra-poignant to support fellow artists. 

So, we are looking ahead and much uncertainty is up in the air for us and the whole sector. And we are absolutely knackered.

We are insanely grateful to all the support we have received from all those mentioned above and many more. For a decade we have stayed true to our values and that we celebrate daily. 

Dear friends, we are sending you love,

In solidarity,

Kat and Alister x