This blog post has been written by Blueprint100 member, Agne, after receiving some funding from the Corra Foundation's 100 Disruptor's Fund through Blueprint100.
In October 2018 I received a funded opportunity from Blueprint100 to realize a project of my own. The funding was awarded to Bp100 by the Hunter Foundation which launched the ‘100 Disrupters’ competition to support the Year of Young People 2018 in Scotland. The foundation gave out 100 grants of £1000 each to individuals and groups who could positively disrupt Scotland and Bp100 divided their grant between 5 recipients. So that is how I got a chance!
My initial idea/interest was to talk with people and businesses of Dumfries and explore the relationship we have with the river Nith, out of which later I planned to produce a written publication of some sort that would be out there in the public. However after further discussion a more effective approach was agreed.
I spent the next two months of reading and reading and reading - until! I had collected a sizeable amount of information about the maritime history and current affairs of the river Nith. Now this is where I needed a helping hand and all of the found information (15 pages in total) was edited into brief yet effective sentences by Doonhammer writer-researcher Jimmy Russell. Together we extracted and arranged 55 disruptive notes to be printed separately.
Before going to the printers, we got a brilliant background design personally made for this project by Ellen Mitchell. You can check out more of her design work at Ellen Mitchell Design on Facebook. Her wavy design at the bottom of each note made it much more eye-catching and appealing to look at the notes.
And so the project came to the day of light! Myself and Jimmy went out one evening and attached the laminated notes with various facts about the Nith all along the river. This was my attempt to help people get to know the importance that the Nith once had for the prosperity of the town, and the role it still plays in our lives.
Alas, our joy about the completed project did not last long. Hard rain and strong winds of the early spring in Scotland meant most notes were ripped off the metal rails within two days. This was a short-lived Disruption…
However, all is not lost! The document containing my notes is still safe, which means there is a possibility for me to reprint and re-attach them along the river when fairer weather arrives.
Thus Disruption is merely delayed, and will continue from myself as well as the other four recipients of funding!
From this project I learned that collaboration is awesome, especially when seeking to bring about change (or disruption). My ordinary art practice tends to be independent and solitary, so the experience of working with a variety of others to develop and produce something was highly rewarding.
I also learned that you can never underestimate the importance of our river, nor can you underestimate the strength of wind. As Rowan Atkinson once fretted in a contribution to the Secret Policeman’s Ball: “Will this wind... be so mighty…?”