Gather | Connect | Inspire 2016

Returning for a second year, GATHER | CONNECT | INSPIRE 2016 partnered with the Skye and Lochalsh Talent Development Initiative to produce a two-day event that showcased both the creative practices of those who had received talent development awards, alongside a variety of creative professionals working in innovative ways across a range of fields.

The symposium brought to a conclusion the talent development awards programme, which ran between 2014 – 16, as well as offering an opportunity for the wider creative community to gather and hear from inspiring people. As in the previous year, a range of workshops and one-to-one feedback sessions were open to the participants, to encourage professional development and offer an opportunity to expand creative networks.

Speakers in 2016 were:

MAKLab – a Glasgow-based design and manufacturing facility, which encourages social empowerment through making. Delphine Dalison, studio coordinator, gave an overview of the facilities offered whilst also offering participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience of a variety of fabrication kit, including 3D printers, laser-cutters and heat-presses.

Alec Farmer, founder of TRAKKE, a Scottish-based backpack and outdoor adventure kit manufacturer, gave an overview of creating a successful customer experience through engaging online creative content and thoughtful branding processes for creative companies.

Lucy Conway from Eigg Box, gave an insight into developing and nurturing creative communities in island locations and how to foster creative practices in remote rural environments.

Karl Jay-Lewin from Bodysurf Scotland, a small, innovative dance company based in Moray, spoke about creative multi-tasking and taking on multiple roles. Lewin also brought the successful Culture Café model to GATHER | CONNECT | INSPIRE, which encourages creative conversations in an informal setting.

The event saw a number of the talent development awardees give short presentations about the progression of their practices since receiving their awards – sharing an overview of the projects undertaken through the funding. These presentations allowed a collective understanding of the different ways that professional development has occurred as a result of this programme of funding.

Speakers included; Jennifer Carter Pearson a jeweller and design shop owner based in Portree; Rody Gorman, a poet and writer, based in Isle Ornsay; Katharine Barrington, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Ardvassar; and Liondsaidh Chaimbeul, a sculptor based in Kyleakin.

As part of the event this year there was also the opportunity to see the premier of Pillars of Place a new spoken word artwork by Ruth Barker commissioned by ATLAS Arts.