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Recording in AN TOBAR’s performance space

Contents Aims

page 5


page 6

Live Music

page 9

Visual Arts

page 13

Creative Learning

page 16

2008 in Numbers

page 19

a creative space at the heart of the community

Teenage Rock Band backstage at AN TOBAR 4

Aims To be a creative space at the heart of this island community, supporting and presenting outstanding artistic practice in music, visual arts and crafts. Supporting Artists AN TOBAR provides creative space, professional support and public platforms for artists to create and present ambitious new work in a intimate context. Developing Audiences AN TOBAR promotes an innovative programme of exhibitions, performances, events and workshops, to nurture both existing and new audiences. Enhancing Skills AN TOBAR builds partnerships between artists and the wider community, enabling people of all ages and abilities to work and learn alongside creative professionals. Strengthening Communities AN TOBAR provides access to a diverse range of high quality artistic and cultural experiences, strengthening the community by stimulating cultural and economic activity. Stimulating Tourism AN TOBAR enhances visitor experience by providing an authentic context in which to experience contemporary Scottish culture.


Overview AN TOBAR hosts around 40 live music events and up to 12 exhibitions each year. It runs a programme of residencies, commisions and workshops bringing artists into the community and supporting them in producing new work. Having gone through a period of consolidation over the last four years, with increases in programme, staffing and administration, AN TOBAR is a learning organisation, building on its successes and developing new ways of working with artists, audiences, communities and staff. With a growing profile, AN TOBAR has continued to work steadily during this time, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from both artists and audiences alike. The organisation is a Scottish Arts Council Foundation client, with core funding secured until 2011. Additional funding coming from a number of other trusts and grants including the Robertson Trust and the Performing Rights Society.


engaging people in the arts

Local residents get involved with There is a Tide by artist, Clare McNiven 7

‘an unexpected treasure in a remote place’ - audience member

Broken Records on stage at AN TOBAR 8

Live Music Throughout the year, AN TOBAR has brought a huge range of quality musicians to perform on Mull and Iona. We have held performances across the island at AN TOBAR, as well as in Bunessan, Fionnphort, Iona, and the Aros Hall in Tobermory. Throughout the year we held 47 gigs and welcomed audience members to a huge range of music including jazz, folk, traditional, classical, electronica and pop. Attendance from under 18s grew during 2008, partly due to the success of the rock band workshops and guitar classes led by Oban musician Finlay Wells which continued throughout the school year.


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Box Club Beck Sian Mr McFall’s Chamber Fraser Fifield Jenna Cumming The Lauren MacColl Trio Luke Daniels Donald Grant Iain Thomson A Band Called Quinn Colin MacIntyre Duncan Chisholm Ivan Drever GiveWay Rachel Hair Joy Dunlop Lori Watson and Rule of Three Nuala Kennedy Zoey van Goey Iona Marshall Sam Sedgwick Vitamin T Outside Track Kirsty McGee Jo Mango Fraser Fifield Graeme Stephen Blazin’ Fiddles Sax Ecosse Kevin Mackenzie Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham Scottish Ensemble The House Sisters Broken Records The Mending Hearts Trio King Creosote Pip Dylan MacGregor, O’hEadhra & Brechin Injuns Moishe’s Bagel Catriona Macdonald Dave Milligan

Islands written by Donald Grant & Luke Daniels performed in AN TOBAR March 2008

AN TOBAR, along with a number of other UK venues, co-commissioned a new work from Scottish classical violinist Donald Grant and English accordionist Luke Daniels. The project, Islands, brought together 9 young players to perform the exciting new piece along with a varied programme of work. ALBUM RELEASES

December 2008 saw the release of two albums both recorded and produced at AN TOBAR. Shops by the Dave Milligan Trio and An Tobar by fiddle player O’Rourke.


During the second half of 2008, Colin MacIntyre (formerly Mull Historical Society) spent time in AN TOBAR recording and producing his new album, Islands for release in 2009.


‘everyone has said it already - wonderful’ - gallery visitor

Installation view from Willow Works by basketmaker Lise Bech 12

Visual Arts Connecting the community through creativity lies at the heart of AN TOBAR’s visual arts policy. During 2008 we have hosted 6 exhibitions in the main exhibition space showcasing work from artists internationally, nationally and locally, bringing work of the very highest quality into our small community. In our smaller spaces we have promoted the work of new graduates, local artists and makers through providing exhibitions, retail space and development opportunities. AN TOBAR aims to collaborate with other artistic institutions and groups in programming a broad range of work. In 2008 we worked with Limousine Bull, Taigh Chearsabhagh, and the Ingleby Gallery to bring work from across Scotland to our audiences, both local and visiting. In conjunction with our exhibitions we programme related events & workshops giving audiences further insight into the work and a chance to exercise their own creative talents! (See ‘Creative Learning’).


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NEXUS Group Show (from Limousine Bull) 5 August - 30 September 2008

Willow Works Lise Bech (from The Hill House) 5 August - 30 September 2008

Fragility of Flight Keith MacIntyre & Karen Wimhurst (from Taigh Chearsabagh) 5 June - 31 July 2008

Authentic Tidings of Invisible Things (from Ingleby Gallery) Garry Fabian Miller 5 August - 30 September 2008

CARAVAN Veronica Slater (an AN TOBAR project) 14 October - 13 November 2008

There is a Tide Claire McNiven 18 November - 31 December 2008

There is a Tide was an exhibition of newly commissioned work by Argyll-based artist, Clare McNiven. The exhibition was funded by the Reflections from the Well project in 2007 which raised money to support a local artist in the development of new work and ideas. The exhibition is touring to Taigh Chearsabagh in North Uist in 2009.

There is a Tide was accompanied in our second space by a video piece from Islay artist, Charlotte Hannett. A recent graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone Art College, Dundee, Charlotte’s work explores the journeying to and from her island home.


Creative Learning AN TOBAR is committed to education and participation and sees the arts as a vital component of sustainable community development. The building includes two dedicated educational spaces, one for art and the other for music which are used regularly for programmed events and more informally by community groups, organisations and individuals. Our educational programme strives to employs local artists as workshop leaders and facilitators as well as bringing in artists and educators from away to provide new perspectives on the work and programme. Our visual arts programme includes work dedicated to the development of local artists and makers, incorporating a register of artists and makers across Mull & Iona, a distributed leaflet highlighting their work and advice and assistance with the development of their practice.


‘we liked learning about the birds, and making the models was good too! ‘ - primary school participant

Origami workshop at local primary school led by artist, Dawn Reade 17

CREATIVE LEARNING HIGHLIGHTS Rock Band Workshops We hold weekly rock band workshops for teenagers during term time led by Oban based musician Finlay Wells. In 2008 bands formed through this scheme have performed in AN TOBAR and at the Corran Halls in Oban. Origami Workshops In conjunction with the exhibition, Fragility of Flight, local artist Dawn Reade went into primary schools around the island discussing the exhibition and links with local wildlife and engaging them in creating their own origami birds. Scottish Ensemble: Ceol Rama AN TOBAR was pleased to support the Scottish Ensemble education programme in bringing their project, Ceol Rama, to Mull. The project focused on introducing children to the Gaelic language through song, stories and music. Basketmaking Workshops Ayrshire-based basket maker, Lise Bech, worked with a number of adults, learning about the history of weaving and developing basket making techniques, each participant producing a finished basket. Community Activities AN TOBAR’s spaces are also used by a number of community groups and classes. In 2008 the performance room, art room and music room as well as the cafe space have been used regulalry by: • Writing Workshops • Mull Film Club • Lino Cutting Workshops • Young Musicians of Mull • Mull Theatre • Argyll College • Toddlers Art Group • Book Group


2008 in numbers

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live performances in AN TOBAR

exhibitions in the main gallery


ÂŁ160000 annual turnover


creative learning participants.

external events promoted across Mull, Iona and Argyll


12,000 visitors

providing space and facilities for local community groups and organisations




12 events for Mull

Film Club, bringing independent world cinema to Mull.

Over 150

bed nights

generated for the local economy from artists and musicians alone.


of income generated from project fundraising, donations, ticket sales and retail



tickets sold for events


local artists work displayed 19

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Janet Nelson (Chair) Guiliana Ashford Norah Campbell Matthew Dalziel Patricia Sands John Weir Marcus Wilson (Non-executive) STAFF Gordon Maclean DIRECTOR Lee Hendrick VISUAL ARTS OFFICER Joanna Caskie BUILDING MANAGER Jane Wilde MARKETING OFFICER (p/t) Adrian Lear MARKETING OFFICER (p/t) Ester Nailen CAFE MANAGER

AN TOBAR The Tobermory Arts Centre Argyll Terrace Tobermory Isle of Mull PA75 6PR T: 01688 302211 E: W:

AN TOBAR is grateful for support from


Registered Scottish charity number 023726

AN TOBAR Annual Report 2008  
AN TOBAR Annual Report 2008  

Annual Report 2008 from The Tobermory Arts Centre