Sounding Boards and Landing Boards - Meg Miller and Kim Welch

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Meg Miller and Kim Welch ‘Sounding Boards and Landing Boards’

The Suttie Arts Space and The Small Gallery, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary 28 September – 17 November 2019


Published by Grampian Hospitals Art Trust Copyright Š 2020

Acknowledgements Amy Benzie Dr Leeane Bodkin (University of Aberdeen) Donna Briggs Eleanor Cheetham Mike Davidson Andrea De Monte Chris Freemantle (Gray’s School of Art) Heather Graham Alexandra McGregor Meg Miller Lynda Rennie Shane Strachan Stacey Toner (Moray School of Art UHI) Kim Welch University of Aberdeen Medical Illustration

Grampian Hospitals Art Trust Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZN 01224 552429 Grampian Hospital Art Trust grampian_hospitals_art_trust @GHATArt Registered Charity SC016910

Contents Introduction


Artist – Meg Miller


Artist - Kim Welch


In Conversation


Events Programme



Introduction In 2019 Grampian Hospitals Art Trust (GHAT) announced the first of its exhibition prize for new graduates from Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and Moray School of Art UHI in Elgin. Meg Miller and Kim Welch were awarded the opportunity to exhibit across both galleries, The Suttie Arts Space and The Small Gallery, in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The prize allows new graduates to have their first major exhibition after graduating. GHAT was invited to attend private viewings at both schools to award an artist with this exciting opportunity. Meg Miller and Kim Welch were awarded the opportunity to exhibit across both galleries in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, The Suttie Arts Space and The Small Gallery. The exhibition was the first exhibition of the new GHAT Amplify project, funded by Creative Scotland and The Rayne Foundation. Amplify is a focused project of ambitious participatory arts activity based in NHS Grampian (NHSG) hospital sites. The programme of work is designed to support GHAT’s vision – the pursuit of excellence in arts within healthcare practice, regionally integrated and embedded, nationally recognised and respected. The project will push the boundaries of cultural practice within the arts and health sector by investigating the key role of the artist in this context. The key goals of Amplify are to deliver a programme of tailored creative experiences, employ and empower professional artists, increase awareness of GHAT within NHSG users and establish new business practices and organisational knowledge to support GHAT’s sustainability. The core of Amplify is the provision of playful, quality creative programmes of art that enrich each staff, patient and visitor experience.



Meg Miller ‘Landing Board’ – A place to gather oneself. ‘Following on from my final year degree show at Grays School of Art I continue to draw from the insect and human worlds. A landing board at the entrance of your hive can provide a good opportunity to learn about your colony’s health and activities. Without one; injured, diseased and malformed bees often drop straight to the ground. Constructed from salvaged beehives, this new body of work has been specially created for Grampian Hospital Arts Trust.’ Meg Miller Meg describes herself as an artist, islander and beekeeper. Since graduating in Contemporary Arts Practice at Grays School of Art, Meg has moved back to Skye to continue her practice. Meg uses her intimate connection to Skye’s landscape, its nature, history and folklore, as well as an understanding of everyday life on the island to create work which encompasses sculpture, performance and printmaking.





Kim Welch ‘Sounding Board’ - A therapeutic space to bounce ideas around, a device to propagate opinions or test reactions. ‘My multi-media work is both an audio and visual representation of conceptual ideas. This body of work invites an exchange between artist and viewer, a conversation, a sounding board for new ideas to emerge. I include an interactive element in my work, which is completed through viewer participation. In my creative practice, I rely on site-specific elements to inspire my work, so a theme of health and wellbeing is reflected here where I am interested in the healing properties of therapeutic sounds. Following on from my degree show at The Moray School of Art, I explore new ways to showcase my work, with some pieces being exhibited for the first time, and others having been created specifically for Grampian Hospitals Art Trust.’ Kim Welch Since graduating from Moray School of Art UHI, Kim has relocated to Edinburgh. While studying in Moray, Kim was awarded the Historic Environment Scotland Micro Residency at Dallas Dhu Distillery and an internship with GHAT for the Resonate Disseminate Project. Kim is also a founding member of Orchard Road Studios in Forres. Kim is a multimedia artist whose work is both an audio and visual representation of conceptual ideas. Her work is a sounding board for artists and audience to create conversations from which new ideas emerge. Kim creates site-specific works influenced by the environment the work will be placed in. For this exhibition, Kim will create a therapeutic space to bounce ideas around and gather opinions through the use of audio-visual work, large scale drawings, and an interactive sounding board for the audience to write on.



Artists in Conversation - Meg Miller and Kim Welch Q - How valuable was the opportunity or experience to you/your career? Meg - This opportunity has been invaluable and very important for me as an emerging artist. This is my first major exhibition and it has enabled me to view my work in a new environment, this has been very inspirational. I am interested to learn how people here have responded to the work, has it caused any interest, does it have a calming effect as intended? The award itself stimulated me to produce a new collection of work and proved to be the springboard I needed to equip myself with new ideas. I hope it will provide me with the confidence to move into new artists endeavours as well as moving into a career as an independent professional artist. Kim - It was an excellent opportunity to be able to have an exhibition straight after graduating. I think it is very difficult leaving the security of art school and this exhibition offered a perfect starting point to focus on as an emerging artist. Q - How did you feel working with each other considering you had never met before? Meg - I think we were both very curious and interested in each other’s work from what we could see online. I try to trust in the creative process as much as I can and also trust that the people who chose us for this award had a bee’s eye view of our work and understood how our practises related to one another. I knew we were both working with sounds (therapeutic sounds). Then we met for a day to assist in the setting up of the exhibition and it was apparent to me that there was a symbiotic and complementary aspect to both our works. The gallery environment became almost a replica of my apiary with the willow and pallets and sounds of the trees, bee, the ocean and the rain.


Q - How did you find working within the context of healthcare/ hospital? Meg - I found working in the hospital very different from that of being there as a patient or visitor. I could see opportunities for creativity and how worthwhile it could be in this environment. I think hospitals/care centres benefit from the presence of the artwork. It seems an ideal venue in which to connect people at a deeper level (than the normal) to offer a form of complementary care through art, critical in times of anxiety perhaps. Kim - Having an art gallery within a hospital environment offered me the opportunity to present work that is site relevant and relates to health and wellbeing, so I found it a perfect space to exhibit. It fits with my creative practice. I am so pleased the interactive piece was so well received and everyone participated! Q - Did you realise the commission to your expectations? Meg - This opportunity exceeded my expectations. I was delighted to receive the award but had no inkling of what it entailed. I was just thrilled that someone had detected the healing element to my work at the degree show and decided to offer me this chance. The exhibition areas have provided the space and time which hopefully would have allowed people to take a moment out of their everyday concerns and allow themselves to be absorbed for a time into the natural world. Kim -The exhibition and everything that came along with it, all the expertise and help at installation was above and beyond any expectations. It has been such a wonderful experience. It was so much more than I ever expected!


Events Programme Afternoon Tea and Filming (University of Aberdeen Medical Illustration) Meg Miller and Kim Welch 24 October 2019, The Suttie Arts Space Papermaking Workshop Donna Briggs 7 November 2019, The Suttie Arts Space The Superpower of Looking workshop (University of Aberdeen Medical Humanities) Shane Strachan 8 November 2019, The Suttie Arts Space



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