Project Co-ordinator Linda Grant is a former journalist, author and lecturer with Perth College, who returned to Perthshire from Lincolnshire with husband Ian three years ago, to re-establish their arts project Generating Opportunity CIC with a Scottish base.
Linda has also worked in business development with a large charity and is committed to the value and importance of the creative arts for wellbeing.
‘Having previously worked with lots of community-based projects, it has been a joy to re-establish connections, including with artist June McEwan, who has brought such energy and imagination to this project.’
Ian, our videographer and filmmaker, is in his happy place in front of a screen. He has had an eclectic career, including farming and managing a potato business, but has always been drawn to all things technical, including being a helicopter pilot for a while.
A keen musician and photographer, Ian has embraced the technical challenges of film production and editing, which has enabled Generating Opportunity to deliver our arts and reminiscence project to Care Homes and care and support groups remotely, through use of our website and YouTube channel.
He has also become a keen researcher in tracking down and exploring archive material to support our clients’ filmed stories and reminiscences.
After gaining a Bachelor of Arts from Dundee Art School, Crieff-based community artist June McEwan has worked in a variety of media, being presented at several exhibitions; establishing herself as a practitioner for community art projects and cementing a career as a working artist capable of meeting almost every challenge.
June’s approach to murals has ensured plenty of commissions, creating a sense of pride and ownership in many communities, including commissions from National Children’s Homes, Scottish Natural Heritage, Bell’s Sports Centre and Murray Royal Hospital, Perth.
In 1998, June was employed by Historic Scotland to help return part of Edinburgh Castle to its former glory. This involved research into 17th century heraldry techniques, resulting in an extensive painted mural viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors. This led to other historic recreative mural work in, for example, the Tower of Hallbar (Lanarkshire), Raeshaw Lodge (Borders) and the Abbot’s Tower (Dumfriesshire).
In celebration of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, June created 14 seven-feet-high willow golfers, placed around Perthshire. This led to her creating further willow sculptures, which have appeared in spots around Scotland and beyond, including a herd of full-sized Highland cattle. June created the Crieff Arts Festival in 2013 and has overseen projects as diverse as a world record attempt for the longest bunting, covering the town in poppies and pom-poms, knitting bombs, ukulele flash mobs, exhibitions, concerts and happenings.
Lynn is an accomplished photographer who has lived in Strathearn for many years
and led and participated in many community-based arts projects in addition to running her own photography studio and advertising and marketing business.
‘Always to be found with some form of camera in my hands, I'm known locally as the Strathearn Snapper. I love nothing more than to be in amongst the various community activities happening in my area, documenting them through photographs or by making short quirky videos, many of which can be found on my YouTube channel or Facebook page,’ says Lynn
Lynn is the official photographer for community event, including the Comrie Fortnight, Comrie Flambeaux Parade and Crieff Arts Festival. She also works part-time as a reporter / photographer for The Strathearn Herald and is part of the Willow Works studio team in Crieff.
Perth-born Bruce Shaw studied art as a mature student, graduating with BA Hons Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee University in 2009.
Although still based in Perth he now works as a self-employed artist from the Wasps studios in Dundee producing artworks in the media of drawing, painting and printmaking. Since 2009 he has won awards and exhibits regularly and widely with several galleries across Scotland.
He has also worked since 2010 as a lead artist delivering art projects in the creative wellbeing sector with THAT (Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust), Perth and Kinross Council, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, and currently facilitates art workshops and classes within the community for PCCC (Perth Creative Community Collaborative) supported by NHS Move Ahead.
PlaidSong are a Perthshire duo who specialise in performing songs and telling the history associated with each one.
Dr Nicky Small is a professional historian with expertise in Scottish noblewomen and Jacobite history. She has sung and performed in many shows and concerts over the years. Syd House is a retired professional forester based in Perthshire. He has sung and played guitar in a number of folk groups.
Syd & Nicky have performed together for years, forming PlaidSong in 2017 to showcase their shared love of history and traditional Scottish music.
Dundee-based Alison Carrie is an enthusiast of all things jute. As a textile worker, researcher and now author, she lives and breathes her local history and arts landscape in relation to jute and has recently
published ‘If these wa’s cuid talk’ – a history of Dundee’s Jute mills.
A self-taught artisan crafter, Alison specialises in handmade vegan jewellery and accessories. We love her film: ‘How to make a Jute Bracelet,’ which resonates with remembrances of French knitting for some of our participants…and some of us have been making bracelets ever since.
Multi-disciplinary artist and maker Rhona Jack, who lives and works in Dundee, has made our ‘How to do Weaving’ film.
Rhona, who has exhibited widely within Scotland, Canada and the USA, is a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and has enjoyed several residencies, winning the Glenfiddich Residency Award in 2018, and also the Glasgow Print Studio Award in the same year.
Alongside her studio practice, Rhona runs workshops and participatory projects with adults and children, teaching textile techniques and encouraging the use of scrap materials
Artist, graphic designer and freelance illustrator Elaine Maher has made our film ‘How to paint using Watercolours.’
Elaine has facilitated many community projects during lockdown, often in partnership with Scrapantics social enterprise and scrap store in Dundee, who have kindly supported Generating Opportunity CIC with recycled materials too.
One of these projects was the creation of a banner mural with students from Dundee and Angus College’s ‘After College Hours’ group which was displayed across different venues in Dundee as part of their #greenhealthweekdundee initiative. She also designed origami stars for Dundee’s festival of light for children and families to decorate and hang in their windows.
Dundee-based Deborah Chapman (often accompanied by her puppet Little Debz) uses the medium of puppetry alongside art, drama and film-making in delivering workshops to young people, adults and families, that have an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing.
HowItFelt made our film ‘Letters to my Younger Self,’ to encourage reminiscence and reflection and as Deborah herself points out, it can also be an interesting idea for young people to write letters to their older selves too. The use of puppets adds a lovely extra dimension to her work, which encourages and stimulates different ways of communicating.
Sarah, who runs a small business, Ragged House, Raggedhouse.etsy.com loves to work with re-purposed textiles. She often uses traditional techniques such as rag working and punch needle embroidery, to make something beautiful and unique for the home.
Sarah’s cute hedgehog patterns, using hessian, have recalled rag rugging for many of our participants and created a lot of fun and enjoyment – hence their important role in our exhibition! Check out the film she made for us: ‘How to make a Rag Rug and Hedgehog.’