Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wigtown Book Festival - Artist in Residence

With over 150 events across 10 days, Wigtown Book Festival is one of the largest art events in Scotland, even though it is located in a remote town near the Southern tip of Scotland.

Over the past couple of years, they have teamed up with the organisers of the open studio event, Spring Fling, to install an Artist-in-Residence for the duration of the Festival.

And this year they have chosen me!

So from September 23rd to October 2nd, I will be taking photos of residents, visitors and attending authors – in fact anyone who will allow me to point my camera at them.

I’ve been given a space in "The Hut" behind ReadingLasses café and bookshop, where I will be printing out the photos and pinning them to the walls. As the festival progresses, so the room should fill up with faces.

Unlike my participation in Spring Fling back in May, I won’t be confining myself to a studio space to take the photos, but will also be out and about on the street and venues, photographing whoever I can, and hopefully engaging in conversation with people about what I’m up to, and what books they are reading. Indeed, my hope is to be able to scribble on the photo of most faces going up on the wall, "Currently reading…" or "Favourite genre..." My guess is there will be very few people who will conform to stereotype.

It’s going to take a fair amount of planning to ensure I can fit in taking photos, editing, printing and pinning them to the wall, as well as attending events, having The Hut open for a couple of hours each day, and finding time for an afternoon nap...

It’s also going to be something of a psychological trial, as I will have to overcome a natural reluctance to go up to complete strangers and ask if they mind having their photo taken.

Scary?

Of course.

Challenging?

Without doubt.

Exciting?

Absolutely.

For a copy of the Wigtown Book Festival brochure, which includes a list of all the events, the times and the venues, either click on the following link or right-click and select “Save link as…” to download it to your own computer:
http://www.wigtownbookfestival.com/pdfs/WigtownBookFestival2011.pdf

21 comments:

Guyana-Gyal said...

I always smile when I read about your reluctance to walk up to strangers to ask them to take their photo. Because I picture you as this chatty person :-)

Kim Ayres said...

Guyana_Gyal - I am a very chatty person, but I don't like to impose on anyone without permission.

angryparsnip said...

ack... what great news.
I was so intrigued with what you did in your studio at Spring Fling. This is an idea that just keeps growing.
Wonderful.

cheers, parsnip

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Brilliant News!

Kim Ayres said...

Parsnip - I just think there's something amazing about faces and the ida of being in a room full of them - not masks, but real faces that you're allowed to look at without causing embarrassment :)

Gillian - thank you :)

Pat said...

Kim as you approach anyone just give them the smile that greeted me in Minehead and you'll have no worries:)

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - thank you - have I told you recently how lovely you are?

At least my new crown has now been fitted in the gap in my teeth :)

Carole said...

Congrats on the artist in residence job. I would hate walking up to strangers too, but your voice should lull them into a false sense of security. In no time at all they will be having fun and want to be your best friend.

Mimi and Tilly said...

Kim ,you are on fire! This is fantastic news. I'm so pleased for you. I'm really looking forward to seeing who you find to photograph. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog earlier in the week. It made such a difference to know my blog friends were rooting for me. Em :)

Ponita in Real Life said...

That's very exciting, Kim! Excellent news and I look forward to seeing some of your photos when all is said and done. Enjoy!!

Falak said...

Congrats Kim!

I'm sure you'll hardly have problems getting strangers to like you :)

todd carr said...

I have social phobias also.....I have a friend who takes pictures of the unassuming public in grocery & department stores, he's had some run's where the police have even been called.

hope said...

Three things:

Congrats: on your good news, which is beneficial to your community as well..to be able to say they have such a talented citizen.

I'd be glad to: loan you my Mom. I swear she doesn't know the term "stranger" as she'll talk to anyone about anything. Embarrassed the crap out of me as a kid.

Thanks: for introducing me to blurb.com. Hubby had a book idea once that I teased him no one would be interested in. And yet, as a silly anniversary gift, I was able to compile that book thanks to you and blurb.

allencapoferri said...

Sounds fun!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

From another weidie beardie
Great stuff. Love your blog, real fame, not like my oap rambling!

Mary Witzl said...

This is just great, Kim -- what an honor. We know ReadingLasses well and have had a few pleasant visits there, perusing their books and drinking coffee. Wish we could go to this too and see you in action!

Charlie said...

Congratulations to such a talented "bloke".

People are touchy about cameras today. You have those surveillance cams, and there are a lot of pervs looking for voyeur shots with their camera phones.

But you are neither, you have an excellent soothing voice, and I think you'll charm festival goers.

Unless, that is, you jump on their backs like a chimpanzee.

Pat said...

No pokes. Hope all well.

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - you have more faith in me than I do...

Emma - part of my pitch was I would be putting photos up on a blog each day. I've yet to decide whether to put them on this one or create a blog especially for the 10 days of the festival. And Sorry I've not been by recently, but have only just got back from a holiday on Skye today. Will be catching up on blogs over the next few days :)

Ponita - thank you :)

Falak - a lot of people are reluctant to have their photo taken - even more so by a stranger - so it's not going to be easy...

Todd - I know of some photographers that will stick their cameras in the faces of strangers, go click, and walk off, neither asking for permission, nor explaining. Personally I think that's outrageous. Besides, for me portrait photography is about the intereation between the person and the photographer, so there has to be a connection.

Hope - 1 - thank you :) 2 - I'll happily take lessons! 3 - Wonderful! :)

Allen - on a good day it does, on a bad day it sounds terrifying...

Ken - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment :)

Mary - following Eryl's example, I might be trading some photography for food at ReadingLasses

Charlie - I keep back jumping in reserve for those who try and get away without talking to me...

Pat - it is, and we're all safely back from Skye, thank you :)

David Mark Williams - Poet said...

Hey, Kim, that's wonderful news. A brilliant and well-deserved achievement. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Kim Ayres said...

Mark - thank you - and yes, I'm sure I will call on you for help :)