After six years at the helm Carol Sinclair stepped down as AAS Chair at the AGM 2021 handing over the role to former Vice Chair Lynne Hocking-Mennie.
Although Carol tried to gloss over her many years of work for the organisation Lynne spoke for everyone when she said “We want to say a massive thank you for all that you’ve done to bring the organisation to the position it is in now as you hand it over to the new Board. This is in a large part due to the back breaking work that you’ve been doing over the last few years as well as the team that you’ve surrounded yourself with to help support it so a massive thank you.
“It’s not really a goodbye though as Carol is still heavily involved with a lot of the work that we’re doing and will continue to be involved as an Advisor.”
Looking to the future Lynne said “We’re in an amazing place to build and keep moving. Applied Arts Scotland has always been a really collective organisation. Everything that we’re doing we do with kind of a spirit of mutualism, reciprocity, and it is always foremost for the benefit of our making community. So anyone with good ideas, anything that you want to talk to us about, we’re here and our doors are open.”
Three new Members were welcomed to the Board at the AGM – Amy Dunnachie, Jeni Reid and Carrie Fertig – and here is an insight into their practices and aims for their time on the Board.
Amy Dunnachie, based on the Isle of Jura, said “I am a socially engaged artist and maker and my practice very much looks into the contemporary identities of Islanders. I work with people day in and day out. I studied at Glasgow School of Art to do jewellery and silversmithing and still practice as a jeweller. I definitely see the things that I make as very informed by the community that I’m part of on Jura, using narratives and stories and culture and everything that we experience as Islanders. What I hope to achieve by working with the board is a collective voice for the Islanders, for the island makers and artists. And I would take so much pleasure in collecting the views and ideas of Islanders as much as I can to try and form that network and bring that to national level.”
Jeni Reid, who lives in the northeast of Angus, explained “One of the things I love about this is how mixed we all are in terms of location because as a rural artist and maker it’s quite hard sometimes to feel that you’re involved in things. Now I listen to people from the islands and all over Scotland not just Glasgow and Edinburgh and it’s really lovely to feel involved rather than peripheral. I’m a photographer and I do digital photography and alternative process photography, which is what they used to do before film photography. I’m interested in the making communities working group, I think everything I do starts on a kind of basis of sustainability equity. I’m trying to help develop conversations with people who don’t normally get to talk. That’s reflected in the work I do and hopefully it’ll be reflected in the non artistic work that I do on the Board.”
Carrie Fertig completes the trio, and said “I come to Applied Arts Scotland through the DISTANCE project and I’m very keen to be part of a really, really exciting community and Board for craft. I worked for Craft Scotland for six months in 2018. I am a maker and a visual artist working in performance, video, sound installation and sculpture and almost all of my work is participatory and with my artists’ hat on, I often work on very deep issues like making compelling environments in which to die and forgiveness. I collect stories and providing a safe, compelling atmosphere is kind of how I get to do this and that’s why Craft Scotland hired me to actually interview makers and places where craft is sold and get a better understanding of how craft is being sold today.
“I used to live in Caithness. I’m American and I’ve been in Britain since 2003. I was Edinburgh based for a long time, but because of the pandemic I’m now in southern Aberdeenshire. I used to be chair of the Scottish Glass Society and exhibitions officer and spent a lot of time there getting juries together to up our game and up the game of all of our members. One of the most exciting things was having the head of glass and ceramics of the V&A come up to me and ask to purchase a member’s work during the private view of one of our exhibitions. I’m really interested in social engagement, sustainability, selling, fundraising, grant applications and exhibitions and I often work on extremely long term multi-year projects.”