We work with mid-career visual artists who have an international track record, though we are increasingly working with artists at different stages of their careers. We support them to produce new work, providing a context for them to try ideas they might have been developing or nurturing for a while, which may also respond to our building, location or some aspect of our rural context. We stage solo presentations of their work that are free to the public, and we strive to bring those exhibitions into close connection with our local communities and place through engagement and outreach work.
We are committed to film exhibition and to working alongside other film exhibitors in our region to boost provision for audiences who are rurally based and often under-served. Our programme includes a wide-ranging selection of cultural film, including material that has limited circulation or availability in the UK and in Scotland. We select material centred around people, communities or places that are often under-represented within more mainstream cinema, an approach that takes on additional resonance in light of our own remote rural base. Where possible, we enhance our screenings through conversations with directors or responses from invited contributors, providing additional context for our audiences and opportunities to hear from filmmakers or commentators directly.
We work closely with our local academy, and each year we employ a small group of local young people (age 17-18) who receive professional mentorship and help to deliver our exhibition and engagement programme as part of their wider achievement. In 2020-21 and 2021-22, their mentorship has focused around access and accessibility and has included audio description and captioning training. They have produced resources for us, including audio descriptions and range of recorded content, and creative activities for families. Our 2022-23 Young Assistants will also undertake communications awareness training and an introductory BSL course.
We organise programmes of workshops that offer opportunities for creative access and participation, with a particular emphasis on attracting those in our surrounding communities. Our workshop programme typically connects with our exhibitions, although increasingly we have begun to offer workshops that reflect seasonality and take place in our adjacent green space and in the surrounding landscape as well as in our building. In 2022 we are piloting an outdoor programme over spring-autumn, which includes creative short distance walks led by artists. We also undertake outreach work related to our exhibition programme in our local schools, and in 2021 we piloted the development of a series of home activity packs and resources inspired by our exhibition and outdoor programmes, which we shared through various local community partners and settings