I thought that the New Dynamics project in Kinlochleven was a great success as it worked on many levels within the community and also within the artistic context of the project brief.
The project would have benefited from lasting for longer than three months, as it was at this point that I was in a better position to work within the community. The main strength of the project was the freedom I had; there was no specific context, other then working with young people, which allowed me to really explore ideas with the participants. This freedom allowed me to bring in other members of the community to be involved with the project.
I worked on the project during the Youth Café nights at Kinlochleven Community Centre. I had the support there from the staff of the centre and the Social Inclusion Partnership worker Ben. Groups of young people engaged with the project and the video equipment at different sessions and several short videos were made. I also worked with members from the Phoenix Art Group, a group of retired artists who were keen to learn some digital imaging skills. The support and enthusiasm from the community was excellent and this was evident from the final event.
During the residency I worked with two assistants (trainees). Both the trainees learned video production skills and one has since gone to further these skills by studying video production at college in Glasgow. The idea of having an assistant was a great strength as skills where not only passed on but they where greatly useful within the production. I was very pleased with the outcome, which was reflected in the numbers that we had at the final event.
I do not think that I was utilised as an asset fully within the youth team and as a result I found that a percentage of the work that I was doing was straight youth work as opposed to working as an artist with the young people. This problem is not just with the youth team but is also inherent within this kind of project and is relative to the enthusiasm of the young people themselves but I feel that these two things are linked.
It would have been more ideal to be working with the young people not just within the short time of an evening at the youth club. Working within this environment was good for building up relationships with the young people but I found it hard to create times at the weekends or after school that the project could function within.
I got a hugely positive response from the participants and in the short amount of time that I was working with them the majority of the participants dedicated time and effort to the project.
During my time in Kinlochleven I created a body of images celebrating the villages history as the first place in the world to have electric street lighting.