Artist Kaya wants to chat on Bute

Bute Artist in Residence 2021 Kaya Fraser. Photographed by David P Scott

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An Artist in Residence on Bute is inviting residents of The Bush and Ballochgoy areas to give her a call as part of her new participatory artwork.

Perth-based Kaya Fraser was chosen by the Mount Stuart Trust as their Emerging AIR for 2021, an annual opportunity for a recent graduate to create a new socially engaged artwork in collaboration with communities living on the island.

The artist is asking participants to phone her, via a landline installed in the kitchen in her home, to give her an update on the everyday; how they are feeling and spending their time and to tell her what island life is like for them during more normal times. The conversations, Kaya hopes, will feel like the discussion that would usually evolve over a cup of tea or an evening pint.

Kaya, who begins her residency this month, will record the conversations which will be stitched together as a sound-based artwork called Milk + Two Sugars which will eventually be exhibited on the island for local audiences to engage with and listen to.

Over the last few weeks, invitations have been extended to the local residents (18+) in the communities of The Bush and Ballochgoy. To take part they need only call 01738 564867 armed with a ‘cuppa’ of their choosing.

The phoneline will be open to two people per day between 10am-5pm on Thursday March 11 and Friday 12th, Thursday March 18 and Friday 19th. An answer phone message will be available in between times for people to register their interest in taking part.

Kaya, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2020 with BA Hons First Class in Art and Philosophy in 2020, said: ‘I begin this residency with a strong nostalgic feeling of connection to Rothesay even though only knowing it through family anecdotes of holidays there. I hope this residency extends these memories into my own stories of the people and stories I come to meet.

‘With Milk + Two Sugars, I aim to extend these connections beyond a screen and focus on the house phone as my source of extension. I anticipate these oral histories will create an enticing sound landscape reverberated in public spaces for the very community that it captures. The work will also be available to call and hear via a phone number—extending off the island the essence of Bute, those who call it home.’

The residency, now in its third iteration, creating an opportunity for emerging artists, whose practice is rooted in social engagement.

The Contemporary Visual Art Programme is led by Sophie Crichton-Stuart and curated by Morven Gregor.