In 2016, I co-founded the 56° Collective. We are a group of artists and designers based in Angus, Scotland who came together through a shared love of making, creating and a desire to generate opportunities to engage with folk who like the kind of stuff we make. We do this by organising pop-up galleries, running workshops and initiating activities to engage with the wider community. Our activities are inclusive and we positively encourage other makers to get in touch about getting involved in future events – we want to create opportunities for artists to come together, to work together, to learn together and to sell together.
Throughout May 2017, we presented Pop-up Angus – a series of pop-up galleries across three Angus towns: Forfar, Arbroath and Kirriemuir. The events took place in artists’ studios as well as on the high street and showcased a diverse mix of 25 artists and designers from across Angus and Tayside. The inaugural event kicked-off in my studio and continued the following weekend in Arbroath at the studio of ceramicist, Fran Marquis, and cumulated in a week-long Pop-up Gallery at The Wendy House in Kirriemuir. This exciting event demonstrated the wealth of homegrown talent dispersed across the beautiful county of Angus – brought together in three easy-to-reach locations. It offered visitors the chance to meet the makers and buy original artwork and hand-made items at affordable prices.
The 56° Collective are an eclectic mix of highly skilled creative makers – from textiles, glass and ceramics to jewellery, drawing and painting. Together we have a wealth of expertise, knowledge and many years of experience as successful freelance practitioners. We met through successful shared experiences of open studios and pop up galleries. Eager to capitalise on the current appetite for self-generated selling opportunities, we decided to take matters into our own hands.