Saturday afternoon saw the Central Library Mezzanine buzzing as our friends from #artcore took over the Music Library to celebrate National Libraries Day.
#artcore is an Edinburgh-wide youth arts project based at Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith. #Artcore employs 4 creative apprentices and we asked them to devise, produce and deliver a takeover to showcase the great work that had been done by #artcore groups over the last year. The apprentices did a fantastic job of planning and organising a fun, buzzy event that incorporated digital technology, music, theatre, animation, illustration, publishing and creative writing over three action-packed hours!
The team had been preparing all week but setup began in earnest on Friday evening when Ally and Mark got the PA set up, with everyone out of the building at 5 we were able to fire up the speakers and let rip!
The following morning everyone arrived early to set up and dress the Mezzanine for the Takeover. Bethany and Nikki had worked hard on producing this beautiful Takeover guiding using the RisoPrinter at Out of the BluePrint (a print service run by #artcore). The Riso was at the heart of the takeover as it also produced the beautiful poster (designed by Out of the Blue Print trainee Ellis) as well as the zine Opposable Thumbs which showcased the phenomenal talent of #artcore comic artists. #artcore groups can get great discounts and access valuable training opportunities in printing, design and publishing and other community groups can use this affordable print facility.
The team had also made beautiful bunting for the day and by the time the Library opened at 10am there was a real sense of anticipation that we were in for something special.
As the morning wore on more and more young artists began to arrive, excited about their performances and showcasing their work. We kicked off at 12.30 with ProkFiscal (Joe Powers) playing his first ever gig and making a beautiful Japanese influenced sound piece based on music he found from the library collection. ProkFiscal’s chiming melodies rang out over the PA to a projected looped images selected by the #artcore team from our Capital Collections database. Our Friday Animation group turned up to run an open studio and left behind a half hour showcase of work they’ve produced over the last 6 months.
Malky Duff and Colin McGuire both ran Zine/Comic and Creative Writing Drop-in sessions over the afternoon, this was to give people a flavour of what they could expect if they joined an #artcore group in the library or at Out of the Blue.
#artcore commissioned Graeme McKellaig to be artist in residence for the day and he spent the time exploring the collections and using his single-line technique to create beautiful illustrations of the building and the people visiting the library during the day.
Emma Milligan and Julia Hart both played beautiful, short acoustic sets before we were joined by a slew of young talent from Totally Sound and ReelMedia. All the performers did a great job, mastering their nerves and turning in some spellbinding performances as young people captured photos, video and audio of the event. Thanks to Totally Sound for coming along and contributing to such a positive and supportive atmosphere, we look forward to seeing you again (people were overheard talking about how “minted” the Mezzanine space looked!). The music continued with #artcore DemoLite project winners Sight of Mind, now a duo, playing newly minted material for an appreciative audience.
In the Acoustic Pod David and Phil from Edinburgh Libraries’ Carnegie UK Innovation funded Digital Toybox project were building miniature synths and demo’ing Lego Mindstorms kits that being piloted in Morningside, Drumbrae and Moredun Libraries, visitors had dub sirens, alien noises and delays burbling and buzzing and whirring throughout the afternoon.
There was also a display of generative and 3d artwork from FreeMachines, an #artcore project based in Granton Library. People were amazed by the disorientating virtual reality worlds created by the group and viewable through Cardboard, a simple, low tech virtual reality headset!
We were then joined by #artcore partners Creative Electric, a theatre group from the Bongo Club. Mark Hannah performed some fantastic monologues adapted from Alan Bissett’s “Boyracers”- dynamic performance and original sound design made for an electric performance.
The day ended as we began with ProkFiscal djing grime instrumentals and some roaring drum and bass, the music was loud and the library felt like it had been well and truly taken over!
In 2016 and the year of Architecture Design and Innovation Scottish Libraries want young people to ReaDiscover what’s available in libraries, as you can see below, we were delighted to work with #artcore to let young people take charge and share their amazing work.
#artcore is a partnership between 13 arts organisations across Edinburgh including Edinburgh City Libraries and Out of the Blue, it is funded by Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Development Fund Time to Shine.