New Scriptorium Residencies announced!

Welcome to our 2024 summer residents –

  • Scottish Poetry Library Local – Lesley Harrision
  • Scottish Poetry Library Distance – Shane Strachan
  • Lakes International Comics Art Festival – Carys Boughton
  • Local Any Art Form – Aaron McCarthy and Rosie McGregor

Lesley Harrison

Lesley Harrison lives and works on the Angus coastline. In her poetry and prose she examines our location at the temperate edge of a much colder northern world, and our tentative human process of using language to build the place we live. Her recent collection, Kitchen Music (Carcanet/New Directions) is currently long-listed for the Highland Book Prize. Previous collections include Beyond the Map (Mariscat) and Disappearance (Shearsman), which follow the route of the North Sea whalers into the polar seas.Lesley Harrison lives and works on the Angus coastline. In her poetry and prose she examines our location at the temperate edge of a much colder northern world, and our tentative human process of using language to build the place we live. Her recent collection, Kitchen Music (Carcanet/New Directions) is currently long-listed for the Highland Book Prize. Previous collections include Beyond the Map (Mariscat) and Disappearance (Shearsman), which follow the route of the North Sea whalers into the polar seas.

During Lesley’s time at the Scriptorium she investigated waterways and the routes to these sites. She also created a bike route to locations the Abbey had ownership of locally, or impact with. Work will be created from a collaboration with the participants of this ride. But this is her initial work created in residence –

Watershed

blind wells
nickies well
kits den
sods well

swirl burn
den side
drummies holes
den mark

knock hill
puddock mire
tarrie burn
white well

mary well
spring wells
silver wells
lord burn

Shane Strachan

Shane Strachan was awarded Scots Champion at the 2023 Scots Language Awards following his year as the National Library of Scotland’s 2022-23 Scots Scriever. His debut poetry collection, DWAMS, was released in April 2024. Previous works include the novella Nevertheless (amaBooks), ‘The Shelter’ staged with the National Theatre of Scotland, and multiple poems and stories in Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Northwords Now, Stand and various anthologies. His poetry has also appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in Aberdeen Art Gallery. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen.

For my Scriptorium project I intend to build on my previous work in Scots, balladry and unheard voices, but this time specifically focusing on Arbroath, spotlighting Scots and other languages spoken there today through community engagement. This will result in the creation of a series of new poems in response to my residency.

Through this work, I’m keen to highlight the poet Marion Angus who wrote in both English and Scots and who was similarly influenced by the ballad tradition. I’m also interested in exploring connections across the east coast as someone who was brought up in the fishing towns of Fraserburgh and Peterhead, and Marion Angus’s own journey along the coast given she lived in both Arbroath and Aberdeen, my current home city.

I’d be keen to host some kind of engagement with the community around Scots language today in Arbroath, as well as looking at the work of Marion Angus.

Carys Boughton

I’m an illustrator and environmental campaigner from and currently based in east London. In August 2023, I completed an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice at Falmouth University, during which I focused on developing a community-engaged comics practice, threaded through with research into the legacies of colonialism within both the arts and heritage sector, and agriculture. Now, I am balancing editorial illustration commissions with my part time work for Platform (a climate justice charity) campaigning against fossil fuel industry influence within UK politics, while seeking opportunities to create comics that explore social and climate justice themes. During the residency at the New Scriptorium, I plan to create a short series of postcard comics in collaboration with members of Arbroath’s fishing community. Through interviews; observational drawing; and historical, socio-economic and environmental context research, the postcard comics will aim to capture a few snapshots of the local fishing industry’s heritage, present, and ongoing opportunities and challenges. I also intend to organise a workshop, inviting people together to practice community-focused comics journalism. https://www.carysboughton.com/

Aaron McCarthy

I’m an artist from and based in Arbroath. My practice is research based, using sculpture and moving image work to critically explore ideas around language, heritage and place.

I plan on working on some photographic/ print material, drawings and sketchbook work, and to get into some reading. Potentially some moving image work too.

Rosie McGregor

I am an artist and mother living and working in Angus making work about my experience and paradoxical emotions of motherhood.

During the time in the Scriptorium I will research, develop ideas and plan for a public wall mural. https://www.instagram.com/rosiemcgregorart/

Special thanks to our partners – Scottish Poetry Library, Lakes International Comic Arts Festival