Cal Mac Announced as Recipient of the 2023 Margaret Tait Residency

Part of Margaret Tait Residency

a square image sits within black borders. We are looking down at a white masculine person as they swim under water. From our aerial perspective, we can see bubbles on the surface. Beneath the water, the person’s back, legs and head are visible, and his arms stretch behind him as he moves, his skin tinted yellow and orange by the water.
Cal Mac, Agony to Ecstasy, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

We are delighted to announce Cal Mac as the 2023 recipient of the Margaret Tait Residency, an opportunity for artists working with film and moving image to develop their practice, in partnership with the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney.

Cal will spend up to six weeks at the Pier Arts Centre’s newly renovated facilities Linkshouse – Orkney Arts Residency, exploring the relationship between visual language and feelings about belonging, acceptance and feeling valued and at home’ for LGBTQIA+ people in different areas of Scotland in his moving image practice.

Cal Mac said:

The Margaret Tait Residency allows me the time and space to focus on what my approach to moving image is – without the demands of production or completion. During my time at the Piers Art Centre, I plan to merge my excitement for visual experimentation with my commitment to creating personal and evocative work. I became interested in what it means to be LGBT in rural Scotland in 2020, and so this residency allows me to experiment through a specific project that’s been in the works for a while. In discovering LGBT realities in Orkney, I want to explore conflicts of alienation, relationships with community, and attachment to home, but more specifically how these conflicts can be articulated in a way that’s unique to artist’s film. Through the experimental nature of the residency and through the support of LUX Scotland and the Piers Arts Centre, the possibilities of what this can look and sound like are vast. I’m beyond delighted to receive the residency to start working with LUX Scotland.”

The Margaret Tait Residency is delivered in partnership with the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, with support from Screen Scotland, builds upon the legacy of the residency delivered by Glasgow Film in 2012 – 2014. Aimed at emerging artists working in film and moving image with up to five years professional experience, the residency provides time and support for developing work and practice without the demands of deadlines or public presentation. Cal will spend up to six weeks at the Pier Arts Centre’s newly renovated facilities Linkshouse – Orkney Arts Residency.

The selection panel for the Margaret Tait Residency comprised Kari Adams, Curatorial Assistant, the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney; Sarah Forrest, artist and recipient of the Margaret Tait Residency 2012; Jesse Mpango, curator and co-founder of Ajabu Ajabu Audio Visual House, Tanzania; Sarah Smyth, International Distribution and Commercial Development Officer, Screen Scotland and was chaired by Eve Smith, Learning Programme Manager, LUX Scotland.

Kitty Anderson, Director of LUX Scotland, said, It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to oversee the selection on the 2023 Margaret Tait Commission and the Margaret Tait Residency. We received a fantastic range of nominations for the commission, and a huge number of applications for the residency, demonstrating the demand for opportunities such as these. We were delighted to see the strength and breadth of practice in moving image from across Scotland, and my thanks go to all the applicants and nominated artists (and their nominators) for taking the time to submit their work for consideration. I also want to thank Creative Scotland for their ongoing support of the commission and the residency, and to our partners Glasgow Film and the Pier Arts Centre.

The standard for both shortlists was incredibly high and I’m grateful to the artists for their thoughtful and considered proposals. My thanks also go to this year’s selection panels for their time and energy – it’s rewarding to have such in-depth and rigorous discussion about artistic practice. We look forward to working with Isabel and Cal over the coming months.”

Anne Petrie, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland said: Congratulations to both Isabel Barfod and Cal Mac on becoming recipients of the 2023 Margaret Tait Commission and Residency respectively. Creative Scotland is delighted to be a partner in both of these opportunities which offer valuable time and support to artists. The standard of submissions across both awards was incredibly high, and we look forward to seeing how Isabel and Cal use these awards to develop their moving image work as well as seeing Isabel’s work premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival in 2024 before being presented in venues across Scotland as part of the planned tour.”

Cal Mac

Cal Mac is a visual artist working and living in Glasgow. Working between sculpture, sound print and video, he explores themes of belonging and addiction through sociological, scientific and visual dialogues. His work often looks at clubbing and natural environments, enquiring into our current emotional condition and need for connection. His work has been screened at Atlas Arts (Skye), The Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh), Limerick Institute of Technology, and online for Lift off Festival, and Film and Video Umbrella. Following his first commission from Film and Video Umbrella in 2020, Mac has done residencies at Cove Park and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. In 2021 Mac was shortlisted for the Royal Scottish Academy Morton Award.

The Pier Arts Centre

The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney was established in 1979 to provide a home for an important collection of British fine art donated by the author, peace activist and philanthropist Margaret Gardiner (1904 – 2005). The Centre also curates a year round programme of changing exhibitions and events for the education and enjoyment of the general public.

The Pier Arts Centre is currently working on a project to develop Linkshouse – Orkney Arts Residency an accessible residency facility with studio provision for individual or group use. Linkshouse will act as a launch-pad for local artists and a landing-strip for artists visiting the county. Beyond that it will be a focal point for the wider community, supporting other local arts organisations and festivals to nurture talent and make connections, while supporting the Pier Arts Centre’s educational work, enhancing opportunities for outdoor learning and wellbeing and represents a whole new area of creative activity for the Pier Arts Centre and Orkney.

Part of Margaret Tait Residency

The Margaret Tait Residency provides an opportunity for artists working with film and moving image to develop their practice, in partnership with the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney.

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