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Lochaber artist Richard Bracken opened the doors of his studio for the first time this summer.
Visitors saw pieces he had previously never shown to anyone, sketches and older work that had been hidden away in drawers.
Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 with a degree in sculpture, the environmental artist and creative educator has worked across a range of disciplines including casting and mould-making, photography, printmaking and drawing. He has worked with youth arts organisation Room 13 International as lead artist since 2011.
The Open Studio at Caol Community Centre gave people the chance to see Mr Bracken’s work in a more informal setting.
As well as showing the pieces from ‘Living Memory’, a series of cast-iron sculptures and photographic works inspired by two Lochaber woodlands affected by the world wars, the artist also displayed bronze-casting preparations for work in development at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.
Mr Bracken told the Lochaber Times: ‘It’s very easy to store work so it never sees the light of day. The open studio was for anyone in the community interested in my current and future work, as well as expanding the network within the arts community and for anyone interested in collaborating or just learning more about my work.’
Inviting people into his workspace allowed the artist to talk about his work. He said: ‘Talking about the work can be tricky. Ideas can shatter as you talk about them, but once it’s made I can reappraise it against the initial idea.’
Mr Bracken balances his time between developing his own work and supporting Room 13’s creative initiatives.
Speaking about his work with the student-run arts studio, Mr Bracken said: ‘It’s a privilege to work in the Room 13 space at Caol Community Centre. Working in an environment that has children in it as well is a refreshing place to be. My work can be quite tight, I know the way I want to make something. Adults and young people make marks in a different way, they see things in a different way. It’s a good thing to be around young people who have such a different energy, while being able to provide them with advice and guidance.’
The Open Studio came during a lull in activity with Room 13.
He said: ‘It’s so easy to put a lot of energy into Room 13 and put my own work on the back burner. The timing was right. I recently finished exhibiting work at Resipole Studios and I wanted to keep the foot to the pedal for showing people my work. I wanted to use the quiet period in Room 13 to make connections with people.’
Artist Richard Bracken with some of his work.
NO F38 Richard Bracken Room 13 Artist in Residence – 1