Praise be for CHARTS

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Talent was on display in Oban at the weekend showcasing creativity from Argyll and the Isles.

It was the first time St John’s Cathedral was able to use its now open space as a venue since the pews were removed earlier this summer and it was filled on Saturday by culture, heritage and arts creatives in celebration of recently formed CHARTS SCIO.

Pauline Beautyman is a staunch supporter of CHARTS, helping showcase her ceramics business Seadrift.
Clair Tierney sang some of her self-penned songs.
Dazzling display of exhibits and skills from across Argyll and the Islands.

The programme was packed with exhibitions, workshops and live music and the chance to hear more about CHARTS’ plans for the future and how it intends to keep supporting the sector it has been bringing together in a network over the past two years.

Since the project started with support from Argyll and Bute Council, Creative Scotland and Leader funding, 73 organisations have signed up to it and it has 356 members.

One of the network artists who was there on Saturday with her Seadrift ceramic business, was Pauline Beautyman from near Dunoon.

‘When you work in your own studio, you forget to put your head up sometimes and don’t get a chance to get involved with others, so CHARTS has been amazing for me. I’ve been a part of the Cowal Open Studios, I’ve been on a special map that was produced and I’ve had a film made all about me. I couldn’t have done all that by myself.’

Gary Cameron from Creative Scotland said: ‘Argyll and the Isles is a big region, very diverse, so to see this space filled by so many people brought together though CHARTS is exciting.’

CHARTS project director Sarah Frood said the cathedral was ‘a perfect, inspirational place’ to hold the event. ‘It’s a heritage building so it fits really well,’ she added.

CHARTS chairman David Price said: ‘We’re very proud and pleased that people responded to the CHARTS initiative. We’ve supported them over the past two years since we began with funding and this weekend they are here supporting us as we stand on our own two feet and get ready for what success comes next.’

The Very Rev Canon Margi Campbell, Provost of St John’s Cathedral, said seeing the space opened up showed all the potential and possibilities for its use in the town by organisations and for events such as the CHARTS launch.