Here’s an interesting piece on power generation, we have long been trying to track this local hero down, the yoghurt pot turbine has become a bit of a mythical idea for us having heard of it through anecdote only, here is more concrete evidence, even figures. I am sure we’ ve got 18 inches in one of the many streams that cut through the site.
Interestingly if this can happen t wont be the first water power on the site, the ubiquitous Ruskin initiated a number of water management and power generating schemes on the estate. Also interesting to note that over in Coniston there is a major water turbine being installed, I think on the site of another Victorian system, maybe it’s heritage lottery funded!
Audrey Steeley who used to work at Grizedale and is now director of Beatham Mill recently got funding to install a water turbine that will not only cover the power needs of the organization but also generate 30k a year in income, now that's what I call a ‘nice grant’.
George who has been working in the garden for us for the last 6 months has gone off to work for ASDA for the winter - what a waste with all his high level gardening skills, but it’s really to grim working outside up here in the winter.
The last job George and I did was installing the Viet Nam gate, a traditional garden gate and stile. Made for the Romantic Detachment project in New York the gate has toured the gallery spaces of the US and UK. Originally part of a piece by Cindy Smith, the gate was a component in Cindy's romantic and threatening vision of England. It was made by a Viet Nam vet with whom I spent an evening in New York, he was fantastically angry about what he saw as his betrayal by the US military, the gist of the hurt was that they lied to him and exploited him. He drummed with his chop sticks throughout dinner.
My own personal hell this last 4 months has been building the vegetable garden, trying to wrestle something out of the rock and water of the site. On one hand I have Karen (my partner) who thinks it’s going to look like Kew Gardens - an immaculate vegetable idyll - and on the other the reality of working with a lot of mud and rock and my own ineptitude. So finally the basic structure is in place.
Following on from the initial selection proccess done as a live webcast at the Greenland Street space in Liverpool we have had further meetings of the panel and finally shortlisted 15 of the applications.
The process seems crazy, so much work from all sides, each year we dissapoint/annoy 100 artists, and in fact probably 80% of those applicants would be good to work with, but somehow we have to find only 6. This year was a better than ever selection, hence the endless deliberation. It's a depressing process, by the end of it I want to find a new job, the equation is absurd, so little money, so little to compete for, so much material and ambition, so many ideas and creative thought. This week we have been responding to those who did nt get selected, trying to give some useful feedback, I'll post some of the correspondance in the near future. Still we've made choices and will announce shortly.
Grizedale is currently at that time of year when we need to make applictions for money to exist for another year. Both our local funders (councils) have cut (one has one is about to) funding completely and although this is a relatively small amount of money (£17,500 - actually not so small) it doesn't make life any easier. The Arts Council are telling us to expect the worst and that they are moving away from giving revenue funded organisations project grants. This is pretty bad news, the whole Arts Council thing is so hand to mouth, last year we were told to use the project grants to fund our activity. It is frustrating to see the process, a wandering around aimlessly sort of thing constantly restructureing. The Arts Council tend to reward the hopeless. The organisations that get money and particularly revenue money are those that have screwed, are massively in debt and dont do much, it is a strategy some organisations take. But it makes for a weird upside down world – it’s called the advancement programme!
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