Creative Art with Kate McAllan and Martyn McKenzie

Creative Art group at work

Kate McAllan and Martyn McKenzie are the local artists who have been delivering the Creative Arts session for the Making Waves project. Kate McAllan is an artist and writer with significant education experience. Many of her arts workshops have centred around ‘place -aware’ themes – allowing communities to see their surroundings anew. 

Martyn Mckenzie is an artist and musician who was born and brought up in Greenock. Much of his work has centred around land art and place – asking questions about our relationship with the landscapes we live in.  

Together, Kate and Martyn have worked in partnership over the past seven years, curating exhibitions, running community art workshops, and delivering  public art commissions. They are currently delivering a new community arts project which addresses Mental Health stigma on the Isle of Lewis commissioned by SEE ME SCOTLAND. 

They describe the Creative Art session here in their own words:

“We’ve had a really interesting 6 week block so far where participants have primarily been experimenting with various materials and applying different techniques when using them. Attendance has been between 9 -11 people each week and much has been expressed on how people look forward to the sessions.  

The course has been designed to cover, landscape, built heritage and industry, and nature. Many of the sessions have encouraged looking, taking time to observe and analyse, but also to let go and try to understand the dynamics of the various mediums. This has included watercolour painting, pencil drawing, ink and mixed media. The last two sessions will explore acrylic painting on board.  

The feedback and responses have been encouraging with some people responding to particular sessions relative to their own approach. Working in this manner is often nuanced and it’s natural that some participants will take to some materials more than others, but the aim of the course is to equip members with the tools and skills necessary to work independently outside of class. There have been some expressions of frustration from some people of not feeling that they have the artistic ability to achieve desired results but there have been sessions which have shown improvement in this regard. What we are trying to encourage is the idea that everybody has creative potential and that making art is something to be enjoyed”. 

Creative Art group in South West Library.
Creative Art group in South West Library.