Finlay Carson MSP met with artists based at SCAN member organisation Wasps Studios in Kirkcudbright on Monday 5th August and was delighted to get the opportunity to see inside working studio spaces. Finlay met with artists Ian Cameron-Smith and Lizzie Farey, who showed him round the building, introduced him to other studio holders and chatted about the contribution that artists make to tourism and the economy in the Dumfries and Galloway constituency.
Both artists have worked on various public and private commissions in the UK and beyond and and Finlay learned that the work that they make in Kirkcudbright is enjoyed by many, in a number of different environments and settings.
Wasps Studios are based in two former town houses called Cannonwalls and Claverhouse in Kirkcudbright, also known as The Artists Town in recognition of its artistic heritage. Many artists were based in Kirkcudbright in the early 20th century including Jessie M King, Charles Oppenheimer and EA Hornel. Wasps refurbished these buildings in 2010 to create much needed affordable studio space in the area, and to support artists currently living and working there.
Wasps also own and manage around 19 studio locations across Scotland providing affordable workspace to around 800 creative people, meaning the artists based in the Kirkcudbright studios are part of a larger network. Ian and Lizzie chatted to Finlay about how important affordable workspace is in the town, and how being part of a thriving studio community benefits their work.