Creative Dundee

Announcing CULTIVATE’s 2023 Creative Practitioners

The six creative practitioners, five women and one man, stand in a row on the Dundee waterfront path with the Tay and Tay road bridge behind them.
Photography by Julie Cumming

We’re thrilled to announce the six Creative Practitioners taking part in the second round of CULTIVATE – our regional project exploring climate justice through creativity and community connection.

The Creative Practitioners will have ten months from January 2023 to work in collaboration with local communities to research, learn, understand, imagine, co-develop and embed creative responses that better connect and equip communities for climate action – and most importantly for community cohesion and resilience.

Alongside their work with specific communities, they’ll all come together to share their learnings, develop their leadership skills, and spark new collaborations and opportunities across the Tay region.

Last week, we brought together the Creative Practitioners and the Creative Dundee team for the first time, and spent a fantastic day sharing plans and ambitions for the commissions – now, we’re delighted to introduce them all to you!


Shona Inatimi – working with Black people and People of Colour in Dundee

I’m excited to get making alongside communities in Dundee and see what conversations spark through the making of art. As well as providing a space for people to share their stories and amplify their voices, I want to find my own place in this conversation. I’m also excited about building community and making more connections. This project can go in many directions and I’m excited to see what people get out of this opportunity.”

Shona Inatimi is a recent graduate from DJCAD in Fine Art (2021). She is currently exploring using her practice as a space for storytelling and creating narratives through a visual language and portraiture, using the making of art as a way of communicating and connecting with others.

She recently had her first solo exhibition ‘See You Glow’ at the Federation Gallery (from the 20th August – 10th September 2022). Shona painted a mural at the Dundee Women’s International Centre as part of the Open/Close Dundee Stobswell Door Mural Trail (2018), and painted recycling bins for the ‘Waste of Space’ project (2019) on Perth Road.

Working with communities is an important part of Shona’s practice. She has worked with disadvantaged groups to encourage them to express themselves through art making. With the charity Front Lounge, she helped initiate a project called JAMD (2018) for the year of young people. In the summer 2017 she went to China to volunteer alongside students and artists to provide creative opportunities.


Jaz Grady – working with young adults in rural Perthshire

I can’t wait to say ‘tell me’. It’s more than just listening. It’s helping young adults amplify their voice and share what they have to say. It’s showing them that people want to hear, that their ideas have merit, and that we can always be learning something new – and have a fabulous time doing it!

Jaz Grady is an artist, illustrator and photographer based in Perthshire. She runs youth based art workshops using both traditional and non-traditional mediums, helping young adults to express themselves and their ideas through art. Jaz’s work explores themes of cultural identity and is rooted in the current social and political climate. She looks to create accessible art, and work with mediums that deliver a message quickly and easily.

@jazgradyartist // @strangerandfiction

Vinishree Verma – working with people of diverse ethnic backgrounds across Dundee

This commission is an exceptional opportunity to explore climate justice through a creative lens. I’m excited to collaborate with experts in the environment and climate sectors and engage with People of Colour in Dundee in framing the response to climate change through circular design mindsets.

Vinishree Verma is a designer and creative practitioner passionate about the circular economy, climate, and environment design. She brings along a trans-disciplinary pool of experience through research, co-design methodologies, and design thinking. Her creative journey has evolved over 17 years of working as an industrial designer, design mentor, and service designer. A proficient background in design and community-engagement projects has equipped her with various hands-on skills, and artistic flair for working in multiple mediums for creative expression.

@vinishreee // @vinishree

Angela Gillies – collaborating with people living on low incomes in and around Forfar (Angus)

I want to create space for people living on low incomes to make their voice heard regarding climate change and the pressures they face in their daily lives. Taking part in CULTIVATE will allow me to achieve this with the support of a team who are passionate about social and climate justice. People living on low incomes are more susceptible to the impacts of climate change, and it is important that we make people aware of this. I am looking forward to working at the very heart of the Forfar communities, helping them to build resilience and make lasting change that is supportive of their needs.

Angela Gillies is a jeweller and printmaker based in Forfar, Angus, and has recently graduated with an MFA in Art, Science and Visual Thinking. She has won a number of awards for her work, including the Ingle & Rhode Fairtrade Gold Design Awards and the Sustainable Practices Award. She also has a background in Environmental Biology, and has witnessed the impact of climate change on habitats and species across the world. She currently works with vulnerable adults and young people with disabilities, and is involved in local social justice issues as a member of her local Community Council.


Amadu Khan – working with Black people and People of Colour in Dundee

The lure to employ artistic creativity grounded in the cultural resources of People of Colour in engaging in climate and social justice action was a no brainer. CULTIVATE is a Godsend to pursue my passion for facilitating People of Colour’s voices, concerns and aspirations for climate action and social justice activism, advocacy and mainstream service provision. CULTIVATE is also an opportunity to work with and share artistry with other creative practitioners to advance the climate and social justice agenda.

Amadu Khan is a refugee-background international storyteller, art-researcher and creative consultant with a partiality for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in the fields of social and cultural policy, forced migration, environmental justice and global/international development. He works with civil society, mainstream service provision and disadvantaged grassroots communities across the UK and Africa on using art, creativity and news media for capturing and curating their ‘lived’ experiences, social histories and memories, and embedding these in campaigning, advocacy and activism.

Nothing makes him tick more than appreciating and employing oral and cultural artforms of spoken and sonic languages towards humankind’s engagement with urgent, wicked and contemporary socio-political issues. That’s why he embeds a social design, asset-based and co-production approach to facilitate inclusive, empowering and joyful artmaking and curating by, for and among marginalised groups, particularly refugees, People of Colour, young people, women and other ‘protected characteristics’.

Connected Communities // Community Hacking // Exiled Writers

Lu Kemp – CULTIVATE Storyteller

“The opportunity to learn. From the communities we work with, from the artists I’m about to meet, from broader thinking from the sector. To collaborate with others on how we reimagine our narrative around climate and sustainable living.
The opportunity to listen to the experiences and thinking that is already happening in our communities, to find brilliant stories and actions and give them a platform.
The possibility of expanding my craft as a writer, storyteller and filmmaker, to create tangible narratives that can reflect, support and inspire.

Lu Kemp is an award-winning theatre director and dramaturg, and keen cyclist. She is an Associate Artist with Inspector Sands, and the former Artistic Director of Perth Theatre. Lu spent 5 years in house at the BBC as a Radio Drama Producer. As a freelance theatre director, she has worked across the UK and in Europe for companies including The National Theatre of Sweden, The National Theatre of Scotland, Artangel and The Royal Shakespeare Company.  

Lu has worked as a dramaturg and story editor for theatre, dance and visual arts. She began her career as the Scottish Arts Council Trainee Theatre Director at TAG, Citizens Theatre. She later trained on the LEM at Lecoq, Paris, and with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, New York.


The Creative Practitioners with members of the Creative Dundee team & Culture Collective

Claire Dufour, Creative Climate Producer and project lead for CULTIVATE, said:
“What a great bunch of people and cracking start to this new series of commissions! I’m delighted with the round-up of personalities, skills and experiences that are brought together at this stage of the programme. I can’t wait to see what they will make happen within the communities involved and to explore how we can best nurture their work along the way.”

Read more about Creative Dundee’s CULTIVATE programme here.

Creative Dundee is part of Culture Collective, a network of 26 participatory arts projects, shaped by local communities alongside artists and creative organisations. Funded by Scottish Government emergency COVID-19 funds through Creative Scotland.

Matt Hickman, Culture Collective Engagement Lead, said:
I’m honoured to have been part of the process in selecting the commissioned artists for the latest round of CULTIVATE. The team at Creative Dundee have done an excellent job of making the application and selection process supportive and friendly, which has been key in picking creative practitioners that will deliver for their chosen communities. It was lovely being part of the first meet up. This is a hugely innovative process and I am excited to see what comes next for the project.

Read more about our Creative Practitioner selection process, in this reflection from panelist Victoria Beesley, Associate Director, Learning & Engagement at Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall.

More news coming soon and a special thanks to Julie Cumming for the portraits!

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