Creative Dundee

Taking Space / Making Space: A Creative Dundee & Art Night Collaboration

11th July, 7:00pm at The Steps Theatre, Central Library, DD1 1DB

Join us for two special events with Art Night alongside artists, collectives and grassroots organisations from across Dundee.

Both events will take place from 7.00–8.30pm at
The Steps Theatre, Central Library, The Wellgate, Dundee DD1 1DB.
Tickets are free and booking is essential!

Artist-led spaces in Dundee have been critical to the development of the city’s cultural identity from icons like GENERATORprojects to new radicals such as Wooosh Gallery. In spite of this, space remains the biggest challenge for artists to base, make and show their practice in the city.

As Dundee prepares to welcome Art Night to its cultural venues and public spaces in June, Creative Dundee is partnering with Art Night to lead two conversations with local collectives and organisations which explore how artists and communities creatively use and reimagine space in and around the city.

The first event, Taking Space, will take place on Monday 12 June in the lead up to Art Night, bringing together artists, collectives and grassroots organisations in Dundee that are part of the festival programme, alongside Art Night’s Artistic Director, Helen Nisbet. The conversation will focus on the use and occupation of temporary spaces, through to more permanent cultural uses. What opportunities to make, share and collaborate do these spaces bring?

Following on from the festival, Making Space on Tuesday 11 July will discuss Art Night’s ambition of making spaces and culture more accessible; exploring its legacy and discussing how together we can utilise this momentum, with conversations led by artist-led and community groups who are part of Art Night’s Inwith programming.

We hope that together these events will help highlight some of our wider work addressing the lack of space in the city and advocating for better access to creative spaces and tools for both creative practitioners and communities across Dundee.

Making Space

Tuesday 11 July, 7.00–8.30pm
The Steps Theatre, Central Library, The Wellgate, Dundee DD1 1DB

Our speakers are:

Lizzie Day is a Fife-born artist and arts organiser, based in Dundee. As Civic Curator for Art Night, Lizzie is part of the local team bringing the national, contemporary art festival to Dundee, working with artists in civic, municipal and public spaces. She is also the Co-founder and Curator of Volk Gallery, the alternate gallery hosted in a mechanical vending machine, and Editor for Windfall*, an arts publication focussed on providing critical and paid exposure for emerging contemporary artists. In her role as a Freelance Designer with V&A Dundee, Lizzie facilitates tours and workshops to a variety of audiences, working with the museum’s respected Learning department. Whilst studying, she co-founded DJCAD Zine Library, going on to serve as a Committee Member and Co-Chairperson at GENERATORprojects, then as Programme Assistant at Edinburgh Art Festival. She has completed residencies at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Cove Park.

@elizabethannday / @artnightuk / @galleryvolk / @windfalleditorial

Helen King is a creative practitioner, community advocate and trustee of The Stobswell Forum SCIO. Living in Dundee for 10 years, her creative practice focuses on people, supporting others to explore life through artistic mediums. Being a trustee has allowed her to facilitate cultural projects locally in Stobswell and embed the community in the creative process, as well as support community regeneration. Some recent projects include Dundee Design Festival’s Stobswellbeing Store, flag making for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, and recently an RSNO concert for young people at a local high school.


Manuela de los Rios is a Dundee-based community grower and artist. She uses creative and people-centred approaches to bring about positive changes to our lives and natural environment. As Garden Coordinator at the MAXwell Centre in the Hilltown, Manuela facilitates and delivers many creative and co-designed projects in community gardens and green spaces. These experiences connect people with nature in joyful and sometimes unexpected ways. She is fascinated by the hidden stories of plants, people and places. She set up Grow Dundee and the Dundee Community Growing Network to promote collaboration, care and resilience amongst urban food growers. As Chair of Transition Dundee she is helping develop a community-led hub for a more sustainable and happy city.


Taking Space

Monday 12 June, 7.00–8.30pm
The Steps Theatre, Central Library, The Wellgate, Dundee DD1 1DB

Our speakers were:

Jek McAllister is an artist, facilitator, cook and gardener based in Dundee. She currently works at Ninewells Community Garden and in many freelance capacities. Since graduating from Fine Art at DJCAD in 2019, Jek has – alongside fellow graduates Finlay Hall and Jamie Donald – run Wooosh Gallery, Dundee’s sexiest, most haunted car park gallery that is open 24/7. In the Skinny’s words, Wooosh is ‘one of those spaces that’s really very cool to know’. They use temporary A4-based installations and performative openings, known as woooshes, to satirise and address the lack of opportunities for recent graduates and emerging artists in the city. In the many hats she wears, Jek is mainly concerned with creating fun circumstances for people to come together, hang out and experience or learn something new.


Helen Nisbet is a London-based curator who is originally from Shetland. She is Artistic Director for Art Night, a UK-wide contemporary art festival which presents ambitious work by artists in civic spaces, which will take place in Dundee this June. She is a jury member for the 2023 Turner Prize and sits on the boards of Shetland based artist-led organisation, Gaada, alongside a-n The Artists Information Company and Artquest. Helen previously held organisational curatorial positions with Cubitt; the Arts Council Collection; the Contemporary Art Society and the Lighthouse and she has contributed to programmes at Creative Time, New York; the Venice Biennale and London based galleries Hollybush Gardens and The Sunday Painter.


Nicola Rubczak (she/they) is a contemporary art curator and programmer. Nicola is currently the programming lead at GENERATORprojects, Dundee’s longest-established artist-run initiative. Born and raised in Dundee, Nicola studied in the Philosophy department here to Masters level, and remains philosophical in her approach to curation. She has served on the GENERATOR committee for a year, having previously worked on the Public Art Dundee project. Nicola is interested in grassroots organising, social justice and public engagement and is passionate about equality of access to the arts and the idea that contemporary art can be for everyone.

@nicolarubczak @generatorprojects

Andy Robertson is a designer, artist and the Creative Arts Lead for Hot Chocolate Trust, a charity that engages, builds relationships, and grows community with young people in Dundee, supporting them on their own terms. He is passionate about the interplay between design and community – the positive social impacts that good quality creative engagement can enable, and the need for design to be rooted in the real-world needs of the contexts in, and people for, which it exists. Artistically, Andy is interested in the spaces between possibility and impossibility, reality and imagination, known and unknown, ordinary and extraordinary.


This event has been curated by Creative Dundee in partnership with Art Night.

Art Night is a biannual contemporary art festival presenting ambitious work by artists at pivotal moments in their career. Developing within towns, villages and cities across the country, Art Night takes place in public spaces and civic buildings. The festival is free and everyone is welcome.

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