BA Fine Art graduate Tom Stockley talks to us about his experience of hosting arts events whilst at university, bringing together a whole host of creatives to share their talents and how this had led to where he is now.
In 2014 I was a confused, frustrated 19 year old fresher (as opposed to now when I’m a confused, frustrated 22 year old graduate). I started a monthly spoken word night down at Cribbs, the result of a growing need to share thoughts, celebrate creative expression and at least have something to do whilst we were drinking away our loans instead of the wholly neutral boredom of Club I. This went fairly well, not because I was doing a great job but because it stayed true to my original intentions – people were celebrated, talents were nurtured and we were artists first (students second), making our own Tetris blocks of artistic and social interaction.
From there, a group of us formed Space 37, the events group based in a garage on Lister Street and (for a year) home to a smorgasbord of local artists – poets, musicians, painters, dancers and more came together in what felt more real to me than 4 years of study. I’m waxing lyrical here but again what made us succeed was not our innate talents but our support for one another and the balls out stubbornness to keep it going. Because that’s the thing – as creative people you will learn time and time again that whatever structure you find yourself in (university, workplaces, the local area etc.), your ideals will make you a minority. It’s sad but true that most of the world around us does not think that creativity, a DIY attitude and social consciousness are important attributes, and as an artist you will repeatedly be given chances to change that.
In spite of courses cut, loans rising and the sh*t storm of local and global politics, we all continue to do what we do. It’s been a privilege to see what’s coming out of Falmouth this year round – Teige Maddison’s Word Zoo nights, the New Pantheon Club and Flucksus with their art-based skate projects to name a few. Get involved with part of the DIY scene around you and you’ll be amazed with what can happen – funding, working with bigger organisations and actually getting paid to do what you do (hallelujah) are not as far off as you think. We still don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re getting there. Check out our website under our new name of The Uncollective and get in touch if you have any projects you want us to get involved with or vice versa.
“I don’t believe in art; I believe in artists” – Marcel Duchamp