Local storyteller short-listed for national award

Lewis based storyteller Ian Stephen short-listed for national award for collaboration with artist Christine Morrison.
Lewis based storyteller Ian Stephen short-listed for national award for collaboration with artist Christine Morrison.

LEWIS storyteller Ian Stephen has been short-listed in the ‘Outstanding Multi Arts Project/Production 2012’ category of the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence (BASE), for his collaborative arts project with artist Christine Morrison.

The creative pair were nominated by Shetland Arts director Donald Anderson, who commented on the collaboration: “The work produced is graced with an apparent simplicity and a deep sophistication.
“It also has integrity and reflects the context from which it arose, including the culture from which the stories grew and the communities grew.”

Ian was awarded a ‘Reader in Residence’ post with Western Isles Libraries in November last year, one of five residencies developed and administered by Shetland Arts and supported by Creative Scotland.

During that time, Ian visited many schools and Libraries throughout the Western Isles and was accompanied by Christine as part of her research for her Master of Fine Art degree at Edinburgh University.

Together they held storytelling workshops with pupils from Primary 1 through to Secondary 1 in which Ian would tell a story and Christine led pupils into drawing exercises to capture key images of the story, through a variety of intuitive and responsive drawing techniques.

The results from the workshops were developed into printing plates at Highland Printmaking Studio in Inverness, the stories were condensed into short texts to accompany the images, which were printed alongside the images and made into an artists’ book.

Video slide-shows of selected images and stories also resulted from the project which was named Acts of Trust, as there is an analogy between the act of trust in telling a story without a script, and the act of trust in drawing a line without looking at the paper (one of the drawing exercises).

Acts of Trust is an on-going project, Iain and Christine have recently worked with adult groups and are developing the idea into an exhibition, with future outreach workshops as an integral element of the project.

The voting is open to all and is purely down to numbers received for each nominee.

If you would like to support Ian and Christine, please register your vote for them on the BASE website at www.storyawards.org.uk

Voting is open until 9am on September 28th and the results will be announced on September 29th.