The second issue of The Grind has been fraught with delays, disasters, and general frustrations. However, having said that, we're absolutely delighted with how it has turned out.
Since our inception in October 2013 I have been asked by many people what exactly The Grind is. I would give the stock answer “we’re a journal of fiction and visual art for artists in Scotland and the Scottish diaspora”, to which the usual response was “…why?”
A very good question for which I had no good answer until our launch night in December 2013 in Glasgow. At the launch I met one of the poets we were planning on publishing in our inaugural edition. We chatted about literature, the bands playing on stage, the journal and so on. We then broached the topic of how we had put The Grind together; on obsolete laptops, 30-day trials of InDesign, through late nights and excessive working hours. I chatted to the poet amiably for some time before we parted company.
That night at home I received an email from him requesting that his name and his poetry be removed from the journal. Aghast, I agreed to do ask he wished, but also asked what prompted this action. He told me that he did not believe that people who work full time should be undertaking creative endeavours such as The Grind. Before he had seen the first issue he decided that being associated with us would ‘damage his reputation’; that there was no way we could possibly do his work justice. I removed his poetry from the journal and went to bed. It was at this point, months into the process of launching our publication, that I realised why The Grind exists.
We are here for the kind of people who work unmanageable hours in jobs they despise for wages that keep them hungry.
We are here for the kind of people who use their Masters degrees and PhDs to clean piss off of toilet seats; the kind of people who cannot afford to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of art at the expense of all else.
We’re here for the kind of people who will sacrifice all else for the pursuit of their art.
Passionate people. People like us.
We’re not here to support the kind of people who tells others they cannot write, draw, paint, shoot or create because they have to work at the same time. That is an intolerable and myopic view of the arts that we refuse to subscribe to. We’re here to give people a voice and a platform that they may not have had before. We’re here to collaborate and bring people together, avoiding the schiamachy and cliques that plague the arts. We just want to help people get the recognition they deserve. The working world in the 21st Century is a cruel, unforgiving place. It gobbles up time and youth, infantilises people, turns creative minds to mush. You work more so you have more money so you can work less so you can focus on art which costs money so you work more.
It never ends. It never will.
All you can do is try your best and hope beyond hope that amidst the avalanche of responsibility and minimum wage you find something you can hold on to, something that makes you happy. We want to help you get that thing that makes you happy to as many people as possible.
Fumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition and
Yawn and stretch and my life is a mess and
If I never make it home today, God bless.
Aesop Rock (channeling Dolly Parton) — 9 to 5’ers Anthem
Artist statements/Contact details
Below you will find an incomplete and, quite possibly, wildly inaccurate collection of contact details and artist statements for the artists and writers published in Issue II of The Grind. We have included what we have, but if any of our contributors would like us to include extra information please contact email@example.com
Much of the photography and visual art in The Grind can be purchased from the artists. If you are interested in purchasing an item please contact the artist directly. If you are unable to reach them, please let us know and we'll try to help.
I'm a native of Glasgow, a graduate of GSA (2010) and have been making art and doing shows since.
This piece is a collage worked by hand with a scalpel, Horsemeat for courses, 2014.
I'm a singer-songwriter born and raised in Edinburgh, living in Dunbar and working in Glasgow where I moved to at 18, spending several years there. As well as holding down jobs from call centres to support work, I developed a music career which led to me being identified as "Scotland's best-kept secret" by Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music. My poems have recently appeared in Zest, Alliterati, Dactyl and Far Off Places and I'm working on a Fringe show about Lou Reed. Having lived in cities for decades and still working in one, I don't believe their characters can be as easily categorised as some people would have us believe. I therefore try to approach them from a number of different angles in my writing, from cut-ups to more lyrical and narrative approaches.
I am a photographer, performer and film-maker from Edinburgh. When it comes to my photography I tend to work with traditional film, I like to get my hands dirty in the dark room and I enjoy the suspense when you wait to see your image for the first time. I try to capture the beauty in life and in people and to create a story with still images. Whether it's being lost at sea or finding yourself trapped in an urban maze or reading the lines and expressions in a face.
I am an abstract painter based in Glasgow. I work with acrylic on canvas and I am experimenting with composition, creating bold structure using drawing and developing movement through the handling of the paint.
I’m currently exploring themes of boundaries and compartmentalisation.
Paul came to writing via music and a CV which tests the bounds of randomness. His career includes roles such as community worker, rock guitarist and tour manager. He’s played Wembley Arena, wrestled a stag, and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre naked. His writing was limited to good songs and bad poetry before he completed the MLitt in Creative Writing at Stirling University. He is now working towards a PhD in Publishing, writing a road novel and perfecting his risotto.
My practice is concerned with the layers and structure of the urban landscape: the transience of the built environment in a relentless process of growth and change. Anonymous yet familiar, I focus on the mundane city streets...the overlooked and unnoticed details in a patchwork of grand houses, industrial wastelands, concrete offices and glittering new flats that fill the streets of our cities. I am drawn in by the illusion of permanence that we create for ourselves and the fragile nature of the recognisable city in a time of accelerating change.
The surfaces of my paintings echo the structure of these complex layers. By constructing and peeling back layers of paper, I create delicately textured surfaces on which to paint, print and draw. The paper layers act as a metaphor for how thin and temporary everything we build ultimately is.
I am intrigued by this world's ambiguities.Even if at times they are too self-referal.
I have recently moved from London to Edinburgh. In my writing, I value the moments that I cannot understand; those surreal moments that are in the cracks between what is important to me and what is important to another. I wrote these pieces some time ago with no intention. Now after some distance from their origin I feel I can show them. I don't know if I am still the same person but the people in them are the same. They existed and I suppose they continue existing in one way or another.
Illustration for me draws on the people I meet and my own sense of humour.
Each thing I draw suggests a backstory, which I work through as much for myself as for everyone else who might take an interest. Every time I put pen to paper, I try to refine what I am trying to get across, and so my style evolves.
The people I meet and my own sense of humour influence most of my illustrations. I really enjoy creating back-stories for each character I draw as I feel it become more of a therapeutic process than a chore. Recently I have begun to develop my own style which continues to evolve every time I put pen to paper.
I don't always set out to create art about any certain subject. I like character development and intend to produce images with subtext, but sometimes I just draw and see what happens. My images are mixed media but all start out as ink drawings. I'm inspired by textures, patterns, foliage and long beautiful hair.
I am a poet, writer and filmmaker whose work has most recently been featured in Lallans, Southlight, Northwest Now and New Voices Press amongst others. I write in both English and Scots, but I am particularly interested in translation into Scots. I am currently working on a Glaswegian vernacular version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.''
All are free translations of 8th century Chinese poems into Scots language.
I am a Scottish artist who graduated in 2013 from the University of Dundee. My practice is multi-disciplined, embracing both visual and conceptual techniques [including murals, drawing, sculpture, performance, sound and conceptual projects]. I use art to explore a philosophy of human existence, from simply enjoying the act of creating, to the relationship between an action and the perception of its residue/remnants/documentation. Expressionism is important to me as a way of trying to understand the social and communicative paradox of art: caught between an ever enticing empathy and ever elusive self.
I'm a Scottish photographer residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'm a twice graduate of the University of Glasgow with majors in science and educational philosophy. My photographic work consists of various projects threaded by the common theme of the American structural landscape. This site is work-in-progress; over time, image content will be edited to distill the defining message of each project, while entirely new projects may take root.'
Camila Cavalcante is a visual artist from Brazil living in Edinburgh. She has been photographing since 2002 and has taken part in over 10 exhibitions in the UK, USA and her home country. The pictures displayed are part of the project “Not Anymore” and were taken in Vietnam.
I always write about love. Anything else is dull in comparison. Women and their relationships, love, sex, violence. In my texts, I am trying to find those lines that hit a note, strike a sensation – contain what Barthes calls punctum when he talks about photography. The punctum is that which touches us, fascinates us, but cannot be explained. My texts celebrate this (unproductive) excess of sensations in the face of limits. As the Russian Formalist Victor Shklovsky would say, art must make the stony stoney, it must challenge our ordinary, callous perception. Grosz writes: “Art is how the body senses most directly”. For me, art is an epistemological category; it is how I perceive the world.
Charis Edward Wells
After graduating in Art and Philosophy from DJCAD (Dundee) a couple of years back, I am continuing to indulge in various bits and pieces of fiction, poetry, songwriting, drawing, painting, photography, knitting, gardening, woodturning and anything else that takes my fancy when I can find the time.
You may be able to detect some measure of influence from my day job in a few of these drawings (carpenter), but I hesitate to otherwise indulge in thematic explications. A certain anxiety tempered with psychedelic humour/horror perhaps, which likewise seems to seep into the writing.
Um not exactly sure what this is to be honest. a gluey fever dream from my sickbed. 500 nonsense words anyway that sound alright spoken out loud.
I am a visual artist who uses video, image, sound, and installation to present land and landscape in ways that stimulate understanding and awareness of our place within it. With many exhibitions and residencies abroad the most recent in 2013 was a 10 week residency in the stricken Fukushima Province in Japan . Visiting the disaster areas of Fukushima it seemed that the winter vegetation carries the weight of recent history,
I am a professional photographer who has been working in and around Edinburgh since 2011.
Originally produced for the Jill Todd Award 2013, in response to the theme Home, Summer of 86 Revisited marked the return to a more personal and creative component to my photographic practise, which can get a little lost and forgotten as a result of trying to survive commercially.
Inspired by Sally Mann’s Immediate Family, Duane Michels The House I Once Called Home and Eugene Smith’s A Walk to the Paradise Garden, this piece is about the notion of a false sense of memory and the dereliction and decay of time. The abandoned articles of play, both natural and man-made, depicted in my images act as a reminder of the endless summers of childhood; a symbol of the type of abandon that only children in their summer holidays can have, recklessly leaving toys and games around the garden. The deterioration of these playthings symbolising the passing of time and the growing up of the children that once played on them; lying in wait for the next generation. It explores the idea that whilst that idyll may not be true or may not even exist the feeling of it remains within me breeding a quiet, constant belief that it will, one day, exist again both through me and the family I hope to have one day. That imagined childlike sense of summer that keeps me moving forward and exploring until I find what I'm looking forward. There is a place that William Blake wrote about called Beulah; “a pleasant lovely shadow where no dispute can come’. It is this contradictory make believe place that I am, perhaps trying to emulate in both these images and my life, the ‘pleasant lovely shadow’ of a summer gone by.
Morgan Downie is an unreliable narrator with a deep mistrust of artist's statements. he has a chequered past involving poetry, short story writing, visual, installation and textile art, book making, sculpture and all points in between. he believes all art can be contained in a decent bike ride.