A day in the life…: Jamie Stevenson

An Intern’s eye perspective into the Guernsey Arts Commission.

Working as part of the Arts Development Team within the Guernsey Arts Commission has been fun, challenging, busy and exhausting. And that’s only the first week!

I am currently on an internship with the ADT and have just finished my first week of work and what a week!

The Guernsey Arts Commission office is a hive of activity and acts as a central hub for the Arts in Guernsey so it’s no surprise things can seem a little busy.

An average day would begin with checking emails and messages from members of the GAC (after coffee) and touching base with the Arts Development Team to discuss current and forthcoming projects and events. Once this is done it’s time to knuckle down to your own activity, but this isn’t as dull as it sounds. The great thing about working with the GAC is that every day is different and you never know what to expect. So in an average day (as there is no average) you could expect to be doing anything from editing photographs to preparing for an exhibition opening, including carrying extremely heavy buckets of ice across town!

Not forgetting the eclectic range of visitors we have coming into the office either to catch up on Sub Committee issues or just to say hi.

A well as being based in the office, I have had the opportunity of joining the GAC community arts volunteers in the fabulous ‘Arts Mobile’ at Les Genats and St Martins where community arts projects run on a weekly basis. This is a really good opportunity to see the work the GAC are doing to deliver Arts in the community first hand, including visual arts and dance. Currently the volunteers at Les Genats are working with the children to develop murals on wall paper. All of the volunteers are hardworking and passionate and these are highly commendable characteristics required when working in a challenging and rewarding environment. The Arts activities are well received for the larger part and it is very interesting to observe the talents and ideas of the young people involved in the projects. The community arts volunteers are working towards ways of continually developing the projects at each site.

The GAC always has a busy and diverse programme of Arts events happening throughout the Island. On the first three days of my internship I was lucky enough to be present for the visit of the Chinese born Artist, Cai Guo-Qiang. This visit marked the official opening of the Beijing Games Sketches and Video exhibition of Cai’s work in the greenhouse. It included trips by the artist to various locations within the Bailiwick ending in an Artists talk at the Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts in which Cai discussed his artistic practice in detail covering an impressive and varied body of work. My involvement in this visit included photographing Cai firing the Noonday Gun at Castle Cornet, delivering flyers promoting the Artists talk and constructing a photo album documenting the visit of Cai, his assistant and his family to the Islands. Cai will be returning to the Channel Islands in 2014 to work on a major pan-islands project for the Art and Islands Foundation an organisation already responsible for bringing artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Anthony Gormley to the Channel Islands. 

Working for the GAC has been both challenging and rewarding so far and I have had the opportunity to be fully immersed in the work that they are doing. It has been great getting to understand how an organisation like the Arts Commission runs and the hardworking people who keep it running. Sometimes ideas are thrown up in the air at the last minute and it is up to the team to work together to get the job done!

On the morning of Friday the 27th Sarah the Arts Assistant and I came into work early to take part in the Artist Martin Creeds work no 1197. ‘All the Bells’. It’s not every morning that you come in early to work in order to ring a bell as ‘hard and as loud’ as you can for three minutes! This is wonderful execise though and could easily fit into a morning workout regime (if you don’t wake up the neighbours).  

After such a full and enjoyable week it’s hard to imagine that there is any more work to do but the ADT team is already busy working on the next project on the GAC calendar and I have been put to work creating a photo book and volunteers introduction pack, preparing for the upcoming Literary Festival and of course writing this article.

I would like to say a big thank you to the GAC and ADT for making my placement so enjoyable so far and I look forward to the remainder of my time here.

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