I work in a mix of ways, I like to use found materials and place emphasis on process over outcome. I want work to be experienced more than understood.

Name: Calum McCutcheon  

Age: 25

Art form: mixed media

Why did you apply for creative futures?

I applied for Creative Futures as it seemed like a great opportunity to develop my work within a supportive environment and to gain confidence while working with other artists. Since graduating, I’ve felt kind of thrown in the deep end and have struggled with the stress of freelance work. I feel like I’d really benefit from the mentoring support and opportunity to gain more work experience.

Tell us about the work you are currently making.

Currently I’m exploring the notion of mindfulness. My focus for the time being is to make work which is detached from conscious thought and decision making, emphasising process over outcome – art as therapy. I then want to further explore what constitutes mindfulness and how this can be used as a framework for making work. I’d like to be able to use this work as a way of broadening my use and understanding of everyday mindfulness. 

What topics would you like to explore and why?

For a long time my work has been rooted in themes of psychology; I’m fascinated by the mind and mechanisms of thought. Through my own struggles with mental health, I want to use my art to help make sense of some of the complexities associated with thoughts and behaviours.

I’d like to develop work based on ideas from mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, as a way of making these strategies more accessible and possibly understood in new ways.

I’m also really interested in our relationship with music and the way in which it can connect to our emotions, on a level beyond conscious thought. I want to explore what makes the experience of music and if it can be achieved through alternative mediums.

Hopefully I can find a way to merge these ideas together.

What are you most excited to do on creative futures?

I think I’m most excited to have the chance to develop ideas and get stuck into making some work. Over the past few years, it’s been difficult to feel absorbed in my work due to the logistics of no space or time. This will be a really useful opportunity to focus on my work and make some contacts along the way.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?

Not really sure, but will hopefully be feeling more confident and positive about my artistic career. I feel like by the end of the programme I’ll have gained a solid set of resources and networks that’ll set me up for a long time - not only in terms of my career but also for myself personally.