Ten years in the making

Delta Studios founder Craig McKechnie
Delta Studios founder Craig McKechnie

Delta Studios in Larbert has been making art accessible for 10 years.

And to mark the anniversary, founder Craig McKechnie is hosting an exhibition of his work – ‘Roamin in your Gloamin’.

Craig started the studios after hosing an exhibition of his work in his home studio – and welcoming over 2000 visitors.

The former Glasgow School of Art student said: “By the unbelievable response I knew there was a gap in the area for a thriving, exciting arts venue and went about researching and planning to open a space where not only exhibits could be held but that artists could use as workshops.”

From that initial idea, Delta Studios was born – from the outside a nondescript industrial unit close to an indoor go karting centre, but inside there are 20 individual artist workshops, a large classroom and an exhibition space to rival any of the big city galleries. Every available wall space displays the art of students and artists with the main ethos of Delta being inclusive art.

Craig said: “Art is such a powerful tool and lots of people come to us for classes and then unlock what they want to do with their lives, whether that is art or science or literature.

“We also have disabled people who come to classes and we believe in inclusion – they are not segregated from the other students and some of the work produced is incredible.”

As well as taking classes at the studios and taking on the role of creative director, Craig is a respected artist in his own right so it only seemed appropriate that the first person to have a solo exhibition to mark the 10th anniversary be the man behind Delta Studios.

‘Roamin in your Gloamin’ is an impressive exhibit of paintings and conceptual art using reclaiming and recycled pieces.

One of the most striking collections uses sofa foam from the upholsterers in the same industrial estate with other pieces using lead, copper, confectionary, sponge and even hair.

Another piece involves pebbles picked up from a Jura beach to signify the importance of the island that inspires him.

Many of the pieces are political, with the artist admitting he chose the exhibition title as he hates the song and the twee imagery it evokes of what is means to be Scottish.

Craig continued: “I have enough pieces to put another two or three exhibits but these were the pieces I thought worked best with the space and together.

“I used a lot of recycled products to create textures as well as things you wouldn’t associate with art, like Smarties and Polo Mints, and the response has been incredible.”

‘Roamin in your Gloamin’ opened last week with an event involving Nigerian dancers, light and film with the highlights being made into a video for You Tube to be shared around the world.

“That is what is so wonderful about the internet, an exhibition on Larbert can be watched all over the world.

“We are a wee gallery in Larbert but close the curtains and it could be anywhere - London, New York... we are a world class exhibition space and have fantastic artists in the studios.

“The vision for the next ten years is to diversify even more, currently it’s mostly traditional art we offer in classes but we are branching in to modern forms like graphic design and Photoshop thanks to Kat Nicholson.

“I’d also like to see an even more varied selection of artists using Delta for their studios. Just now we have jewellery designers, a woodwind repair workshop, painters and sculptors but I’d like to diversify even further and welcome more musicians and creators of art forms like scientists. Natural science fascinates me so to have an entomologist based in the studios would be incredible.

“I am proud of what Delta Studios has achieved in the past 10 years.

“We have proved there was a need and a want for a unique and engaging art space in the Falkirk area.”

‘Roamin in your Gloamin’ will be open to the public throughout July, for opening times and information contact (01324) 555 500.