People

Archipelago is a collaborative organisation - we work together to run projects that interest us. Some of our endeavours involve all of us, some just a few folk. We would love to grow our team, if you'd like to join us get in touch!

Directors

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Ben Wilde

Ben trained as a boatbuilder at the North West School of Wooden Boatbuilding in 2008 and has been working as a boatbuilder and teacher since. He ran the boatbuilding programme of the GalGael Trust from 2010 to 2018 including a major Heritage Lottery Funded project 'Anchor and Sail'. As part of that he delivered the first City and Guilds qualifications in boatbuilding in Scotland with Martin Hughes from the Scottish Maritime Museum.

While at GalGael he built at least 10 new boats and restored as many again. Notable projects including restoring Orcuan, a 30' Hebridean Birlinn belonging to the GalGael Trust; new build of the Iain Oughtred West Coast Skiff and developing a new 10'6" clinker dinghy design with builder and designer Jonny Burke

He's also been instrumental in establishing the Clydebuilt Festival in Glasgow and the Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club. His main interests are maritime heritage and making it as accessible as it possibly can be, and of course sailing, rowing and playing in small craft. 

 

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Ruth Little

Ruth Little is a dance and theatre dramaturg, a teacher and writer. Her research and teaching in ecologies of performance is informed by the science of living systems and by two decades' experience of commissioning, developing and curating live art events. Her work has encompassed national arts organisations, rural communities, site-specific production and large and small-scale exhibitions. She has worked with community groups, policy makers, academics, and artists across all forms, and has led workshops nationally and internationally. She lectured in English literature at the University of Sydney, and was literary manager at Out of Joint, Soho Theatre, the Young Vic and the Royal Court. Ruth was associate director at Cape Farewell, curator and producer of Sea Change, a programme of interdisciplinary research, sailing expeditions, events and exhibitions across the islands of Scotland. She is dramaturg with Akram Khan Company (Gnosis, Vertical Road, Desh, iTMOi, Dust, Techne, Until the Lions) and has worked with Banff Arts Centre, Sadlers Wells, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Spitalfields Festival, Barbican, National Theatre Connections, Fuel Theatre, Siobhan Davies Dance, Dance Umbrella and many others. Publications include The Young Vic Book (Methuen, 2004), The Royal Court Theatre Inside Out (Oberon, 2007), ‘The Slow Art of Contemporary Expedition: Islandings’ (in Expedition, University of the Arts, 2012), ‘Art, Place, Climate: Situated Ethics’ (InArt and Ethics, Springer, 2014), ‘War in the Body’ (La Monnaie/de Munt, 2014), 'The Meteorological Body' (in Imaginative Bodies, Antennae, 2017). 

Teachers

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Jason Bradley

Jason came to boatbuilding and woodworking via the GalGael Trust whilst recovering from illlness. Between 2011 and 2015 he worked on several boats, carrying out repairs, restorations and new builds under the tutelage of Ben Wilde. During that time he built a playground structure for Arrochar Primary School and worked directly with pupils on the design.

This added to Jason’s varied working history and hobbies - estate management, bicycle maintenance, record shop owner, computer geek and phonographer to name but a few and eventually it all led to Jason’s latest venture - Haund an Ee. A social enterprise drawing on his skills which aims to empower young people in taking charge of their own creative projects centred around handwork, technology, place and belonging.

Find out more about Haund an EE

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Leanne Fischler

Originally from the Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland, Leanne graduated from The University of Dundee in 2016 with a BSc. (Hons) First Class degree in Product Design. She has worked with BBC Bitesize teaching Art and Design; with V&A Dundee delivering a program of sustainable co-design workshops; and has spoken on national media about her critical, anti-consumerist design work.

Leanne sees design not as a tool to be used by consumer society but as a way to spark criticism and debate through problem solving. She witnessed the potential for making to empower people first hand through her work with charity Skill Share Dundee and within The GalGael Trust Govan and has since used this as a basis for her work. In seeing making and design as a form of activism, we can encouraging people to take ownership of the problems around them and, through this, to take ownership of our collective future.

Find out more about Leanne

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Andy McKenzie

Andy always had an interest in metal work and making things from an early age. In 2006 he was lucky enough to volunteer for a project building a Viking longhouse who had a blacksmith on site. He had a day with him in the forge and that was it, he was hooked. 

Andy is a mixture of self taught and classically trained. Which he says “basically means my hands are covered in burns and I melted at least half of my early work. But, pardon the pun, blacksmithing lit a fire within me and I’ve been passionate about it every day since I started swinging a hammer”

Andy runs Feather Forge making lovely pieces for sale but teaching was the next logical step and he absolutely absolutely loves it “Every student has a moment where everything clicks and they realise they can do it too and I find that very rewarding”

Find out more about Andy McKenzie