A small group of artists working together in Midlothian are quietly turning discrimination on its head.
KMAdotcom are visual artists, some of who have learning disabilities and some who do not. The group formed a few years ago, within what was a traditional learning disability workshop. They found that as they worked together, they had more in common than they thought and the dynamics of the workshop began to change.
Their working practice is based on finding different ways of making artworks together, without over-thinking or taking themselves too seriously, finding a common language, based on actions and not words.
Recently KMAdotcom were approached by Fiona Maher, Heritage Officer at Dalkeith Corn Exchange, to make work in response to the artefacts on show in the museum. They visited the museum many times, stood in the empty shell of the Corn Exchange before they started renovations; held bricks made in local brickworks and looked at costumes from years gone by.
Back in the studio, they threw funny looking cushion-like bricks up into the rafters hoping that they would get stuck. They made strange-looking costumes and balanced soft objects on the other person’s head. They shouted out humorous made-up slogans that whilst funny were important to them and the way they develop their ideas.
The work on show is the group’s response to the building and the museum collection. The exhibition runs from Tuesday, February 14 to Saturday, March 4.