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Circus Zine Fest 2021

SATURDAY 12 & SUNDAY 13 JUNE 2021, 2 - 8PM

Circus Zine Fest was organised by Hester Grant in order to bring the art form of zines to the Highlands. Zines are homemade publications that originated in the 1930s in the US. Zines are often created out of political or artistic movements. For example, in the early 1990s bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile created zines as way of spreading their feminist message using a punk rock aesthetic in a visual format which complimented their music. However, there are no set rules on what makes a zine a zine. Zine festivals have become more and more popular in cities with strong contemporary art scenes such as Berlin and Glasgow and we are delighted to bring this inaugural event to the Highlands. 

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Circus Zine Fest will feature a reference library for attendees to view at their own leisure and zines created by publications such as Sticky Fingers Publishing, Toothache Zine, Wish Fulfillment Press and many more. There are also several workshops and performances available to attend. We believed it was important to have a performance element to the Zine Fest as zines are so inspired by punk culture, fashion and performance art.

This event is supported by Creative Scotland and Wasps.

Programme - Saturday 12 June


2:15 - 2:30pm, Zine Fest introduction from curator Hester Grant, FREE, Gym Hall

3:00 - 3:30pm, Conversation with Sticky Fingers, FREE, online screening & available to watch in the space

Sticky Fingers is an intra-dependant publisher based in London. It consists of designers and writers Kaiya Waerea (she/her) & Sophie Paul (she/her). Sticky Fingers has a number of publications such as their Dead Lovers zine. Circus speaks to Kaiya and Sophie about getting started in publishing and art and experimental writing.

3:45 - 5:15pm, Zine Making Workshop with Iona Gibson, £5 per person, Gym Hall

Iona Gibson is a zine maker based in Nairn. She is the co-founder of De-Ziners and the founder of NRRRN Zine. She recently graduated from the University of the Arts London with an MA in Publishing. Iona has been making zines for over a decade.  Iona will introduce workshop attendees to the concept of a zine and instruct attendees on how to make a zine. Iona will discuss the importance of zines both socially and environmentally.

Book your place via Eventbrite here

5:30 - 6:00pm, Zine Discussion with NRRRN Zine and Wishfulfillment Press editors, FREE, Gym Hall

Hester Grant speaks to Highland zine makers Iona Gibson and Philip Taylor. 


6:15 - 6:45pm, Audio Zines, FREE performance, Gym Hall

Audio Zines is a collaboration between Hester Grant, Freya Grant and Deborah Hedley. This performance was created as a way of creating a collage effect using the medium sounds, spoken world and dance. Hester has created sound pieces to accompany Freya’s spoken word poems featuring Deborah performing a dance using silks. Zines are often inspired by music so Audio Zines is a concept where music is inspired by zines as an artform.

Book your place via Eventbrite here

7:00 - 8:00pm, Body Zine Workshop with Evija Laivina & Hester Grant, £5 per person, Workshop Space

This is a workshop led collaboratively by Evija Laivina & Hester Grant. This will be a blend of life drawing and zine making. First, Evija will guide attendees to take part in life drawing exercises. Hester will then ask attendees to use these drawings to form a “Body Zine” and tell a story using different body parts.

Book your place via Eventbrite here

Programme - Sunday 13 June


2:15 - 3:45pm Writing Workshop with Freya Grant, £5 per person, Gym Hall

Freya Grant is an artist who grew up in Inverness and is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her zine, which includes both illustration and poetry, was featured in Circus’ online zine project Inversesh. For this workshop, Freya will take the participants through various exercises in which they can unearth their writing potential which may have been affected by either writer’s block or anxiety. The group will then be led through writing discussions and freethought exercises. As preparation, the writers will be asked to think about a piece of media which has grabbed their attention before they attend the workshop. It could be a TV show, a sculpture, a song, a painting, etc. Attendants will also be asked to bring along a piece of writing that has not been written by themselves.

Book your place via Eventbrite here

4:00 - 5:30pm, Risograph Zine Workshop with Alice Prentice (Isle of Riso), £5 per person, Gym Hall

The workshop is designed to dip your toes in the wonderful world of Risograph printing! You’ll be taught how Risograph printing works and how to make artwork for the printing process. Then, you and your fellow workshop participants will make a collaborative folded zine together to be printed at Isle of Riso. No

 pressure for what to draw or make. Just bring whatever materials and inspiration you feel comfortable using. This can be pens, pencils, collage materials, photographs, paint or inks. And if you don’t have anything like that - don’t worry, we’ll supply some materials for you to use. Go home with 6 copies of your collaborative zine each, printed in two popping riso ink colours. 

What is Risograph? Risograph printing was first invented in Japan in the 80s. It is known for its high speed, low cost, and completely unique results. On the outside, a Risograph printer looks like a photocopier, but it works like a mechanical screen-printer. Separations are made from greyscale artwork and then printed in layers of coloured ink.

Isle of Riso are a small Risograph printing studio based in Inverness. We aim to be the first Riso printing studio in the Highland region centred around collaboration, education and accessibility. Run by Alice Prentice, an illustration graduate from DJCAD.

Book your place via Eventbrite here

5:45 - 7:00pm, Mono-printing Zine Workshop with Holly Osborne & Sadie Stoddart, £5 per person, Gym Hall

Artists Holly Osborne and Sadie Stoddart will be running a monoprinting and collage zine workshop. Experiment with different objects to print with, alongside other mono printing techniques, creating a variety of different zines. All materials are provided.​

Book your place via Eventbrite here

7:30 - 8:00pm, Fashion Show, FREE, Gym Hall

This fashion show has been co-ordinated by our current intern Taylor Black. Since studying textiles at West Highland College UHI, Taylor has spent a month learning traditional art & textiles techniques in a Slovakian Art School (2019) as well as undertaking an internship with Nonchalant fashion house in Torlundy (2020 - 2021). 

There will be pieces by designers: Tyra Scally, Lizi Kiddier, Megan Armour, Jade Power and Taylor Black.

Book your place via Eventbrite here

Covid-19: we ask that you observe social distancing and follow the one-way system in the Gym Hall, indicated by arrows on the floor. There will be a track and trace system at the entrance and a limited capacity within Gym Hall which might mean you may have queue on entry. Finally please wear a face mask whilst inside the building.


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