Alchemy Film & Arts is a cultural organisation invested in experimental film as a means of generating discussion, strengthening community, and stimulating creative thought.
We connect artists and audiences within Hawick and the Scottish Borders through a diverse range of year-round events – including exhibitions, commissions, residencies, community filmmaking workshops and an annual film festival.
Founded in 2010 by Dr Richard Ashrowan, Alchemy has grown to be an enduring fixture in the Hawick landscape. We are one of 121 organisations to receive regular funding from Creative Scotland and the only organisation to receive such funding in the Borders. In summer 2019, we launched Film Town – a community filmmaking initiative working with local partners to deliver creative opportunities and development in the form of workshops, screenings, and digital support.
Alchemy’s continued existence in a town of 14,000 people poses a significant challenge to urban-centric models of cultural and artistic provision. We seek to deinstitutionalise the art experience: repurposing Hawick’s disused industrial and retail spaces, creating varied and multiple access points throughout our programme, and providing frameworks for inclusion and meaningful creative engagement.
Alchemy curated the Scotland + Venice presentation at the 2017 Venice Biennale, commissioning Rachel Maclean’s Spite Your Face in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and University of Edinburgh. Since then, we have continued to work with both established and emerging artists. Our recent international partners have included San Francisco Cinematheque, EYE Filmmuseum and Ann Arbor Film Festival. We also partner with LUX Scotland, Cove Park, Queen Margaret University and the University of Glasgow, and with local organisations such as Hawick Archaeological Society, Borders Additional Needs Group, Moving Image Makers Collective and NHS Borders.
Directors Rachael Disbury · Michael Pattison · Technical Coordinator Helen MacKenzie · Film Town Coordinator Tom Swift · Engagement Coordinator Alix Rothnie · Marketing Assistant Alexandra Dorisca · Festival Programmers Jonathan Ali · Marius Hrdy · Kerry Jones · Rhea Storr · Work Placement Students Milo Clenshaw · Shuge Xing · Installations Coordinator Walt Holland
Sandy Devers · Irene Faith · Karen Gateson · Miwa Nagato-Apthorp · Sarah Perks · Rachel Pronger · Mark Timmins
Dr Richard Ashrowan
Creative Director 2010 – 2018