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Photo: Kerry Jones.
Artist Kerry Jones turned her old trailer into one of the smallest cinemas in the UK.

Today we have another idea on taking what you have and turning it into something that can delight others.

“Until fairly recently,” writes the BBC, “Kerry Jones’s caravan lay rotting and forgotten about in her garden in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders — a home for discarded bric-a-brac.

“But during the Covid-19 lockdown, the artist and filmmaker saw new potential in the 1980s Swift Pirouette, and resolved to turn it into a tiny, traveling cinema. With a maximum of eight seats, it could be one of the smallest cinemas in the UK.

” ‘It isn’t the first cinema caravan to exist,’ said Kerry. ‘There was one over in Dumfries and Galloway that a friend of mine made at the beginning of the 2000s, that was really inspiring. I’m really interested in projects that involve people out in your community.’ …

“Over the pandemic, Kerry secured a bursary [grant] from the Alchemy Film and Arts charity based in nearby Hawick as part of a local arts program running between July 2021 and December 2023. She used it to renovate the caravan inside and out, swapping the retro mint paneling for a bright red that could be seen for miles. … Inside, she plans to install between six and eight seats, again in a plush, cinematic red fabric.

“Speaking to Mornings with Stephen Jardine, she said: ‘[I’ve] had it for 12 years — it’s been out and about, it’s been used for people to stay, it’s been a spare room. But over the last few years, but it’s just been one of those spaces that you put things in and forget about.’

“Kerry’s caravan cinema project — named Moving Images — [made] its debut at Hawick’s Alchemy Film Festival on 28 April, screening nine short films all made by people in the south of Scotland.

“It comes at a time when Scotland has lost one of its smallest cinemas — the Schoolhouse Cinema in Shetland. This 20-seat cinema, run by local magician Chris Harris, was put up for auction in 2020 after he decided to leave the islands.

“Around the same time another tiny theater opened in the Highland village of Cromarty — a 35-seat facility that took two years to come to fruition.

“Kerry aims to cater for an even more intimate experience, and will be using a small portable projector to save on power without sacrificing picture quality.

“The caravan itself is solar powered, but Kerry said she will borrow a high-quality battery as back-up until she can crowdfund her own.

“Any spare cash will then be put towards taking the caravan on the road — possibly for a tour of free screenings and running filmmaking workshops at local primary schools.

“Kerry added: ‘It’s going to be really adaptable. Selkirk’s market square have said they’d be quite interested in having the caravan there. I’d love to take it out to some of the more rural areas like Duns and Gordon.

” ‘We’re also going to work with a group called Connecting Threads and they’re doing lots of projects along the Tweed [river] — I’d love to see it there, that would be quite magical.’ “

There’s more to read at the artist’s website. “As part of The Teviot, the Flag and the Rich, Rich Soil, our programme exploring the pasts, presents and futures of Hawick and the Scottish Borders and investigating the town and wider region’s cultural identities in relation to land, water, industry, territory, place and environment, Alchemy is offering a number of bursaries to Borders-based artists. These bursaries will support a range of community-oriented projects between July 2021 and December 2023.”

More at the BBC, here, and Jones’s website, Alchemy Film and Arts, here.

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