Our Art and Photography editor Yu Ching Yau dropped by the Creative Lock-In to see if it lives up to its reputation as a haven for the creative souls of St Andrews.


Curious newcomers and seasoned members of St Andrews’ art community were greeted with the punchy notes of live band Too This For That in full swing as they filtered in through the narrow hallway leading into the Barron for the well-anticipated Creative Lock-In. The first people to arrive on the scene naturally gravitated toward an attractive place of their choice, whether it be the designated watercolour area complete with a friendly committee member, the cluster of sketchers forming under the fairy lights, or a free space where they could give in to their artistic whims. Of the latter, notable mentions include a person transforming themselves with full-face dramatic make-up and a group of four eclectic mah-jong players – performative artists in their own right.


This year’s Creative Lock-In was originally planned to take place during Freshers’ Week until a reservation of the Barron space fell through. Its happy revival prompted an influx of ‘interested’ responses on Facebook, although the fact that it was taking place during a Thursday evening in Week Seven most likely deterred many potential participants. Nevertheless, the Barron quickly reached capacity as it was filled with the sound of friendly chatter weaved in between groovy melodies.


While artists were free to do whatever they liked whenever they liked, ArtSoc was there to provide some structure to those who preferred it, in the form of ‘little stations’. In addition to the watercolour workshop, participants were offered the enticing options of life drawing, collaging and a writing corner hosted by Inklight. A film screening was also promised for those who were dedicated enough to stay deep into the night.


For the short while that this reviewer lingered at the event, she was struck by the success achieved by such a simple set-up. ArtSoc seems to have found the perfect recipe for what they proclaim to be a night of ‘unbridled, collaborative self-expression’: a combination of sleep deprivation, fairy lights in a darkened theatre, a shared love of art and the tools with which to express it.