Nov 252013

On Friday Primary 6&7 pupils at Port Ellen were visited by artist and teacher Phillipa Mitchell for an afternoon of geese and art. Islay is famous for its winter visitors, the barnacle geese, and Phillipa wanted to find out how the children felt about the geese. In the morning children debated in class the pros and cons of the geese visiting Islay: they are beautiful and attract birdwatchers and tourists, but they also destroy the grass and make life very difficult for farmers. Opinion was divided about what should be done about the 50,000 visitors the Island receives each year.

In the afternoon Phillipa told then the interesting history of the barnacle goose; in olden times people believed the geese hatched from barnacles rather than eggs because they suddenly arrived at the same time each year. People even ate them at Lent because they were considered fish instead of fowl! The children then made Mono-prints expressing their views on the geese, which were stunning. Phillipa hopes to use their prints in an art exhibition.

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