A new book produced by Creative Scotland and Edinburgh-based daily online photo-diary, Blipfoto, as part of a year-long project designed to show the world exactly how creative a nation Scotland really is, features schoolchildren from East Renfrewshire.
The children were all involved in George Wyllie Education Initiative, which saw children from across the west of Scotland studying the life and legacy of internationally renowned Scots artist, George Wyllie.
A key element in keeping pupils, teachers, parents and carers in touch with the project was the use of Blipfoto as WhysMan2.
The project’s creator and co-ordinator, Angela McEwan of Media Matters Education Consultancy posted a picture a day relating to the project from October until the end of the exhibition in Februeary this year.
Mr Wyllie died last May, just as a year-long celebration of his life, The Whysman Festival, was getting into full swing. The year ended with a retrospective exhibition at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library, which many of the children involved in the project visited.
The youngest children to take part in the initiative were from Arthurlie Family Centre in Barrhead. They made a big banana boat, which went on display at a temporary ‘paper boat’ shed at the George Wyllie exhibition as well as lots of little boats from real bananas. One of the children, Laurie Salmond commented, “We saw lots of sculptures and lots of kids and we made a banana boat.”
Around 4000 images and stories were entered to Blipfoto’s See Us project from all over Scotland, with a number of shots coming in from around the world too. Just over 100 were used in the book.
Blipfoto was so impressed by the George Wyllie Education Project that specially for the book, they commissioned a photograph of a group of young people involved in the project, including Laurie Salmond, from Arthurlie Family Centre.
This has been included in the book alongside images from the online diary.
“We saw lots of sculptures and lots of kids, we made a banana boat.”
Laurie Salmond, 4, nursery pupil at Arthurlie Family Centre, Barrhead:
“It was lovely to see all the children of various ages and the huge variety of ways they expressed their responses to George Wylie’s work.”
Laurie’s mum, Kathryn Salmond
“The children at Arthurlie Family Centre had a great time exploring the work of George Wylie and developing their own ideas in response to that.
“They were very proud to have their banana boat displayed in the Mitchell Library with all the other work ‘by the big boys and girls’.”
Rosamund Rodriguez, Head Teacher at Arthurlie Family Centre
“The George Wyllie Education Initiative took off in all sorts of unexpected directions but the main joy for the Whysman Festival was the way in which all the children embraced George and his work and really ‘got it’. It’s an inspiring example of bringing young people to art in a refreshingly straightforward and inspiring way. Which was the way George always operated.”
Jan Patience, Communications director, The Whysman Festival
The book is available at Street Level Gallery in Glasgow where the exhibition runs for the month of June.
The paper boats the children made for the George Wylie exhibition will be launched from the Beacon Arts Centre in Grennock on Saturday 31st August 2013.