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Western Isles Workshop

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Activities

Girls demonstrating picture they made

Introductory Activity

To introduce the theme of ‘A Sense of Place’, the participants were encouraged to share what they enjoy about living in the Western Isles and discuss their own ‘Treasured Places’ and the reasons why these are special. This was followed by an introduction to RCAHMS archive material, during which they could discuss the sites and buildings depicted in the drawings, books and photographs from RCAHMS collections, talk about those that were familiar to them and highlight other historical places on the island that they had visited or knew about. The participants considered the differences between how places on the island were used and looked in the past and how they are used and look now. These activities served to strengthen the participant’s existing beliefs that it is important to keep records for the future in order to enable us to learn about the past.

Generic Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge & Understanding
  • Attitudes & Values
  • Activity, Behaviour, Progression
Learning Outcomes
  • Understanding & developing a positive attitude towards the role of RCAHMS
  • Deepening their knowledge of the place they live, now and in the past
  • Selecting photographs and drawings that have a particular connection to them

Out & About

Throughout the week, the young people were given the opportunity to go out and about and explore the area surrounding Nunton Steadings. Each participant was provided with a sketchbook, pencils and a camera and asked to record parts of the landscape and features within the landscape that are important to them or that they feel make the island the place it is. They were also asked to collect discarded objects from the landscape that could be used in their art-works.

Generic Learning Outcomes
  • Skills
  • Attitudes & Values
  • Activity, Behaviour & Progression
Learning Outcomes
  • Develop new skills in photography & drawing
  • Increased awareness of own surroundings
  • Recording their own home

Preparation for Artworks

Following on from their exploration of RCAHMS collection material and their own investigation of the island, the participants were asked to consider the images and information they had collected and decide how they could be combined into a piece of artwork that reflects their ‘Sense of Place’. They worked with artist Jon McLeod, using computers and sketchbooks, to analyse, adapt and amalgamate copies of the archive material, their own photographs, drawings, notes and objects and their own portraits and profiles, thus combining the old, the new and the personal.

Generic Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge and Understanding
  • Skills
  • Enjoyment, Inspiration, Creativity
Learning Outcomes
  • Make links between the archive material and reality
  • Develop research and interpretation skills through the examination and reworking of archive material
  • Be inspired to further explore the place they live and their ‘Sense of Place’

Creation of Artworks

Having considered and designed their artworks, the participants used a variety of processes to create them. These included laser transfers, Photoshop, collage, and sculpture. The participants created single and collaborative pieces, thus displaying their individual and collective ‘Sense of Place’.

Generic Learning Outcomes
  • Skills
  • Enjoyment, Inspiration, Creativity
Learning Outcomes
  • Creative Skills and learning new processes
  • Being inspired by their own research
  • Exploration, experimentation and enjoyment of art because it is “not like the art at school”

Event

The artworks created throughout the week include sculpture, composite portraits, collage and adapted photography. At the end of the week, these were exhibited in Nunton Steadings and a viewing was held for family and friends of the participants. Some of the older participants helped in the labelling, hanging and display of the pieces, providing them with experience in exhibition preparation. All of the participants acted as guides for their visitors, showing them round the exhibition and explaining the activities that had taken place during the week. Each participant was also presented with a Certificate of Achievement

Generic Learning Outcomes
  • Skills
  • Attitudes & Values
Learning Outcomes
  • Teamwork and communication skills in preparing for the exhibition
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem through the display of their artworks

Further Development

The participants were given a handout with ‘Questions to consider’ when recording their own house or treasured place. These can be adapted for any place, and may help the participants think more deeply about places they live / visit in the future.

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