Dominic made a turban, inspired by the pantomime, Aladdin. Sebastian made a hat the size of a sombrero, inspired by a story about dragons.
One of the projects run by V&A Dundee in the build-up to its grand opening last Saturday was the Bonnetmakers project. Rosebank and Our Lady’s primaries are situated in Dundee’s Hilltown area, where bonnetmaking used to be a prominent trade, so the museum teamed pupils with Scottish milliners Sally-Ann Provan and Pea Cooper to design their own 21st-century bonnets.
The aim was to introduce the pupils to the design process and their city’s industrial heritage, as well as the museum. The project, which lasted for almost a year, also sought to help pupils from the two schools to get to know each other before they moved into a new, shared campus.
The Bonnetmakers project culminated in a fashion show with family members modelling pupils’ creations. V&A Dundee learning manager Joanna Mawdsley says it was one her favourite initiatives.
“The Bonnetmakers was the one that I think really did trickle down in such a precious way,” she explains. “We were working with the pupils, but it involved friends and family members who didn’t realise what [the V&A] was going to be, or what it was about.”
The project gave the parents ownership of the museum, Mawdsley believes, and she hopes it dispelled any notion that V&A Dundee was “a stuffy institution where you need a PhD to get through the door”.
Rosebank Primary teacher Maria Brown firmly believes the museum’s outreach work will pay off.
“The V&A has put itself out there and has invested in the children of the city,” she says, “and the payback for that is they are invested in the V&A and want to continue to access it.”