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Lesson in the art of the hornbill

Sculpture that became a highlight of Edinburgh's `Jungle City' exhibition is back with its pupil creators. Julia Belgutay reports

Sculpture that became a highlight of Edinburgh's `Jungle City' exhibition is back with its pupil creators. Julia Belgutay reports

Ahornbill sculpture - designed and painted by pupils at Balfron Primary as an exhibit in Edinburgh's Jungle City project - has been given back to the school.

The piece had been part of the event in Edinburgh over the summer, an exhibition "of animals for animals" which aimed to raise funds for conservation. It had 130 sculptures created by artists and displayed in public spaces across the city.

Web-hosting company Easyspace in Milngavie had commissioned children at Friends of Art Balfron (FAB), a not-for-profit community art group, to design the hornbill they sponsored as a contribution to Jungle City, making it the only work in the main exhibition to be designed by children.

The youngsters based their design on interior designs by Alexander "Greek" Thomson, the 19th-century architect born in Balfron, Stirlingshire. Drawing inspiration from postcards of Holmwood House, they painted designs on large sheets of paper, which were transferred and painted onto the hornbill sculpture.

The 20 children who created and painted the animal at FAB were all current or former pupils of Balfron Primary, so the company has decided to donate the hornbill, named Webby, to the school as a reminder of the importance of conservation.

"We wanted to involve young children in our Jungle City project and the pupils of Balfron Primary did us proud. We hope Webby helps Balfron pupils to understand the challenges faced by these endangered animals," said Jane Robertson, who presented the sculpture on behalf of Easyspace.

Ann McIntosh, headteacher of Balfron Primary, added: "In Balfron Primary we have redesigned our curriculum to include opportunities for children to take responsibility for their world. The hornbill project has reinforced the importance of creativity and the many developments and ways we can contribute to our world as young people."

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