Art - Twinned perspectives

16th October 2009 at 01:00

Gaelic-medium pupils from Edinburgh's Tollcross Primary and Bun-sgoil Shleite on the Isle of Skye have been taking part in an innovative art project.

The event was part of the Air Iomlaid (On Exchange) initiative and was led by The Fruitmarket Gallery in the capital and artist Julie Brook, with a team of professional artists. It brought the schools together at outdoor locations in Skye and Edinburgh, where they drew and painted their respective environments.

Earlier this month, the children captured Skye's rural mountain landscape and a later visit to Edinburgh allowed them to depict the cityscape on Calton Hill, Princes Street Gardens and Waverley Bridge.

The natural history element of the project is being supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, whose Gaelic communications officer, Shona Sloan, guided the party through the natural history of Edinburgh. "The visit also showed the youngsters how rich and descriptive the Gaelic language is in its expression of nature and wildlife - especially here in the heart of a busy city like Edinburgh, where one of the most celebrated natural features - Calton Hill - is a name derived directly from `Calltain', the Gaelic word for hazel."

The project will culminate in an exhibition in April next year. After its run at The Fruitmarket Gallery, it will travel to Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. It will show the children's sketchbooks and working drawings, as well as large-scale artworks in which the landscapes of Skye and Edinburgh are interpreted from the perspective of both resident and visiting children.

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