Step out into a world of art

26th January 2007 at 00:00
Giant productions is a Glasgow-based arts company which enjoys testing the concept of "inclusivity". Most of the time they seem hell-bent on testing it to destruction, but there were no visible signs of strain in the World Beneath My Feet at the Tramway, a parade of artwork they created in an ingenious, collaborative project with three primary schools.

The starting point was to work with children living in three starkly differing environments and let them share their sameness and differences.

"Town, coast and country" were represented by P7 pupils from Ruchill Pri-mary and Communication Disorder Unit in Glasgow, Drummore, and Forth in the hills of South Lanarkshire.

Maria McAvan, the company's visual arts director, dreamed up the project.

Her own work draws on the power of landscape, memory of place and the importance of everyday domestic objects such as cups, and these ideas soaked into a project that asked the children to look afresh at their own worlds.

"At Drummore", she says, "it was a little frustrating. The school is by the sea, with a splendid beach, but the children never went to the beach - they didn't want to. I showed them how to dig shapes and patterns in the sand and fill them with plaster. They smiled tolerantly but preferred to draw pictures and make plaster casts out of those.

"But it worked out well in the end, and we were down there daily.

"Ruchill children had fun using video cameras to pan round Glasgow from the vantage point of the flagpole in the park, zooming in on buildings that interested them. And the Forth children got interested in art in the environment and made amazing things that they animated and took around school.

"During the project, the children sent boxes of things they had found and made, and talked to each other via a blog. I wanted them to meet, but only Forth were able to come."

* T 0141 357 5000 E

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