community arts projects

Inverkeithing Arts are committed to community and participatory arts projects, supporting members of the public and community groups to become involved in enjoyable and meaningful arts-based projects.

SNAPSHOTS & SKETCHES – making our mark in Inverkeithing


Summer 2020 – February 2021

In the summer of 2020 Inverkeithing Arts Initiative was commissioned by the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration Project to work with the community and create a motif, or series of motifs, which will be incorporated into the upcoming public realm works throughout the town centre. Due to social restrictions and school disruptions, we developed a project which could more easily reach members of the community, in the form of previous students of workshops and projects, with whom we already had contact, rather than trying to reach out and bring together a larger cohort. We knew these artists and their work, and were confident of their interest in the subject matter and artistic sensitivities and abilities. We were also happy because the group was intergenerational and included both men and women.

The seven artists we contacted were all delighted to take part. Our brief was not only to create the motifs, but also to engage the participants with the rich history and heritage of the town. We knew that each of the artists were already very engaged with the town where they live, and its fascinating history, and had the capacity to develop their artistic skills through furthering their research and artistic practice.

The artists engaged with a variety of original sources provided by contacts at Fife Historic Buildings Trust, Northlights and the Inverkeithing Historical Society. They sourced their own online resources, worked from books they already owned (the libary was not open), and spoke with family and friends about memories and satires of the past in Inverkeithing. The covid restrictions meant that meeting up was hit and miss. We were able to meet outdoors several times as small groups, and were able to meet up for one to one meetings at Maker. However we were unable to meet up as a whole group, or meet in workshop settings to create work together. Technology, while helpful in some ways, was not entirely accessible to all members of the group, so couldn’t be relied upon to provide teaching or meeting sessions. Despite these impediments, the artists’s work, when pulled together at Maker for an exhibition in October 2020, created a truly wonderful and inspiring bank of drawings, paintings, photography, models and text.

Development of the final motifs will take place from November 2020 to January 2021, with the results being revealed in mid February.

This project was developed by Inverkeithing Arts Initiative and commissioned for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Fife Council.  

The project, running 2019-2024, is being delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust.

Previous Community Projects
Memory Group Workshops (read more)
Inverkeithing Primary School Photography Project (read more)
The Place Where We Live: An Art Project With P4 Pupils (read more)
Art and Craft Taster Sessions (read more)
Fraser Avenue: A Deconstruction (read more)

Memory Group Workshops 2016/2017

Instigated by Fife CLD Partnership and The Fraser Avenue Regeneration Project and led by Inverkeithing Arts Initiative)

Tuesdays 9.30-11.30, 2a High Street, Inverkeithing – a group for current and former residents of Fraser Avenue and surrounding area

‘An opportunity for conversations about individual experiences of living in Fraser Avenue and the surrounding area, examining the past, witnessing the present and recording hopes for the future. Memories will be shared and recorded through personal art works.

Weeks 1-8: The individuals in the group started the sessions by sharing memories, both personal and communal, of living in the area. They varied in age from early 20s to 60s, and were a fairly balanced mix of men and women. They began to record these in writing, and collection of objects special to them and their homes. Using a variety of mediums including writing, photographs, drawing, bookmaking, model making and collage, each individual transformed their material into independently developed art projects. While working on their own art pieces, the conversation and laughter continued to flow, offering in its own right another dimension to the memory work. The interweaving of lives through generations, and set very firmly in the landscape in and around Inverkeithing was very enriching for all participants.  A highlight of the 8 week project was a group walk up Digger’s Hill, a local wild area where the participants played as children. IAI filmed the group discussions and individuals talking about their memories of playing on the hill, revealing deep connections between landscape and memory.

Weeks 9-16: The group developed their individual work, beginning to plan how they could create a group work of art. The group decided to create a book of memories, bringing their experiences together in a variety of media including stitching, collage, drawing and photography. They chose a thick cotton fabric to create the book, on a large scale, which could be presented on a table. The end result was tactile as well as visual. One of the members of the group also created  a model of Inverkeithing harbour, complete with ships and incorporating a written work. The artworks were exhibited at The Inverkeithing Civic Centre on 9th-15th June 2017, and then at the newly extended Carnegie Library and Museum in Dunfermline. It resides permanently at the Civic Centre.

image: The Inverkeithing Memory Book, mixed media on fabric

image: pictures from an exhibition 09/06/17

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Inverkeithing Primary School Photography Project

‘Hunting for Treasure’ 

Autumn 2016 &  Spring 2017

(in collaboration with the Fraser Avenue Regeneration Project)

With the demolition and rebuilding of this well known street comes the opportunity to take the time to explore a place at once familiar and at the same time in the process of becoming strange, unfamiliar and renewed.

Pupils at Inverkeithing Primary School have been involved in thinking about the changes taking place on Fraser Avenue. IAI designed a photography project for the p4 year group which would explore in more depth the children’s awareness and experiences of the changes around them. The street is very close to the school, and many children live on it. Almost all children in Inverkeithing who come to the school need to pass the top of the street, either on foot, peddle power or car. The top of the street features a large triangular expanse of grass, populated with blossom trees, and it is a regular sight to see children walking away from the school in an orderly manner, only to take a sudden, free, run across the grass, schoolbags flying behind them. What will happen when this little dash of freedom is removed?

The photography project’s aim was for pupils to take a walk out on the street and surrounding area, with cameras, and capture some of what they saw, and by extension, observed and felt about the changes. There are two p4 classes at Inverkeithing Primary, so one class went for their walk in October 2016, while demolition was in preparation, and the second class went out in March 2017, after the first stage of demolition had been completed. They were then brought together in class to continue to explore their images and observations.

The classes followed a ‘treasure hunt’ concept, so that, in focusing in on singular things, they would capture what they saw in more detail and changes of scale.  The hunt included: ‘something blue’, ‘something far away’, ‘something growing’, ‘a machine’, ‘something close’, ‘a sign’, ‘something thrown away’. They were also encouraged to scavenge for found objects which caught their eye, and bring them back to class .

The resulting images offer a fascinating glimpse into what the children saw on their two trips. In representation a street in the midst of change, there is a definite sense of atmosphere and lived experience.

In the classroom, the children were presented with lovely prints of their photos, but were also encouraged to cut up the images printed on to ordinary A4 printer paper. This ‘kill your darlings’ exercise was to show to the children that their work can be developed further, and be used to explore further what they have seen and what they remember.  The strips of printed images were woven together to abstract what they had seen and create a ‘woven together’ street, signifying the numerous lives interwoven into a street. The children also drew with marker onto clear acetate things they remembered seeing on their walks, then lain on top of the collaged prints. Finally a street was recreated – revealing a newly imagined community.

images: some of the treasure hunt photographs

images: images of the collage Fraser Avenue

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Art and Craft Taster Sessions

(supported by Kingdom Housing Association)

In April 2017 IAI organised ‘taster sessions’ during a Family Fun Day at Inverkeithing Primary School, giving families the opportunity to try some creative activities, led by local artists and crafters. Local crafters ‘Rustic Simplicity’ offered the chance to build wooden bird boxes, nursery teacher Cathy Reilly was on hand to help visitors decoupage a frame or a jar, and sculpture and community artist Rosie Gibson was offering visitors the chance to make either 2D or 3D art pieces based on their own memories of living in the area. She encouraged them to take their pieces away and ‘place’ them where they belonged in the environment. All of the activities were very popular with the children, and adults also joined in. The session was also an opportunity to speak with local people about what their concerns and interests are, and what kind of creative activities they might like to take part in.

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Fraser Avenue: A Deconstruction

Inverkeithing Arts will document the changes in Fraser Avenue during the regeneration project – pre-demolition, demolition, re build and moving in.

View some of the photographs taken so far on the Kingdom Housing Association website


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The Place Where We Live – An Art Project with the p4 Pupils of Inverkeithing Primary School – October 2015

full description of this project

The p4 pupils of Inverkeithing Primary School took part in an art project in October 2015, as part of Rosie Gibson’s Luminate project ‘Trading Wisdom. They were asked to think about their own experience of living in Inverkeithing. The children were read a memory from a lassie in the 1950s, going to and fro the Caldwell Paper Mill every day and reflected on their own connection to her journey. What daily journeys do they undertake and what do they see on those journeys? Read More