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

The p4 pupils of Inverkeithing Primary School took part in an art project in October 2015, based on their own experiences of living in the town. The children were asked to have a think about their everyday surroundings and get drawing, resulting in these wonderfully vivid and exciting 3 dimensional street scenes.

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The pupils worked with IAI, volunteering as Art Club Inverkeithing, after artist Rosie Gibson asked if they’d like to help her with one of the pieces for her Trading Wisdom art project, which took place in Inverkeithing from 10th-17th October. With the collaboration of the teachers, headteacher and depute head, the p4 pupils took part in the whole-day project, resulting in two fantastic 3 dimensional maps of the centre of Inverkeithing. Photographs of these works were then turned by Mary and Rosie into one of the exhibits for Trading Wisdom – placemats for the Millbrae Cafe.

For inspiration for this project, the children were shown one of Rosie’s ‘Nuggets of Wisdom’, collected from the local generation born between 1925 and 1935:

“My mother’s hoose was like a canteen. We went hame fae the mill for breakfast, lunch, then hame for the tea! And my brothers were on different shifts so they went hame at different times tae!”

Two basic, hand-drawn street maps of the centre of Inverkeithing were created by Jane, with the quote meandering along the road from the top of the Mill Brae, along the High Street and turning into Town Hall Street. The children were invited to have a think about and respond to the quote, and were shown a short presentation about the history of Caldwell’s Mill, which was demolished in 2012. They imagined Grace, whose quote it was, as a young woman, making her way home from the Mill, possibly up the Mill Brae, to her mother’s hoose. Would she have seen the same things on her walk that the children can see today?

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We were very impressed by how much the pupils warmed to the project. They were very interested and engaged – showing us just how naturally it is for them to feel that their town belongs to them. They were sincerely excited about the  idea of representing their daily surroundings through art, getting down to several hours of drawing without complaint. I think we can all agree they re-created their environment in the most colourful and imaginative way.  And, for the volunteers of Art Club Inverkeithing, the children were a delight to spend a day with!

Well done the p4 pupils at Inverkeithing Primary School, and many thanks to the teachers and head teachers for being so patient and accommodating.

As well as being a part of Rosie’s Trading Wisdom project, the maps will continue to be proudly displayed at Inverkeithing Primary School.

And, we’re delighted to say that the placemats are still being proudly used daily by diners at the Millbrae Cafe, 58 High Street, Inverkeithing.