Inspired by the work of Daniel Silver, which was shown in the Fruitmarket from June to September, these small ceramics were created following three processes defined by Silver. Using a kilogram of clay, the first of these methods was to sculpt a head that faced away from yourself, so that the face could only be felt and not seen. The second process was to create a head by looking at your own face in a mirror, without looking at the clay. And the final process was to sculpt a head blindfolded. Each of these methods required participants to trust their hands, to understand how they saw themselves through touch alone. As Silver says, ‘the hands are cleverer than the brain.’ Having created a ‘family’ of heads, each participant chose their favourite to be fired – these heads will appear darker, as the clay used turns black upon firing.
The heads on display were created by participants in open workshops as well as by the Fruitmarket’s own Making Memories group for older people, Celebrate Art group for young people, See with Me group for people who are blind or partially sighted, and My Art Comes From Who I Amgroup. Participants from several Edinburgh community groups also got involved, from Access to Industry, WHALE Arts, Craigmillar Now, Room For Art and UpMo. Children took part from Greengables Nursery, Royal Mile Primary School, Gilmerton Primary School, Drummond Community High School, Frogston Primary School, St Mary’s RC Primary School and Edinburgh Children’s Hospital.
Led by Edinburgh-based artist Hannah Ayre supported by artist Khadea Santi, workshops were run by local artists Kerry Cleland, Anne Dignan, Louise Fraser, Mo Innes, Bea Makan, Heather Marshall, Duncan Robertson, Kirin Saeed and Katy Wilson.
A screen in the exhibition shows heads made by participants at home, using other malleable materials from salt dough to plasticine.
Over the exhibition there were free drop-in, self-led workshops in the lower gallery where you could try the three head-making techniques yourself using plasticine.
Download the Exhibition Guide
Download the Activity Sheet
Images: Chris Scott
A guide to making head sculptures using salt dough. Created by Fruitmarket with artists Hannah Ayre and Khadea Santi.
Heads Up! Online submissions from individuals at home, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Draw Breath Art Group, Impact Arts, local Edinburgh primary schools: Tollcross Primary, Leith Primary, Victoria Primary, and Pirie Park Primary, Glasgow.