Connecting Communities Schools Project 2021
in partnership with St David’s RC Primary School
The Fruitmarket Connecting Communities Schools 2021 is a partnership project delivered in collaboration with St David’s RC Primary School, Edinburgh. Working with the artist’s Natalie Taylor and Allison Weightman, pupils took inspiration from the exhibition Karla Black: sculptures (2011-2021) details for a retrospective at the Fruitmarket, whilst also exploring the COP26 summit themes around environmental sustainability and climate change. The project included a class gallery visit to the Fruitmarket Karla Black Exhibition in September and five artist led creative workshops with P6 pupils in school from September to November 2021.
The Fruitmarket work in partnership with schools annually to integrate contemporary art into the curriculum and improve attainment for pupils by increasing creative skills, confidence and critical engagement with art. We work closely with teachers to develop the themes and methods for introducing pupils to ideas related to exhibitions and artists and pupil’s experiment together in workshops both at the Fruitmarket and in school to make art together.
The Connecting Communities Schools Project has developed long-term partnership work with St Davids RC Primary School and Craigroyston Community High School over a three-year period, both schools are located in the Pilton and Muirhouse areas of Edinburgh.
Mrs Wallace, the P6 class teacher at St David’s RC Primary said that the trip to the Fruitmarket Karla Black exhibition was the first trip for her pupils in over two years.
We now know that the Covid pandemic and school closures over the past 18 months meant that pupils from diverse backgrounds, who are more at risk of increased vulnerability are less likely to have received the support and extra services they need, and the gap between students that experience additional barriers have widened. We attempted to bridge this attainment gap by providing a joyful, fun cultural experience and free creative workshops for pupils.
Natalie Taylor worked her art magic, enabling the P6 pupils at St David’s to be actively engaged in the themes around COP26 Summit, which was held in Glasgow in November 2021. Natalie explored themes around environmental sustainability with pupils, by investigating what materials are biodegradable; the pupils created a wormery in school and buried biodegradable materials to see how long they took to decompose. Pupils investigated what alternative sustainable materials they could use to create their art and they are now planning to offset their carbon footprint by planting a hedge at Brockwell Court a retirement housing complex in Pilton.