Pròiseact Lasair Ealain | a Lasair Ealain Project
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Air Iomlaid was an 18-month long art project developed by The Fruitmarket Gallery, artist Julie Brook and Lasair Ealain, a committee of pupils from Bùn-sgoil Shlèite.
The project received a Scottish Arts Council Inspire Fund Grant and additional funding through Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
The project focused on two schools, both Gaelic speaking but from very different environments. Bùn-sgoil Shlèite on the rural Sleat peninsula of Skye where all teaching is in Gaelic language apart from the small English Medium Department, whereas Tollcross Primary school in urban Edinburgh has a Gaelic unit within an otherwise English speaking school. These children have very different experiences of their language, environment and culture, which they were able to share through an exchange. The children stayed with a host family for a week or in a hostel, swapping experiences of how they speak Gaelic and how they live.
The pupils each took part in an intensive programme of drawing and painting outside with professional artists, investigating their local landscape and the environment, learning about the natural history of the area and Gaelic vocabulary. Large scale artworks and animations were developed in collaboration with the artists for exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's Gaelic-speaking further education college situated on the Isle of Skye.
The pupils from both schools worked jointly across the geographic distance using new technologies to exchange their drawings and experiences, before visiting each other on the exchange. New technology was also used to engage other pupils across Scotland, to encourage them to set up their own art committees and to take part in art projects, to find out about Scotland's Natural Heritage and the language and culture of Gaelic. During the exhibitions in Edinburgh and Skye there was a range of workshops, talks and events aimed at getting more people to explore and draw their environment.
The project involved 11 artists, 670 children and provided online learning resources, which will potentially be accessed by 12,500 pupils throughout Scotland.
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