Feb 10 2012 by Gregor White, Stirling Observer Friday
STIRLING Castle’s pioneering artist in residence scheme has proved so successful it is now being rolled out to other historic properties.
Last September Dunblane painter Iona Leishman was appointed as the castle’s first artist in residence, using her time there to inspire her own work and to work with various community groups on their own efforts.
During her time there more than 100 people have taken part in various workshops, culminating in a major exhibition.
Her tenure was due to come to an end in December but has now been extended until the end of next month.
Now Historic Scotland and Education Scotland are to fund further residencies at Huntingtower Castle in Perthshire and Jedburgh Abbey in the Borders.
Scottish Government Education Secretary Mike Russell: “This newly expanded artist in residence project is a unique learning opportunity for everyone involved.
“The richness of Scottish history can be found at all of the sites and the artists and participants will hopefully create a new body of work reflecting our proud heritage.
“It is encouraging that a broad range of individuals and community groups are all set to benefit from the scheme.”
In Stirling Iona’s continuing work will seek to engage with young people and a Raploch based women’s group.
Anne Jardine, Director of Learning and Community at Education Scotland said: “It is increasingly recognised that community learning and development (CLD) projects which link arts and creativity have a particular role in engaging with individuals and communities, encouraging long-lasting links between people, places and ideas.
“CLD practitioners and the artists involved in this project bring a unique set of skills which will enhance the learning outcomes for everyone involved whether it is engaging with young people, adults or community groups”.
And Historic Scotland Head of Education Sue Mitchell added that Stirling pilot scheme had been “an unqualified success”.
“We are hopeful the welcome received by the pilot project and the potential offered by these new residences will ensure a bright future for artistic programmes at Historic Scotland sites,” she said.