Cover Artist

Meet Dave Pratt – our new artist-in-residence at Abbeyhill Primary School who is about to embark on his project with the ambition to involve all age groups – from Nursery to Primary 7. Intrigued? Follow us here as we will reveal the details of Dave’s residency soon.

In the meantime, you may all be familar with some of Dave’s work as he has been the cover artist of our school calendars for the last three years. In this tumultuous year, however, when we can’t safely open the doors of the school to welcome you to see our wall-mounted exhibitions and installations on site featuring the works of our resident artists, pupils and teachers, we like to think of the humble calendar pages as yet another exhibition platform.

Our 2021 calendar becomes one of our latest exhibtion platforms including the windows and screens as part of our ongoing exhibition which we launched at the 15th Colony of Artists on 19 and 20 September 2020. Each month in 2021 features a mini-exhibition bringing together the work of pupils, teachers and parents, including artists-in-residence like Dave or most recently, artists-in-residence Alice Myers and Aileen Paterson.

Alice’s Loose Parts photography installation is home to some of the bees featured in our Bee Kind installation as part of current Windows and Screens exhibition – a collage and potent symbol for September 2021 when we will celebrate our annual Colony of Artists festival.

However, for the first time in the history of the Abbeyhill Primary School calendar-exhibitions, November is dedicated to our honorary artist-in-residence Aileen Paterson who would have turned 85 this November!

‘We Miss You, Ms Paterson’ is a drawing by Amelia Byrne, aged 8 commemorating the author’s death in 2018. Amelia who was only 4 when she and her classmates first welcomed Mrs Paterson to the school as part of her residency. Based in the Abbeyhill Colonies, Ms Paterson was an art teacher at our school before becoming renown worldwide as the best- selling author and illustrator of the books featuring Maisie of Morningside.

Alongside Amelia’s drawing, November 2021 calendar page features also Love from Aileen + Maisie – a live performance drawing which Ms Paterson created during her school’s Assembly Hall in 2014. Since, this cheeky cat sketch has taken a pride of place at the Abbeyhill Primary School Library wall for generations of children to enjoy while reading the Maisie books.

November 2021 calendar page is not the only way we have channeled our admiration for Ms Paterson. We dedicated our Colony of Artists festival finale at the school’s Assembly Hall on 23 September 2018 to the memory of Mrs Paterson. We finished editing the video documentation of this finale titled Cats and packed with poetry and pipes, dance and drama as part of our Windows and Screens exibition for this year’s Colony of Artists on 19 and 20 September 2020.

Order your copy of the calendar-exhibition online at: https://abbeyhillparents.org.uk/calendar/ and be reassured that all proceeds will go towards making improvements in and around the school for the children, including our ongoing artists-in-residence programme!

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