Ailsa Lochhead

Ailsa studied Sculpture and Envireonmental Art at Glasgow School of Art and then gained a Master of Fine Art Degree from Edinburgh College of Art. Her broad contemporary art practice includes sculpture, installation, performance, moving image, writing and printmaking.

Ailsa’s works often share appropriated and specifically fabricated components. Her choice of material and aesthetic decisions are intuitive, akin to the ideals of expression of personality within the home.

Ailsa’s residency at Abbeyhill Primary School continued the ongoing relationship between Talbot Rice Gallery and Abbeyhill Primary School which started with Claire McAllisters residency in 2014.

For her residency throughout the academic 2015/16 Ailsa led six workshops. Primary 1 to 7 pupils visited three exhibitions including Hanne Darboven’s accepting anything among everything in October 2015; Luc Tuyman’s Birds of a Feather in November 2015 and British Art Show 8 in February 2016. Each art field trip included a tour and discussion of the exhibition before hands-on art-making sessions in the gallery and back in the classroom creating the works Celebrities (2016) and Marble Dust (2016) to be exhibited at the 11th Colony of Artists 2016. 

Did you know: Hanne Darboven‘s exhibition offered a visual treat of objects from which Primary 7 pupils discussed ideas about categories, codes and passing of time. After an exhibition tour with the artist-in-residence similar to the curator’s video tour above led by James Clegg, the pupils performed a line drawing exercise and shared their own individual time capsules with each other. They then worked in groups to create collective time capsules which summed up the stage of life they were at, starting their final year of primary school. Each group came up with a system for recording and categorising what they had selected. They then made small displays of their objects before taking Polaroid images of these mini installations. Thinking about mail art and the post which Darboven often received from other artists, the pupils images were posted back to the school to be opened at a later date, perhaps at the Colony of Artists 2017. 

Acknowledgements: Ailsa Lochhead‘s artist residency at Abbeyhill Primary School throughout 2015 and 2016 was supported by Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh | Abbeyhill Primary School and Abbeyhill Primary School Parent Council.