To mark the Year of Young People in 2018, we invited the environmental artist Lotte Kravitz to take up residency in both Abbeyhill Primary School and the nearest Holyrood Park throughout August and September 2018. Lotte worked with Primary 7 pupils on a series of kite-inspired art and nature trails culminating in the 13 & 14 Colony of Artists festival. The artist was also joined by our designer-in-residence Theresa Pickles and our first-ever app developer-in-residence Vlad Hasiu – together aiming to transform the young people’s guide to Holyrood Park into a map and an app accessible to every child and adult visiting the park.
“Holyrood Park is our favourite outdoor classroom. We used different forms of creativity to draw our peers’ attention to the park’s unique natural habitat and eco systems over the ages. We came up with our own kite designs in our handmade concertina sketchbooks. Our kite designs were inspired by a series of Rangers’ guided tours along the lochs and hills of Holyrood Park. We tried to capture the diverse flora and fauna at the park including the the namesake of Holyrood Park – the mythical stag with the holy cross aka ‘rood’ on its forehead.” Lotte Kravitz and Primary 7 pupils
“We also led a series of art and nature trails for young people and their adults as part of the Colony of Artists festival in 2018 flying our kites high up in the sky above Holyrood Park. We were even invited to create a kite-inspired willow sculpture for a permanent display at Holyrood Park Education Centre. We couldn’t be more proud to unveil it as part of the festival. We knew that willow grew in the park and its bark was traditionally used as a pain killer. Our hope is that the willow scupltures we created will spread the wonder and healing power of contemporary art.” Iliyana Nedkova and Primary 7 pupils
“Abbeyhill Primary School is within easy walking distance to Holyrood Park and we have nurtured very strong outdoor learning nature links with our school’s ‘backgreen’. Following Lotte Kravitz’s ‘kites residency’ inspiring us to work with willow and ripstop fabric, we started mapping some of our favourite art, science and fun activities with our designer-in-residence and Theresa Pickles. We were very pleased to launch our newly designed map as a work in progress at the 14 Colony of Artists festival exhibition in 2019. Watch this space as we finalise our map through discussions with each pupil at the school – from Nursery to Primary 7 – before it becomes a portable printed guide and an app free and available to every visitor to Holyrood Park Education Centre – young and old.” Keith Martin, Principal Teacher and Primary 7 Class Teacher in session 2018/19
Download our work in progress map of Holyrood Park | Our Outdoor Classroom as we premiered it at Colony of Artists festival 2019 to wide acclaim of all our 900 visitors over the weekend:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Lotte Kravitz, Theresa Pickles and Vlad Hasiu artists’ residencies at Abbeyhill Primary School in sessions 2018/19 and 2019/20 were curated by Iliyana Nedkova as part of the ongoing residency programme for professional artists at the school established in 2013 | Facilitated by Keith Martin, Sally Ketchin, Jeanette Wynn, Ettie Shattock and Robert May | In partnership with Holyrood Park Education Centre, Historic Environment Scotland | Supported by Young Scot and Creative Scotland through Time to Shine Grant Fund | Young Scot and Scottish Natural Heritage through Future Routes Fund as part of the Year of Young People 2018 | Additional support through Abbeyhill Primary School and Abbeyhill Primary School Parent Council