Nadia Ellingham

A graduate of Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Nadia  is an Edinburgh-based artist who established her artisan chocolate practice Thinking Chocolate in the heart of the Abbeyhill area and has been running it to a wide acclaim since 2007.

For her residency at Abbeyhill Primary School Nadia initiated Chocolateland  – fine chocolate truffle-making sessions for Primary 7 pupils.

For her first classroom session in December 2014 the artist  joined her efforts with Iliyana Nedkova, the Curator-in-residence at Abbeyhill Primary School. Iliyana was lucky to undertake one of Nadia’s official introduction courses to fine chocolate-making, so the Primary 7 pupils got a ‘flavour’ of Nadia’s inimitable style by proxy. The pupils also learnt how contemporary artists use chocolate as their medium of choice and even conducted an art historical research into the American artist Janine Antoni‘s chocolate (and soap) artistic practice. The pupils also extended Nadia’s initial artist-in-residence session to the Christmas Fair 2014 at the school by setting the enterprise challenge Make Our £5 Grow. All hand-made, fine chocolate truffles were flying off their stall:

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Nadia returned to Abbeyhill Primary School in September 2015 to work her chocolate art magic with another Primary 7 class. For her second session the artist focussed on Fairtrade ingredients for the edible artwork Chocolateland (2015) –  limited edition chocolate truffles to mark the 10th anniversary of Colony of Artists. This Fairtrade session was largely inspired by the Abbeyhill Eco Week held in June 2015 –  an initiative of the Eco Group in the school which culminated in the Fairtrade Assembly with special guest presentation by Fairtrade industry champions Scotmid Co-operative represented by the managers of our nearest stores Claire Watson and Roy Haston:

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Work-in-progress: Here are the artist and the Primary 7 chocolatiers in the making:

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Acknowledgements: Nadia’s artist residency at Abbeyhill Primary School throughout 2014 and 2015 was supported by a Scotmid Co-operative Community Grant | Thinking Chocolate | Abbeyhill Primary School and Abbeyhill Primary School Parent Council.