Alicia Bruce with Primary 1, 1/2 and 2 pupils at Broomhouse Primary School
Self-Portraits (2017) came into being after weeks of creative play and problem-solving at Broomhouse Primary School with cameras, books, ribbons and memory boards. It is inspired by the first-hand experience of viewing works at Scottish National Gallery, and in particular A Boy with a Lesson-book by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805) and Still-life by the Scottish artist Thomas Warrender (1662–1715).
This foray into portraiture and still-life dominated Alicia’s artist-in-residence sessions at the school. The budding portraitists gave thought and consideration to lighting, composition and direction of the sitter. The classrooms were transformed into pop-up photography studios where all 65 young artists enjoyed taking turns at striking a pose with their favourite book, creating their own and collective memory boards or operating the camera.
Just a few of the issues which kept coming up in the young artists’ minds: Why do I like this book? What does it say about my character and interests? May I achieve the look of concentration in the face of Greuze’s young boy? What objects could represent my personality best on the notice boards – a drawing, a fidget spinner, a puppet or a JoJo bow? Can one tell how hard I worked to capture my self-portrait as a still-life?
Showing as part of You Are Here exhibition at Broomhouse Primary School celebrating the achievements of the first artists’ residencies in the school
Curated by Iliyana Nedkova as part of From A to B: From Abbeyhill to Broomhouse Primary School artists-in-residence programme
Facilitated by Steph Gilleade, Jennifer Pitcher and Abbie Hutchinson at Broomhouse Primary School
Supported by Jamie Petrie, Sarah Stevenson and Pamela Souter at Broomhouse Primary School; Liz Conacher and Sarah Mackinnon at National Galleries Scotland and Theresa Pickles at Jar 22
Did you know: From A to B: From Abbeyhill to Broomhouse Primary School artists-in-residence programme was established in December 2016 by Sally Ketchin, Iliyana Nedkova and Jamie Petrie