In March Kate and I will start working in a number of East Dunbartonshire primary schools, we will be using drama and visual art to explore local history and key figures connected to the area.
Last years we did something similar in 4 secondary schools, Lenzie Academy, Boclair Academy, Kirkintilloch High and St Ninian’s High we worked with pupils asking them to create a Pecha Kucha, that connected a local East Dunbartonshire artist/significant individual to their own research topic for their advance higher art.
A Pecha Kucha is a presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.
The key figures we invited the young people to research were as follows:
Each student worked extremely hard researching their chosen person and honing their performance skills; a number bravely took to the stage for a Pecha Kucha event at the William Patrick Library in Kirkintilloch.
The 20 slides timed to move on every 20 seconds allow the presenter to take the audience on a journey making creative connections between each image. Examples of the journeys made were:
Sadie McLellan and OCD, Joan Eardley to golf and another student making links between Eardley’s work and representations of relationships and intimacy between models and artists.
Rita Cowan’s remarkable story also featured and her association to Japanese whiskey, two different students make slide shows that connect her to feminism and the aesthetic of beauty. Women featured strongly during the Pecha Kucha event, another student exploring Margo Sandeman still lifes with Marilyn Munroe and 50’s American design.
Jessie M King made two appearances, her illustrations being connected to Grimm fairy tales and the topic ‘ways to die’ which proved full of dark humour. Kings work was also explored in relationship to futuristic/space inspired clothing design and a student’s love of Lady Gaga, both of these presentations raising much shared laughter in the room.
The Pecha Kucha’s were informative, often humorous and packed with original connections it was a real privilege to work with these young people and it will be interesting to see where their personal journeys take them after school, with many having ambition to go to Art School.
We will be repeating the Pecha Kucha process with another group of student in autumn, where we will be introducing students to another group of artist and characters connected to East Dunbartonshire.