Friday, 25 November 2011

History Group Works with Kilmarnock Pupils

Window-gazing in Kilmarnock town centre recently got a whole lot more interesting, as some empty spaces have now been filled up with bright, modern artwork.
Catching the eyes of shoppers are colourful graffiti boards brightening up shop windows at the Johnnie Walker Bond in Strand Street.
The boards were created by children who attended dance and graffiti art sessions in James Hamilton Academy during the  summer holidays. The P4-S6 boys and girls worked with artists Brian McFeely and Chris Young, from Edinburgh-based MS Creative.  Prior to the workshops, the children had been taken around Kilmarnock's Historical Town Trail by Graham Boyd of Kilmarnock & District History Group.  Graham provided most of the information for themes which were later developed at art and dance classes.
Pupils attended two dance classes and one art workshop each day and designed t-shirts as well as a range of large mdf backboards featuring their graffiti art.
East Ayrshire Council Dance Motivator Zara Smith said: “The idea behind it was to create art which reflected the history and heritage of Kilmarnock in a modern and exciting way that the children would enjoy. As well as the artwork, the participants learned dances to go along with the hip hop and graffiti culture”.
Councillor Jim Roberts, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “This very popular summer school’s aim was to reflect the rich heritage of the local community and to express this through art and dance.
“The graffiti artworks set in traditional shop windows highlight the connection between Kilmarnock’s past and the culture of today’s young people in the town, which is as rich and vibrant as ever.”
Councillor Bobby McDill, Spokesperson for Delivering Community Regeneration, said: “The young people’s work is fantastic and shows they are talented not only in dance, but also in art. The graffiti boards really brighten up the spaces and will look great in the run-up to Christmas. I’m delighted to see such an innovative idea in place”.
The project was co-ordinated by East Ayrshire Council’s Creative Minds Team and supported by Historic Scotland and Heritage Lottery Fund, through Kilmarnock Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme/Townscape Heritage Initiative and by Kilmarnock & District History Group.

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