Pupils’ creative escape helps them put on a show

Anna Bowyer, Our Lady's High School, took part in the Creative Residency
Anna Bowyer, Our Lady's High School, took part in the Creative Residency

Artwork produced by North Lanarkshire’s most creative pupils is at the heart of an inspiring new exhibition at Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge.

Their work is the outcome of a creative residency programme in picturesque Kilbowie, which overlooks the Sound of Kerrera, near Oban.

Every year, pupils in S4 and S5 from across North Lanarkshire take part in the week-long learning programme under the guidance of specialist tutors.

Original paintings, drawings, films, digital photography, textiles, jewellery, fashion, creative writing and music all feature in this year’s exhibition, which is now in its twelfth year.

Isabelle Boyd, of the council’s learning and leisure services, said: “The residency provides a space for creativity and learning to thrive in an environment outside of the classroom, as well as giving pupils the opportunity to be tutored and mentored by artistic professionals, highly regarded in their specialised fields.”

Pupils who took part all gave the experience a glowing report.

Taylor Star Gillespie from Cumbernauld Academy, who took part in the costume and props group this year, said: “I loved all of it – from the first day the whole group worked together helping each other.

“It doesn’t feel like a course, it feels like you are just having fun, making things and trying new techniques.

“The teacher is really friendly and fun. I would recommend this course to everyone; you learn so much without even knowing it.

“You use materials and techniques that you can’t get in school. It’s great.”

Liam Reilly from Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld, who took part in the music group, said: “I enjoyed my time at the creative residency as it gave me the chance to be more creative and gain more confidence.”

Mark Pencovitch also from Our Lady’s High School, who took part in the drama group, said: “The creative residency was a very interesting and overall enjoyable experience. I learned a lot but also, more importantly, had a lot of good fun, made a lot of friends and a lot of good memories.”

Fellow drama student, Erin Campbell, said: “The residency has given me skills and experiences which will be with me forever.”

The programme begins at the start of the calendar year with the opportunity to attend a series of taster sessions in the various creative disciplines on offer.

Councillor Frank McNally, convener of education, said: “The creative residency programme allows pupils to gain confidence in their own abilities and discover new exciting and innovative ways of learning in their chosen discipline. The high quality of the work they produce never fails to impress.”

The exhibition runs until February 19.