Anna Davis has been a regular artist and participant in our North Light Arts activities over the years.
We create many opportunities for people to participate in the arts, often within our landscape so that the local community, but also the artists can engage and inspire through meaningful workshops and education initiatives that promote participatory practice while focusing on the environmental themes we generate. Anna is a local artist who has been involved in many projects with us, mainly using her printing skills, but especially in her valuable contribution to the schools project ‘Plankton’ developed by Linda Greig in 2016.
This community engagement project was commissioned by artist Donald Urquhart who had been commission by the Harbour Trust to develop a site-specific installation for the Battery on Victoria Harbour: our project was designed to respond to his theme which had inspired the etchings on his polished steel cubes.
Anna worked worked with the artist and teacher Linda Greig and bringing their individual skills to a series of workshops with all five streams of Dunbar Primary School – that’s a lot of students!: Linda helped the children explore the science behind the plankton to be found in the harbour and the plankton found in deeper waters out at sea – their importance in the food chain, how plankton were to be found in various patterns and how they could also light up.
Anna then took the stencils that Linda had developed with the children from their own design. She taught them how to make their own two colour screen print, choosing to have their plankton floating around in light blue sea as if lit by the sun or a black ground to demonstrate the sea in the deep ocean.
Dozens of flags were created from the printed fabric and were displayed in the Community Room above Donald exhibition ‘Coast’, held at Dunbar Town House. The colourful flags would later be exhibited in the town and were then returned to the school and their original creators.
Anna wrote recently:
‘Fantastic article in the Scotsman and how wonderful for you to look back at all the interesting and collaborative projects that you have generated with North Light Arts, a great achievement.
Personally I have enjoyed many of the projects and events, in walking a line, I found the walks informative and inspirational crossing the boundaries of art practice, science and archeology
with a shared awareness of the environment and how we understand it and our place in it. Also enjoyed taking part in the first Hub exhibitions and adding to the collaborative books, by leaves we live?
It was fun to be involved in the plankton project and creating a series of screen print flags, working with Linda in the schools and seeing how the children responded with such enthusiasm to the project of our seas and plankton and how much they learnt and absorbed by learning through a creative medium, drawing, printing.
I also greatly enjoyed the film poem event which was a wonderful platform of film art poetry spoken word ,from Scotland and beyond, a brilliant weekend and also inspiring. I have also enjoyed the many talks and exhibitions, and the harbour art hut, and once you start thinking about it there has been so much, it has all added to my enjoyment of and awareness of the East Lothian landscape/environment.
amazing and well done