Art Link Highland
Series of Workshops

Scotland June 1999

During the two-week trip, eight days of workshops were held in secondary schools and in centres for visually impaired children and young people and adults with learning disabilities in Ross-shire. These included the Highland Society for the Blind Inverness, Fortrose Academy, Invergordon Academy, the Isabel Rhind Centre Invergordon and St Clement's Special School Digwall. I also led a workshop at the Ceilidh Place Ullapool in the western Highlands involving professional and amateur artists.

Part of Art Link Highlands brief is the registering of people working in the visual, creative and performing arts that are interested in leading activities for disabled people. A number of these artists attended the workshops as assistance while using the opportunity to extend their own skills.

The aim of the workshops was to encourage participation in the arts for all and across the ability range. The participants were involved in producing a collaborative tactile wall mural. The workshops focused on developing participant's tactile awareness both as a means for making and appreciating sculpture. On occasion working blindfolded; participants used natural objects and percussion to create texture and forms in clay using touch.

In the Fortrose and Invergordon Academy's fifth year students had the opportunity to experiment with my drawing techniques and a selection of their work was exhibited at the Spectrum Centre Inverness. As a great deal of my working techniques have been influenced by my own visual impairment. I was keen to illustrate how this apparent disadvantage provides me with a unique view of the world with endless possibilities for a fresh approach for the creation of art.

Supported by
Mid-South Roscommon
Rural Development Company

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