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Air Iomlaid (On Exchange) Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh

Air Iomlaid, is the culmination of The Fruitmarket Gallery’s 18-month long education project which involved pupils from Bun-sgoil Shlèite, Isle of Skye and from the Gaelic Unit of Tollcross Primary School, Edinburgh. 

Conducted entirely in Gaelic, the language of both the schools, the children worked with poets, animators and filmmakers, to deepen their engagement with what they see around them. 

In the words of Julie Brook, they have undergone a process of ‘getting fit’ artistically, and the results are stunning individual sketchbooks, drawings and paintings, the collaborative large-scale artworks and a film, all of which will add to the potential lasting impact of the project beyond the empowerment of the participants and development of their knowledge and understanding of Gaelic, the natural environment and the arts. 

Inspired by artist Julie Brook, the group of children learned to look, draw and paint in urban and rural landscapes in Edinburgh and Skye and developed their relationship with and response to their own environment and that of their partners on an exchange.

The project has been supported by the Scottish Arts Council’s Inspire Fund, which aims to increase participation and provide more, wider, better engagement with the arts.

Iain Munro, Co-director of Arts, Scottish Arts Council said: ‘Air Iomlaid has pioneered new opportunities for children to experience the arts and has left lasting legacies on the communities involved.  The project is a rich and contrasting mix of language, landscape and culture in rural and urban contexts explored through art and language which has engaged, and been brought to light, by young people, guided by high quality artists.  Through extending the reach and nature of quality engagement with artists Air Iomlaid strongly concurs with the ambitions of the Inspire Fund.’

The exhibition is running until 9 May at the Fruitmarket Gallery.  Following its showing at The Fruitmarket Gallery, the exhibition is being presented on Skye at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College from 5 June – 25 July 2010.

A publication has been produced to accompany an exhibition which includes essays by Johnny Gailey, Children and Young People’s Programme Manager at Fruitmarket, and lead artist Julie Brook.

For more information about Air Iomlaid, visit www.fruitmarket.co.uk/

See also
* Fruitmarket Gallery
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