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Canisbay School Journey Books Project

21st September 2007

Photograph of Canisbay School Journey Books Project

Earlier this year, the 8 Highland based cultural co-ordinators received funding from the Scottish Arts Council to provide arts projects for children on a theme of 'Heritage'.

The Highland Print Studio in Inverness has been working in partnership with the co-ordinators to provide a range of activities for each area that makes use of the facilities they offer which ranged from traditional printmaking to digital imaging techniques.

Christine Russell, the cultural co-ordinator for Caithness schools enlisted a team of local talent to help P6 and P7 of Canisbay Primary School to produce a series of illustrated books on events which unfolded in the landscape to be seen from their school.

The 8 books in the series have a collective title - 'Journeys Over Land, Sea and Through Time'. Pupils rose to the challenge when Nan Bethune, historical ethnologist from Dunbeath Heritage Trust presented them with areas to explore ranging from the 'Death of King Hakon' to 'Ferries and Shoppie Boats'.

Esmee Duncan from Canisbay Kirk provided additional insight to the area during a class visit to the Kirk. It was the job of lead artist for the project, Joanne B Kaar, to help the class tell their stories in pictures by combining their own drawings, digital photographs taken by the class and also papers they made using plant fibres they collected in Canisbay.

Class teacher and Acting Head of Canisbay Primary School, Mrs Rhona Moodie helped with the words. It was now time to call in the services of John McNaught from the Highland Print Studio to bring this all together. He travelled to Canisbay to work with the class and show them how to prepare their work for digital printing using photoshop. Drawings of highland cows were digitally cut our and pasted in real fields! The colours of text for each page was carefully selected from the illustrations. Joanne Kaar then worked closely with John McNaught in Inverness at the Highland Print Studio to complete the books, carefully following instructions given by the pupils. Last week, Joanne helped the class add covers before the books were placed inside display cases she designed and then had made by local woodworker, Fred Haughton. The books are fascinating to look at as well as read, with their many layers of texture and words coming together as journeys are told through the imagination of the P6 and P7.

Two identical sets of books were printed. One set will stay in Canisbay Primary School while the other set is to be permanently housed in the Castlehill Centre where they will complement exhibitions and on-going work at Castlehill, relating to an area-wide project called The River of Stone', on the archaeology of Caithness. So one last journey as the books were presented to Muriel Murray, Chairwoman of the Castletown Heritage Society. Keep a look out in the local press for details of the open day for Castlehill Centre.

Each book measures 144cm x 18cm when opened out flat.

See all of the books

Related links:
www.highlandprintstudio.co.uk
www.joannebkaar.com
www.castletownheritage.co.uk

 

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