Local trio have designs on creative success

Three Cumbernauld pupils will see the results of their efforts on the North Lanarkshire Council Creative Residency programme go on display at Summerlee Museum until Sunday, February 24.

The exhibition features examples of visual art, film making, digital photography, printed textiles, jewellery and music inspired by the pupils’ time in the annual creative programme.

These creations were inspired by the 50 pupils while receiving intensive training in various creative disciplines from experienced tutors from top Scottish schools and colleges.

Christine Pollock, executive director of learning and leisure services, said:“The unique set of experiences provided by the Creative Residency gives our young people opportunities to be immersed in the learning experience, free from the normal distractions of contemporary living, and to acquire new skills in their chosen field.”

Budding jewellery designer Amy Shearer, a pupil at Our Lady’s High School, was full of praise for the programme. “The residency gave me the opportunity to explore new methods and materials as well as develop my existing skills,” she said.

“It was a truly brilliant experience which has given me motivation, confidence and new skills; if I could go back and relive it, I would!”

The residency also had a profound effect on fellow Our Lady’s High pupil Lauren Tierney, who took part in the textiles strand of the programme.

“The Creative Residency was an amazing experience for me,” she said. “I learned so many new techniques and styles which are already helping me a great deal with Higher Art in school.

”I met a lot of talented people who inspired my work and encouraged me to do the best I can. I feel like I can take these new skills further and I am encouraged to pursue a possible artistic career as a result of this wonderful experience.”

Abronhill pupil Ruth McQueeney, who took part in the residency’s filmmaking course, feels the experience has helped her to better map out her future.

“I learned filming techniques, the basics of editing, and how to be more creative. My tutor was very helpful and encouraging and my skills have improved dramatically,” she said. “I now feel more confident in my abilities and certain in the career path I am going to follow.”

John Mackechnie of the Glasgow Print Studio who was the key note speaker at the opening, said: “The Creative Residency scheme is an inspirational project, now in its ninth year, allowing fifty school students the opportunity to develop themselves in their art practice in a safe and creative environment.

“Aided by excellent tutors, the exhibition 2012 is testament to the success of the project.”

Jim Logue, convener of learning and leisure services, stated: “North Lanarkshire Council is rightly proud of the creative talents of our young people, and, with the rich variety of art, music and design on display at Summerlee, it’s easy to see why.

“The creative industries are exceptionally important for Scotland, contributing around £5 billion to the economy, and schemes such as the Creative Residency are vital in helping the next generation of young people fulfil their artistic potential.”

John Weir, the programme’s manager and a visual art tutor, strived to emphasise the impact he feels the Creative Residency has on its participants.

“The Creative Residency has been providing a unique experience in the creative arts for students since 1997,” he said. “The residency has been, and hopefully will continue to be, a life-changing undertaking for many of North Lanarkshire’s creative individuals.

“I personally will never tire of witnessing the positive impact this experience has on the young people who have attended.”