Tuesday 18th March 2014
Fish project going swimmingly
AN art project on a major scale – that’s how organisers are describing the Big Fish Exhibition, which will take place in July.
Every pupil studying art, at all 38 Department of Education and Children schools, is contributing a fish they have hand-crafted for a display at the Market Hall, Douglas.
The project is seeing secondary schools work together with their ‘feeder’ primaries as part of their work on assisting pupils’ transition from Year 6 to Year 7.
Helen Fox is Programme Manager for Art, Design and Media at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education, which is organising the exhibition as part of its Island of Culture 2014 celebrations.
She said: ‘Pupils have a free rein with materials. Some are using objects they have found, some are recycling materials and other are being extremely inventive with standard art and craft materials. I have already seen some superb fish made of sticky tape by pupils of St Ninian’s High School.’
Helen explained the background to the exhibition, saying: ‘When I first came to the Island, the Singer and Friedlander competition gave art educators the opportunity to come together to discuss art and there was the A-level exhibition at the Courtyard Gallery, but there has never been anything on this kind of scale involving pupils.
‘This is a very exciting project that will be a first and what an amazing opportunity for us to celebrate creative education as part of Island of Culture 2014.’
The College has acquired the lease of the Market Hall in partnership with Douglas Borough Council to create a new community arts hub and the exhibition – the first big show to take place there – is being staged to coincide with the resurrected Douglas Carnival, taking place on Saturday 19th July.
Helen said it was appropriate that the fish would be on display a stone’s throw from Douglas quayside, where they were landed for many years.
‘Fish – catching it, selling it, processing it and eating it – has been such an enormous part of our Island life yet now the memory and evidence of its economic importance to us is all but disappearing.
‘The quayside was where thousand upon thousands of ‘cran’ (a measure of herring typically about a thousand) of the ‘silver darlin’s’ were landed from the vast shoals that swam around our coast each summer.’
Contact for further information/interview:
Helen Fox, Programme Manager Art, Design and Media – 01624 648200
Notes for newsdesks:
Year 7 students from St Ninian’s Lower School – including, from left, Anna Marcantoni, Korben Bowers and Emily-Rose Lally, all 12 – show off the sticky tape, papier mache and fabric fish they have created for the exhibition.
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