Wednesday, 30 January 2013 14:44

Fabric of Old Town inspires young people

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Fabric of Old Town inspires young people Photograph: John Reiach

As part of its continuing work in local schools the Trust invited Old Town resident and photographer, John Reiach, to get involved in the annual art exhibition at Royal Mile Primary, which is now in its third year. The task was to take a series of photographs in the Old Town to tie in with the theme of this year's exhibition, 'communication'. The results were surprisingly educational, not least for the photographer.

John says: "I wandered about the Old Town, looking for signs from different historical eras. Some signs were verbal, some non-verbal, some a mixture, from 18th century gravestones with hourglass and skull and crossbones in Greyfriars churchyard to a collection of post cards on sale on the Royal Mile. I noticed that the steel bicycle stands outside the Holyrood parliament when viewed from a certain angle look like bicycles." Some of the images John came across and chose to record are shown here.

"Having taken the photographs, I then showed them to a group of pupils in Primary 7. We discussed the pictures.  Where were they taken? How old were the signs? What did they mean? So we delved into geography, history, Latin, even a bit of maths - how long ago is 1619? To my amazement, in a split second one of the children got it right to within 5 years!

"We then selected about 15 images and in a second session together assembled a collage which we then put into a frame which formed part of the exhibition displayed on the stairs in the school. I think the children got something out of it. I know I did, noticing things I'd walked past many times but not seen, and also with the children reflecting on the history and constantly changing face of the Old Town."

The final collage

The Trust's educational work is supported by a bequest from the estate of the late Alastair Chilsholm.

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