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Creative Burns Experience

The schools had the chance to work with local artists to explore the work of Burns through poetry, drama, dance and visual art

For several weeks the pupils worked with the various artists and practitioners to develop a piece of work which links to the ‘Creative Burns’ exhibition currently running at The Dick. The joint project was put together by east Ayrshire Arts and Museums and the Creative Minds Team.

The event began with Annanhill Primary who in association with East Ayrshire Youth Theatre’s Michaella Mullen and Tina Harper performed their highly entertaining retelling of Burns life. Burns himself who made a rock star style entrance presided over the proceedings, as his Father, his brother Gilbert, Jean Armour and many girls from the town of Mauchline told the story of his life. The Twa Dogs, the louse and the haggis all made an appearance prior to the pupils’ exciting and fast moving dramatisation of Tam O‘Shanter. The action was received with whoops of delight from the other schools and the audience which included Provost Stephanie Young.

Nether Robertland Primary followed performing their Hiphop version of Scottish Dance. Set to the music of the Proclaimers and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers the pupils performed another lively and exciting piece which brought Scottish Dance bang up to date. The pupils worked with Zara Smith, Dance Motivator with the Creative Minds Team.

This was followed by pupils of Newmilns Primary reciting the poems they created while working with local poet Rab Wilson whose work forms part of the Creative Burns exhibition. The pupils had researched Scots language, a particular interest of Rab’s, using Scots Language site Scuil Wab before going on to produce their own work which is displayed in the Young People’s Gallery until Saturday 20th June.

The performance was brought to a close by Crossroads Primary who worked with artist Eoghann MacColl. This group looked at what it meant to them to be Scottish and produced drawings and paintings, inspired by the line ‘But seas a’tween us braed hae roared’ from ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to explore the Homecoming theme. The work was then displayed in bottles which they explained related to a method of communication used by the last inhabitants of St Kilda to contact the mainland: a message in a bottle. These works can also be seen in the YPG until June.

Provost Stephanie Young brought proceedings to a close making a short speech thanking the pupils, schools and the artists for all their hard work. She expressed her delight at the performances, the artwork and poetry and was amazed by how much the groups were able to achieve in such a short space of time.