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Culture Heritage Learning

Photo Finish

30th June 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

Scran, along with some colleagues from Historic Environment Scotland, recently participated in a whole school project with St Mark’s Primary School in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire. Themed around photography, various classes throughout the school participated in a number of cross-curricular events encompassing science, art and design, mathematics and more.  These events included taking digital self-portraits, exploring and photographing the local environment, and playing with perspective in photographs. Most intriguingly, pupils selected a photograph from a selection by renowned photographers including Man Ray, Herbert Bayer, Steve McCurry and Dorothea Lange (pictured),and researched and critiqued the photographs in written essays.

The work that the school did culminated in a day of celebration where many of the photographs the pupils had taken were displayed in the hall, others were framed and offered for sale to visitors, and a public speaking competition took place. In this competition, part of a national initiative called ARTiculation, the best of the critical essays were read out by their authors for a panel of judges from HMI and the Glasgow School of Art. Parents were invited, coffee and biscuits were served, money was raised, and the pupils’ confidence was improved, their skills were enhanced and their literacy and critical skills were developed. Some photographs that came out of the project will appear on Scran in the near future. We greatly enjoyed being a part of the St Mark’s School photography project and look forward to an even bigger and better programme next year!

Image © Victoria & Albert Museum Licensor Scran

From Demob Suits to Chelsea Boots

20th June 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

Post-War Fashions 1940s to 1960s: a community curated exhibition

Fifties Fashion © Scottish Borders Council by kind permission of Woolmark. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

Fabulous Fifties Fashion

One Tuesday in September last year Scran went along to The Open Door in Morningside, Edinburgh to deliver a slideshow to showcase our digital archives.  There is nothing unusual in this.  Scran delivers a wide and varied remit of outreach activities.  However, this session was the start of something quite exciting.

Good Neighbours

We had been invited to meet the Good Neighbours Club, a group of older people who meet regularly at The Open Door.  The Open Door initiative has been supporting older people in Edinburgh for over 30 years, offering day services and a range of activities, from art and poetry to gentle exercise.  The Club, a group made up largely of ladies aged 70 plus, meets every Tuesdays for a day of ‘friendship, fun and laughter’.

The slideshow of images of old Morningside, from the 19th century, through the early years of the 20thcentury, to more recent years provoked a lot of chat and debate.  Of particular interest, old photographs of Morningside Railway Station which was closed in the 1960s; the Open Door is based in a building adjacent to the old station platform.

Scran was able to draw on a wealth of material from a range of contributors, including The Scotsman Publications Ltd and the National Collection of Aerial Photography.  As well as the old station, we covered themes of schooldays, shopping and buses and trams.

Exhibition

Following our visit, Kirsteen Powell, Day Care Service Manager at the Open Door, got back in touch.  She wanted to do more work with us and so we met and an idea formed.  With such striking images causing such a lot of interest and reminiscence activity at the centre, why not put on an exhibition?

The Good Neighbours Club chose a theme with social history at its heart – fashions of the post-war era.  And selected images will be displayed in the centre’s coffee shop, a great space fronting onto Morningside High Street.

The exhibition project kicked off in May of this year, with Scran delivering two more reminiscence workshops: we’ve explored the utility fashions and clothes rationing of the forties, the bouffants, brylcreme and big skirts of the fifties and the miniskirts and the sharp suits of the sixties.  With the group’s permission, each workshop was recorded and a selection of their own personal anecdotes and memories in text form will be used to interpret the photographs selected for the final exhibition.

Reminiscence Tool

The project demonstrates the fantastic range of living memory material held within the digital archives of Scran and its potential as a tool for reminiscence work.

The exhibition opens in mid-July.

Images © Scottish Borders Council by kind permission of Woolmark | Licensor Scran

Morningside Memories

7th October 2015 by Scran | 2 Comments

A little while ago, we said to ourselves “Wouldn’t it be nice to get Scran off the computer screen and into the real world?”, and thanks to our friends at Morningside Library in Edinburgh, we’ve done just that.

Poster for Scran exhibitionThe staff at the library kindly allowed us to use their Charles Smith Room, located upstairs at the branch and usually filled by exhibitions by local artists. In it, we’ve hung 19 prints of Scran images of the local area from the archives of the National Museums of Scotland, The Scotsman and RCAHMS. These date from 1915 to 1979, and depict a bygone age when trams were still drawn by horses, kindly lollipop men helped children across busy junctions and Morningside Station was still a regular stop on the Edinburgh Suburban line. We worked with Bruntsfield Primary school and the Open Door Centre to choose some of the images, as well as the library staff themselves. The exhibition is free, and finishes on October 30th 2015.

All library card holders in Edinburgh can access Scran for free, 24/7, as can residents of 24 out of 32 local authorities in Scotland, and we hope to repeat this at other branch libraries throughout the country, with local residents and schools helping to choose their favourite local images. If you’re a school, library or community centre and you’re interested in hosting a similar exhibition showcasing your local area, then contact us.

Image: ©The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

 

On Show at the Colony of Artists

14th September 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

Archive images from Scran were exhibited this weekend as part of the 10th annual Colony of Artists event at Abbeyhill in Edinburgh

Colony of Artists takes place every September when residents of Abbeyhill Colonies, a series of streets in the east of the city, open their doors to the public to show a varied collection of artworks that they have produced. More than 30 artists in 20 venues open their homes, to show painting, drawing, photography, mixed media and much more. In recent years this mix has grown to include music, storytelling, baking and street performance.

coloneyofartistsScran’s images were first used in last year’s event when Neil Gregory of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), joined forces with Abbeyhill resident Hilary Burwell to produce a pop-up exhibition about the history of buildings in the area. This showcased some of the area’s now defunct industries, churches and former school buildings. Many of the photographs in this exhibition came from the archives of RCAHMS and were taken as part of the organisation’s remit to survey and record Scotland’s built environment, particularly sites under threat from demolition or radical alteration. Scran was able to offer a social historical perspective to the show, as Neil Gregory pointed out: ‘The images on Scran, especially pictures from the Scotsman archive, were perfect for adding social context to the pictures of local buildings that we were showing, and it triggered so many memories for residents.’

abbeyhillThis year saw Hilary scale-up the exhibition, moving venue from her own home in the Colonies to the nearby Artisan Bar. Moving images, oral histories and portraits of local residents also formed part of the show and residents were encouraged to contribute their own archive material to the event.

A favourite Scran image on show featured a lorry crashing into the Artisan pub building on London Road. ‘This really got the stories going,’ commented Neil Gregory, ‘A lot of people remembered this event from 1969 and the near catastrophe that could have happened if the driver hadn’t had his wits about him as his vehicle careered down Montrose Terrace!’

Images © N Gregory, The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk