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Caithness News Bulletins October 2003

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Two Caithness Schools To GetCraft Residencies In Highland Project

Six Highland schools, 2 each in Caithness, Ross and Cromarty and Lochaber, are to benefit from 3 specialist craft makers-in-residence.

The residencies have been made possible by a 24,000 award to The Highland Council's Education Culture & Sport Service from the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery.

The idea for the craft residencies came about following the "13 Hands" exhibition of crafts curated by Lochaber school pupils which incorporated work by some of the finest British craft makers in Britain. The exhibition with accompanying craft workshops, has recently toured all over the Highlands, and is currently touring in England and Wales.

Taking the 13 Hands exhibition as a model, the project will be pupil-led. The pupils will form themselves into teams which will select, not only the craft and the maker they wish to work with, but the work of two other artists which will form a small exhibition to run alongside the residency and will demonstrate the wide-ranging possibilities of the chosen craft.  The exhibitions will then tour to the other areas. The pupils will select 2 of the best works created by pupils during the residency to tour with the exhibition.

The residencies in Caithness will involve primary school children at Hillhead Academy, Wick and Miller Academy, Thurso. In Ross and Cromarty, secondary pupils from Gairloch High and Ullapool Community Schools will be involved and in Lochaber, pupils at Mallaig High School and Eigg Primary will also benefit.

The residencies will last for 40 days between January and July 2004.

Highland Council's Exhibitions Officer, Cathy Shankland said: "We hope that this will be the beginning of a series of residencies in all eight areas of the Highlands leading up to a major exhibition of crafts by professional makers and pupils for the Highland Year of Culture in 2007."

Project Manager, Pamela Conacher, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for crafts makers from other places to develop their own work in one of the most spectacular areas of the UK. It is possible that the residencies will be extended to incorporate talks and workshops for adults and groups not covered by the school if funding can be found."