“Dear Betty … we are German textile students and we would like to help…”
The email I received started that way… a group of students from Nuremberg on an exchange with Erasmus grants were visiting Glasgow in October and they wanted to take part … they were in Glasgow to research a future fashion show based on Mackintosh for the Mackintosh150 in 2018 and were offering to volunteer for the Open day at Kelvingrove museum. So … they did !
After an exchange of communications it was decided they would meet me at Kelvingrove on the day and mix with the volunteers for the day, they would quick train and would be involved in both dealing with the public … and we saw around 300 visitors on that day and focus on the making of that day banner.
5 very bright and dedicated German textile students and their tutor, one architecture student from GSA, one practising textile artist, one Chinese business student, one retired lady and myself master managing them, that is quite a team ! But 300 participants with a great proportion of children that is also quite a large group to manage and thank goodness for our German volunteers who were such an asset on the day.
After a quick introduction and stencilling tuition we all get busy in getting the space ready and indeed many parents with their young children had already been around asking when we started ???
At 11am on the dot we lifted the stencilling brush and it all started … to not stop until well after the planned 4pm…
Douzains of children of all ages came by that day but also retired people visiting the galleries on a cold day. Families having a day out during the October break, students walking by during their lunch break… but also Art lovers having read about the project on social media and who wanted to take part in the making of the banner…
We split the group and David our textile artist started leading the banner making helped by some of the Nuremberg girls in turn some members of the public helped on some of the process. The rest helped the public who wanted to grasp the basic stencilling technics with many roses stencilled on paper that day…
Our result was a stunning banner at the end of the day and a very satisfied group of German students… the banner hang in our Lighthouse exhibition for several weeks before making its way to Nuremberg where it’s hanging proudly in the College.
Erasmus is a European funding promoting exchanges and mobility in Europe and I am grateful that it initiated the trip of our German group here in Glasgow. Their cooperation with Glasgow and North Kelvinside college is ongoing and our Lord Provost was visiting their establishment recently. The college will be back in Glasgow in May 2018 to run their fashion show at Kelvingrove. I can’t wait to see their beautiful result … I will welcome them into a Gesso class this time how exciting to see skills being passed around !
#the bigbanner is about heritage skills and outreach ! This group has made my dream of this project going into Europe true … I don’t mean political Europe I mean continental Europe closer geographically to where Mackintosh and his wife liked to travel and share their art with like minded artists.
I just wonder how far I can make this project going !