Covid-19 response

Museums help paint a picture of Scotland

Five university museums across Scotland have come together to help young people from disadvantaged areas communicate their experiences through art.

CapturingLives2020 – running from 15 June to 24 July – explores a different medium each week, including photography, landscape painting and public art.

Some 110 participants, aged 11-18, from the Scottish Borders to the Orkney Islands, have been exploring artwork from across the universities’ collections.

Using the collections as inspiration they create their own art piece using commonly available household items, such as leaflets, cereal boxes, plastic bottles and magazines.

Professional sketchbooks and watercolour paints are also provided for participants who don’t have access to materials of their own.  

The participants receive mentoring from current university students, who provide advice on their projects and insight into life as a student.

All instruction videos and resources are posted online and students work through them at their own pace.  

Gaining qualifications

Participants learn new art skills, make social connections and earn an Arts Award Explore qualification – equivalent to an SCQF National 3.

CapturingLives2020 aims to encapsulate what life looks like for young people in different communities across Scotland, particularly in light of lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Participant’s work is currently being displayed online and can be viewed here.

The aspiration is to display some of the students’ project portfolios around University campuses.

The project brings together online collections and expertise from the University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee (Duncan of Jordanstone), Glasgow School of Art, University of Stirling and the University of Edinburgh.

“Opening up both culture and education to traditionally under-represented groups is something that all UMIS members are committed to. By working with our partners we can contribute a far greater selection of materials from across Scotland and ensure that the participants in the programme can make connections with and learn about a wider network of other young people and their communities.

By designing a programme involving specific guided sessions and incorporating mentoring we aim to provide an environment in which the young people feel supported and nurtured to build their confidence and explore their creativity.

Jacky MacBeathConvenor of UMIS and Head of Museums at the University

Relevant Links

Capturing Lives 2020

Arts Award

University Museums in Scotland

Engage: Children’s Art Week