Edinburgh Local

‘Dear Future’ with Royal Mile Primary School

Pupils seek inspiration for the future through viewing and making art.

Dear Future
Pupils enjoy the Textile Workshop

Last year, P6 pupils from Royal Mile Primary School came in to Edinburgh College of Art to explore ideas about communication, time, nature and how we affect the world we live in.

The children were invited to begin by looking at a work of art called 'Future Library' by Katie Paterson, an Edinburgh College of Art graduate.  The work is about a forest in Norway, planted in 2014, which will grow for one hundred years. In 2114, the paper from the trees will be used for a collection of writing by authors selected annually over the century.  The writers who have contributed to date include Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell. https://www.futurelibrary.no/

The pupils were asked to think about the past and how it connects to the future, and their role as future citizens in taking care of the planet.

They started off in the glass workshops at the art college, seeing how glass is blown. Then they learned how textiles are printed, and finally visited one of the metal-working studios to see 3D model-making.

From there, they returned to school to think and write about how they might imagine the future and help to design a piece of art which would sit in the school playground.

The pupils arrived very excited: the technicians were amazing and made them feel so welcome.  They learned about different materials, how things are made and what an art school really is.  And they were given tokens to take away which was very special for them.

Clare McAllister, Curatorial Trainee at Talbot Rice Gallery

Through exploring the 'Future Library' work and visiting the various studios, the pupils had a chance to think about creating their own work of art from different artistic materials, techniques and processes. They then co-designed and produced the artwork which was permanently installed in the school playground, alongside an exhibition about how the work was created. The messages, set into concrete stepping stones, will speak to future generations of children who will be tasked with maintaining the work and thinking about the ideas they would like to leave behind for others. 

Find out more

'Dear Future'was realised through support from the University’s Talbot Rice Gallery, Royal Mile Primary School and The University of Edinburgh’s Staff Social Responsibility and Sustainability Fund.