Pupils interpret William Scott paintings for innovative project

Published: 18 Oct 2012 13:000 comments

To mark the centenary of William Scott's birth, Fermanagh County Museum has organised an exciting and innovative schools project which will culminate in an exhibition of the Museum's collection of paintings by Scott.

Artist Genevieve Murphy, discussing a William Scott lithograph with children from St. Mary's Primary School, Mullymesker, in preparation for the 2013 William Scott Full Circle Exhibition.<

Alongside the exhibition, there will be creative responses by budding artists of the future from primary and secondary schools in Fermanagh.

Last week Mullymesker Primary School pupils visited the museum as one of the eight local schools taking part in the project.

Genevieve Murphy, local artist and facilitator, commented: "In preparation for the exhibition in 2013, the children study their chosen painting exploring theme, structure, style and techniques of the artist, and then create their own work of art. Some of the responses from the children have been both inspiring and intriguing.

"The primary six children from Mullymesker Primary School worked on the piece 'Still Life With Pears'. Some of the children saw the pears as violin cases sitting in front of a brick wall! It is quite an abstract piece. The work that they produced themselves was amazing, using a limited palette of black, white and grey and exploring a range of techniques they recreated their own creative version of the piece".

Speaking about the forthcoming exhibition and current schools project, Sarah McHugh, Manager of Fermanagh County Museum Service said: "Full Circle is an appropriate name for this project and exhibition. Today, William Scott's paintings encourage students to create their own vision. The exhibition in February 2013 will be a feast of creativity and imagination."

Fermanagh County Museum owns one of the most significant public collections of work by the internationally renowned artist, William Scott, who was brought up in Enniskillen.

Born in Greenock, Scotland on 15 February 1913 of Scottish and Irish parents, William Scott moved to Enniskillen aged 11. As the eldest boy of 11 children, his family faced hardship and poverty.

Despite this, William Scott's father, impressed by his son's early artistic promise, persuaded the Enniskillen-based artist and teacher, Kathleen Bridle, to give his son his first art lessons. In William Scott's words: "My life really started with Kathleen Bridle."

Tragedy hit the family in 1927, when Scott's father was killed while helping to put out a fire in the town. In return for his father's sacrifice and in recognition of the young boy's talent, a group of Enniskillen citizens set up a fund to enable the young artist to study at the Belfast College of Art, aged 15.

William Scott is now recognised as an important artist of the post Second World War era, and his work is collected internationally. The work of William Scott is the focal point of Fermanagh County Museum's art collection.

The Museum owns 11 examples by the artist including oils, prints, a drawing and a textile piece. The collection dates from the late 1930s to the late 1970s, encompassing the artist's transition from the figurative to greater abstraction of form.

Various pieces have been donated to the Museum including 'Yellow Matrix' (1962), which was donated by the Scott family to remember those who died and were wounded on Remembrance Day, 1987. Other paintings have been purchased with assistance from organisations such as the Art Fund, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Northern Ireland Museums Council.

One painting, however, will not form part of the final exhibition. 'Still Life with Garlic', (1947), given by the Earl of Belmore, has been requested by the Tate Gallery, St Ives to form part of the wider William Scott Centenary exhibition and tour. As well as travelling to St Ives, the painting will be on display at the Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield and at the Ulster Museum, Belfast.

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