Wester Hailes Art Group: Bringing people together through Art

By 15th February 2021 Project Stories

Wester Hailes Art Group is a group of local residents linked to Whale Arts, who are brought together by Edinburgh Art Festival for trips and activities.  Thank you for sharing how you have continued to support your group through the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

Prior to lockdown the group were meeting every couple of months to go on trips led by the Edinburgh Art Festival Community Engagement group. Members of the group spent time reflecting on the trips and writing blog posts celebrating the artists and organisations.  You can read these here.

During Lockdown
The group have been staying in touch via email, and members from the group got involved with remote art activities such as Stills Gallery’s Elementary Blueprint, Grassmarket Community Projects and Greyfriars Kirk’s Lockdown Bobby’s and Edinburgh Art Festival’s DIY Art home creativity kits.

The group enjoyed a few outings in smaller groups when lockdown eased in August 2020, visiting various art galleries in Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens.

Holly said, “It was lovely to come together for the first time since lockdown, even if we were only able to be a much smaller group.”

August 2020, Peter Liversidge Flags for Edinburgh flag bearing, Arusha Gallery, Dovecot Gallery and Ruth Ewan and Tam Joseph posters

“For just one day, all seemed to be right with the world after experiencing a little bit of paradise, thanks to the generosity of not one but two great artists who approached this vast subject from different perspectives.”
Mary, on a creative day trip to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

September 2020, A creative day out at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – watercolour technique with artist Sarah Knox and introduction to Climate House.

“These trips bring people together from the community, even in a more reduced fashion now, and it helps participants feel some form of normalcy and helps us look to the future.”
Holly Yeoman, Community Engagement Manager, Edinburgh Art Festival

Wester Hailes Art Group organise outings and support the group’s knowledge and interests in historic and modern art.  They visit exhibitions, meet artists and specialists and try out new artistic techniques. Local connections are strengthened with city wide and sometimes national projects working together and sharing information. As well as this, the trips include appreciating the city’s walking routes and green spaces, and visiting other Scottish cultural destinations.

The group on their trips produce art work, imagery and poems from their outings.  Here is a lovely poem from Eoghan reflecting on his visit to Climate House and the coronavirus pandemic, “Till we’re out of the woods and back to the norm.”

Poem by Eoghan Howard

A huge thank you to the Wester Hailes Art Group for sharing this blog with us.

If you would like to share how you or your organisation adapted your services to help communities during coronavirus and lockdown, please email shasta@corra.scot.

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