Art according to Lockerbie Academy Year 1 Pupils

Hunting for some paper to use for stencils last Friday (as you do – my studio is a veritable stencil den with very little floor space and a lot of oversized stencils… more on which another time), I came across the notes from my last days discussion at Lockerbie Academy during my residency earlier in the year with Spring Fling.

I asked the first year students I’d been working with a couple of questions about art as we had been discussing during my five weeks in their classrooms, and the answers suggested that first years are indeed far more intelligent and clued in than many would give them credit. It was real honour to work with such a wide and varied bunch of young people, some of whom, with any luck might yet find themselves on a journey of curiousity, questioning and learning.

bob and roberta Art makes Children Powerful
A favourite from Bob And Roberta Smith

1. Why do we have art in public spaces?

(The residency saw us creating work as part of a large permanent work, in the foyer of their school – a semi-public space in many ways, and their most influencial public art work was the recently installed Lockerbie Sheep outside the town hall as part of town redevelopment works).

To make it look cool

To Represent something

To tell a story

To commeorate an event or person

To make spaces more interesting

To represent something about our town

For people to share opinions about

As a landmark

kid acne 2
That’ll Learn ‘Em. Kid Acne.

2. Who do we make art for?

(My favourite obsession, audiences and the why’s of art making. This one a little difficult for a lot of our first years, who had never been encouraged to make work other than for sake of it, but were now being asked to donate their artworks for the good of the schools collection, to very mixed responses – rows were had over the collective artwork over individual ownership and authorship.)

Friends and family.

To inspire people

To look at

Everybody – the public

The community the work is in


Image: Barry Young

3. What is art for?

(Always leave the biggie till last!)

Expressing yourself, telling a story.

Leisure. (A real live 11 year old said leisure).

As a Hobby, for happiness.

Makes you happy/peaceful.

To make money.


Making places not look boring.

Emphasise things – how we look at things.

Exciting – exploring, learning.

Expressing emotion.

Showing our creativity.


Because we enjoy it.

Fun. Entertaining.

Do what you love.

Money and fame.



Communication – sharing opinions.

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