Walking the Water of Leith

One of the benefits of living in Edinburgh is that you are never far from nature, a fact which often has a long-lasting impact on our students. In the second week of their studies we took our first years for a long walk along the Water of Leith during which they drew from observation and collected artefacts. Their findings were then to be used as a basis to develop block printed repeat patterns.

Our journey started at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre where we were introduced to the history of the river, its flora and fauna as well as the work and activities carried out by the trust. The group then set off on a 3 hour walk involving many drawing breaks before arriving at the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art.

After returning to the studio our students carried out research into historic and contemporary pattern before being shown how to create their own repeat pattern and transform it into a linocut.

The final work reflects the students’ personal journey along the river, drawing whatever appealed to them along the way, ranging from buildings, objects, colours, shapes and animals to people. Found elements such as scraps of paper, bits of rubbish or graffiti were also incorporated into the work.

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