Shawlands Academy Lights Up

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Shawlands Gate Project – Lighting Launch

The Shawlands Gate Project, launched in early September, saw the switch on of a unique lighting installation which lit up the front elevation of Shawlands Academy with drawings, animations and content created by students at the school.

The evening brought together parents, residents and community members, councillors, planners and project partners as well as staff and students, to commend the work and outcomes of the project.

Background to project

The lighting launch forms part of the wider Shawlands Gate Project, which aims to promote a greater role for students in the community and in regenerating Shawlands Town Centre as the heart of the Southside of Glasgow. It has involved re-imagining the school, learning about local spaces, landscape design and exploring how public art can be introduced in the town centre.

The Schools Programme’s involvement began two years ago when five workshop sessions were held in collaboration with Glasgow City Council, working with a number of students to engage them in the design of future improvements to their school’s façade.

Workshop participants created a visual brief detailing how they’d like the front of their school to look and feel. The brief helped to inform and inspire lighting designers, Light Collective, in their final design for the façade.

Exhibition + associated projects

In addition to the lighting launch, the school hosted an exhibition with information boards detailing a number of other curriculum areas within which the school has developed the project. In Art + Design classes, students took part in a photography project where they took images of Skirving Street and the surrounding area and in Modern Studies students developed and handed out their own census for residents along Skirving Street, the results of which were then analysed in Maths lessons.

Lighting Launch

The school’s facade presented an excellent opportunity to use light creatively to transform the space in front of the school. Using a large-scale projection, students curated a light show which presented their artwork, photography and animation across the building. The content can be provided by students in the form of a simple powerpoint presentation enabling the light show to continuously change and reflect the range of work and activities happening within the school. As well as giving the school a public gallery through which to share the students’ creativity and success, the light show also helps to create a more welcoming and colourful route into Shawlands town centre.

Links to information and articles can be found here:

BBC article

Light Collective

Local news – here and here

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