‘Centre for Life Supported Learning’, oil on panel, 2016, 60cm x 76cm

Centre for Life Supported Learning‘ forms part of ‘Invasions and Excavations’ a solo exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery from 20 April – 6 May 2017.

I have worked for many years in what used be called ‘extramural’ education; classes arranged for people who are not full-time members of a university or educational establishment. Also known as ‘continuing  education’ or ‘lifelong learning’, these classes provide a vital lifeline for those who feel excluded and are looking for a second chance, a change of career and to gain new skills, knowledge or experiences.

In the many years I have been involved in the art and design lifelong learning sector, I have been privileged to support and facilitate experiences which have genuinely changed people’s lives, whatever their age and background. I have also been aghast by misassumptions about this sector from the educational establishment; Over the years, I have said to me ‘part time study is half-hearted, ‘art and design is not serious academic study’ and even ‘bloody granny painters’ from someone who should know better.

‘Centre for Life Supported Learning’ is my tribute to the thousands of learners who stream into universities, colleges, schools and communities centres each year to transform their lives – and many travel from far and wide to attend. Evening classes are often buried away in the hard to get to bowels of unfamiliar buildings where signage is challenging, resources and equipment is scarce.

‘Centre for Life Supported Learning’, oil on panel, 2016, 60cm x 76cm

I really enjoyed placing poorly thought out and badly designed signage within the stairwell areas and who does not have experiences of waiting for slow, old and rickety lifts to floors you are not sure you are meant to be on? And all punctuated by the smell and hum electric floor polishers being escorted by cleaners in their regulation tabard.

Please contact the Open Eye Gallery to enquire about this and other works in the show.

Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 4pm

34 Abercromby Place
Edinburgh EH3 6QE
Phone: 0131 557 1020
Email: mail@openeyegallery.co.uk