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Scotland’s Heart is Captured in Art

Young people reveal what makes them proud of their local area, with the reveal of #ScotArt as part of the finale to Year of Young People 2018.

For months, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and a group of young champions teamed up to run a youth engagement programme to gather the views and ideas of young people across 14 regions of Scotland.

More than 300 young people have taken part in creative workshops led by #ScotArt Young Champions and emerging young artists from Shetland to the Borders to decide on the final 14 #ScotArt symbols which have been made into amazing wicker sculptures by artist Ariel Killick.

The project has reached a diverse range of young people across Scotland, including school groups, young carers, young refugees and LGBT groups. The chosen 14 sculptures represent the brilliant diversity, passion, pride and creativity of young people living in Scotland today.

The final sculptures were unveiled today (19 December) by the #ScotArt Young Champions and Young Artists alongside Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The sculptures will now go on display on the Royal Mile until the 29th December, after which they will come together to form the fiery heart of Scotland as outlined by thousands of torchbearers at the epic conclusion of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Torchlight Procession on the 30th December, providing a suitably brilliant conclusion to Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

The Final 15 #ScotArt Symbols per Region:

Ayrshire – Tam o’ Shanter riding his horse Meg over the Brig o’ Doon, pursued by Nannie the Witch
Dumfries & Galloway – Peter Pan and Tinkerbell touching a star over a large open book
Edinburgh & the Lothian – Greyfriars Bobby guarding Arthur’s Seat
Lanarkshire – Coal cart filled with Irn Bru
Central Scotland – TV set with thistles for an aerial
Glasgow – Billy Connolly busking with his banjo
Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute – Steam boat on Loch Lomond in front of Ben Lomond
Tayside – Person with Scotland flag at top of Dundee Law
Renfrewshire – Witches hat with Paisley swirl for the tip
Grampian – Lighthouse with waves spelling out ‘Fit like?’
Shetland & Orkney – Viking Puffin
Fife – Peacock wearing a crown with the struts of the Queensferry Crossing as its tail feathers
Highlands & The Islands – Stag in a kilt, highland dancing with a dram of Whisky in its hand
Europe – Patchwork love heart with peace sign behind
Borders – Highland cow with rugby 7s ball on its head

On the symbol selected from young people in the Scottish Borders #ScotArt Champion said:

“The symbol for the Scottish Borders was designed by fifteen young people from the region. We had so many fantastic ideas – from unicorns, to the Eildon Hills, to the Borders railway. We thought about lots of different categories as well, from food and drink, to iconic people to sport.”

“In the end the group voted the symbol they want to represent the Scottish Borders to be a Highland cow with a rugby 7s ball on his head. The Highland cow represents the farming industry in the Borders and the rugby 7s ball symbolises the famous rugby 7s tournaments that take place in each of the Borders towns every summer. The idea of rugby also fits in well with the well-known Borders Scotland rugby player, Stuart Hogg, who is from Hawick.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Year of Young People 2018 has been an incredible celebration of our nation’s young people. Projects such as #ScotArt have created new and exciting opportunities for them to express their creativity, talents and views on a world-wide stage.

“From the very start young people have been at the heart of everything we are doing with the Year of Young People. It is only right that they continue to be the beating heart of Scotland as we move into 2019.”

Check out all 15 wicker sculptures on the Royal Mile from 19 December to 29 December, before they are set alight as the burning heart of Scotland!


Follow #YOYP2018 @YOYP2018 for all things Year of Young People.

All images © Ian Georgeson