The new Ellon Academy artwork designs now on display at library

Bill Kelly: Mary Bourne:Bernie Briggs and participants
Bill Kelly: Mary Bourne:Bernie Briggs and participants

Artwork designs for the new Ellon Academy Community Campus have gone on display.

Earlier this year residents and pupils from the town took part in a writing project, submitting phrases in their own handwriting, inspired by the River Ythan.

Progress at new Ellon Academy

Progress at new Ellon Academy

The entries have been used to design a new piece of artwork which will be featured in the Ellon Academy Community Campus.

Work on the new £36 million Ellon Academy Community Campus is well on the way and is expected to be completed and open to students by August 2015.

The River of Words design will be 12m long, running across a glazed screen, dividing the reception area from the swimming pool in the new building.

Artist Mary Bourne worked together with the council’s architects on the project.

Mary said: “This artwork was developed in response to a request from the architects for something that would make a visual break between the swimming pool and the reception area, without losing the view altogether.

“I came up with the idea of the River of Words, with the river becoming a metaphor for the people of Ellon, perpetually changing as individuals come and go, but remaining constant as a community rooted in this place.”

Ellon poet Bernard Briggs ran writing workshops with local groups and the public, with support from the Scottish Book Trust.

S1 and S2 students from Ellon Academy, as well as the Ellon Editors, Beyond the Block and Ellon Library’s Reminiscence Group, all took part.

Mr Briggs said: “I wanted to make the sessions fun and informal, but also productive, allowing participants’ natural thought processes to drive their imagination, resulting in what I hoped would be unselfconscious phrases.”

Leader of Cultural Learning at Ellon Academy, Sheana Brown, said: “The River of Words project has enabled the school cohort who will be the first to populate the new Ellon Academy to contribute to the design and fabric of their environs.

“This was seen by the pupils not only as a positive feature of the overall concept, but also as a motivating force for them to offer their best efforts.”

The handwritten phrases were scanned into a computer before they were altered for the final design.

The designs are on show at Ellon Library now until January 2014 for visitors to view and leave their feedback.