Cultural Diversity - Strathclyde

Glasgow Cathedral is a well-known landmark on the city’s skyline, and its architectural features inspired the pupils when designing their own cathedrals.
A finished model of a Cathedral
A finished model of a Mosque
A finished model of a Cathedral
A finished model of a Mosque
A finished model of a Cathedral
A finished model of a Mosque
A finished model of a Synagogue
A finished model of a Synagogue
A mono print of the Central Mosque in Edinburgh made by one of the workshop participants.
The enthusiastic young designers getting to grips with religious architecture.
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ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

During five days in January and February 2008, RCAHMS staff and the artist Lesley Hepburn explored ideas of cultural diversity with two classes at Robert Owen Memorial Primary School in Lanark.

This art workshop for Primary 6 pupils highlighted some of the main faiths practised in Scotland today, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and the different buildings in which religious worship takes place.

The creative end result was a series of prints and a range of impressive models, all inspired by religious architecture.

A press print of Garnethill
Synagogue in Glasgow.
^ A press print of Garnethill
Synagogue in Glasgow.


Some enthusiastic young
designers get to grips with
religious architecture.

 

 

 

Some enthusiastic young > designers get to grips with religious architecture.

GETTING STARTED

To kick things off, RCAHMS staff and the pupils looked into different places of worship. Important or distinctive shapes, features, styles and colours found in churches, synagogues and mosques were considered.

This research included a visit to two religious sites (Glasgow Cathedral and Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow), enabling the children to experience places of worship at first hand. One pupil considered the Synagogue:

“breath-taking, the stained glass windows lit up the whole room with a colourful glow. The Ark was tall and majestic, with golden columns, the effect was lovely…The trip to the Synagogue was an exciting way to find out about other religions and how they pray.”

The pupils were encouraged to make sketches and take photographs of the buildings.

Pupils discuss their ideas

^ Pupils discuss their ideas

GETTING STARTED


In addition, the pupils experienced some hands-on research with original material from RCAHMS collections – albeit wearing their white gloves! This included historic drawings, books and photographs, contrasted with recent survey photographs taken by RCAHMS.

All of these different ideas and images provided a starting point for the pupils’ own creative ideas…some of which were to rise sky high.

Sketches of features found
on Glasgow Central Mosque.
^ Sketches of features found
on Glasgow Central Mosque.


Pupils examine historic
drawings from RCAHMS
collections.

 

 

 

Pupils examine historic > drawings from RCAHMS collections.

THE BUILDING CHALLENGE

The pupils were challenged to use their newfound knowledge to design and build their very own place of worship. The classes were split into smaller groups designing cathedrals, synagogues or mosques.

The pupils made ‘Research Boards’ showing where they took their ideas from and how they developed.
^ The pupils made ‘Research Boards’ showing where they took their ideas from and how they developed.

A design drawing for a cathedral.

 

 

 

A design drawing for a cathedral. >

THE BUILDING CHALLENGE

Toilet rolls, cardboard boxes, tissue paper and pipe cleaners – from these simple materials, the highly imaginative model-makers created their masterpieces. With scissors and tape at the ready, as well as tubes of very sticky glue, building began.

The pupils worked together to create their models. < ^ The pupils worked together to create their models.

Once construction was complete, it was also important to decorate and paint the models with lots of eye-catching detail and colour.

The pupils worked together to create their models.
Pupils examine historic
drawings from RCAHMS
collections.

 

A synagogue receives >
a coat of paint.

A total of 12 models were made, each an unique representation of the sources that the pupils studied during the course of the workshop.

TIME TO PRINT

Lesley also worked with the pupils to create a series of mono and press prints; a process involving stencils and rollers, as well as getting covered in lots of paint.

Adding the finishing touches
< Getting to work with the rollers.


Unveiling the
results of
the printmaking
session.

 

 

 

Unveiling the > results of the printmaking session.

TIME TO PRINT

A monoprint of Glasgow Cathedral.

 

The prints reflected shapes and colours used both inside and outside of different places of worship.

 

 

A monoprint of Glasgow Cathedral. >

A press print of Glasgow Cathedral. A press print of Glasgow Cathedral.

TIME TO PRINT

The final works were hung on the walls to form a display. They were shown, along with all the finished models, at a presentation evening for family, friends and school staff.

Two pupils proudly display their model synagogue,
whilst some of the prints hang on the wall behind.

^ Two pupils proudly display their model synagogue,
whilst some of the prints hang on the wall behind.

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

The pupils discovered lots of important features to note between the designs of religious buildings. Many of these were reflected in their own models.

cathederal model

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

 

 

Mosque model

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

 

 

 

Synagogue model