Category: Art & Design

Light the North

In 2021, Light the North will shine a light across the north-east, Moray, Orkney and Shetland with over 45 lighthouses designed and created by some of the most talented artists across the UK and beyond continuing the region’s cultural revolution.

“CLAN has been a lifeline for people affected by cancer by giving telephone support, counselling sessions and introducing online services since the outbreak. CLAN continues to be a shining light of hope, reassurance and support for people affected by cancer.”

“We want to thank everyone for their support of the lighthouse trail, and we can’t wait to shine a light on the north-east and Northern Isles with our sculptures next year!”

The Little Lights Education Programme

Working with local schools

The Little Lights Education programme links to the Curriculum for Excellence with all participating schools being provided with a creative learning resource pack for teachers. The pack contains a programme of study designed to complement teaching of numerous subjects including; the history and development of lighthouses; a link to the sea e.g renewables and wider energy sector, maritime; cell biology and personal resilience; physical health and emotional wellbeing.

The trail

“The Education Programme will culminate in a trail of 0.8 meter tall lighthouses, designed and decorated by schools, being displayed at indoor locations throughout the city. With the support of the business community, the Little Lights Education Programme will enable 50 schools to immerse themselves in learning about the symbol of our city across a variety of subjects.”

In order to take part in this exciting Little Lights Education Programme, we at Aberdeen Grammar have been fortunate enough to have been chosen and partnered with Mearns & Gill, “the longest-standing creative marketing agency in Scotland”. Without their sponsorship and support this would not have been possible.

“Cancer has sadly touched the lives of both students and teachers in our school and we feel this is a poignant opportunity to raise awareness of the effects that cancer can have on families and communities, particularly in the North East. The Art Department along with the Guidance Department would like to help support this good cause by creating a little lighthouse which highlights/underpins the importance of strong emotional support during difficult times. To promote engagement and contributions on a broader scale, we would additionally like students in our S2 classes, to create mini individual lighthouses to exhibit and promote positive emotional well-being.” Aberdeen Grammar School Art Department

Our School Proposal

Our CLAN little lighthouse has been a collaboration from all of the S2 Art & Design pupils; who have been exploring found objects from our local coastline. Through careful observation, they have created and selected their strongest individual pieces, that in combination, will adorn our little lighthouse along with messages of hope.

In addition to decorating our very own little lighthouse (provided by CLAN) S2 students have created individual tiny lighthouses inspired by different landscape artists, featuring different landscapes from our local area. They have aimed to capture their emotions through their use of colour and mark making. Some tiny lighthouses portray solace and hope, whilst some also reflect life’s turbulent times.

With seashore inspired drawings, local Scottish landscape inspired painting sculptures and messages of hope, all of our S2 students are creating works that support the importance of this educational programme, particularly in building personal resilience; physical health and emotional well-being.

Individual drawings of ‘seashore finds’ by our S2 students, ready to apply to our CLAN Little Lighthouse.
Fantastic skill, refined detail and much care have gone into each drawing for the Little Lighthouse.

Virtual Work Experience – Pupil Experience

AGS CDT pupils were recently involved in Scape groups Learning in Lockdown – A Week of Virtual Work Experience during the week of the 18th May. One of our partners Balfour Beatty who were partly sponsoring the event offered AGS CDT pupils a place to get involved. We had recently worked with Balfour Beatty on an activity delivered by them on the Union Terrace Garden project.  This opportunity was taken up by one of our S4 pupils Sherwin Fernandes.  The following is a summery of his experience:

Scape group with the help of their sponsors launched a digital work experience for all 10th-year students in the UK.  I got involved with this task because I wanted to increase my knowledge of STEM, and learn what it is like to be given a project which encapsulates all the skills required to work in a professional environment.

The task allocated was to design a pavilion (a free-standing community building)  which promoted sustainable living to a local Dubai community.

With this large task a great deal of things had to be considered with the design:  

Location:  Weather – flooding and climate, sun path, prevailing winds – passive ventilation  and air-conditioning 

Energy: positioning of solar panels, lighting, natural light, temperature retainment.

General “end-user” needs: accessibility and usability, comfort and safety.

Design brief of sustainability: I did this through education: Kitchen, Garden and Greenspace, technology and adults and kids learning  

Each day several tasks were given which all amounted to a final design, it was a case of “building up” as you went along. 

Lecturers from Heriot-Watt University gave instructions and clues to aid us with the daily task through webinars over

Experts from all fields of STEM  were also able to support with any questions on a live chat facility. 


I enjoyed designing my pavilion through a floor plan as it was based on problem-solving and logic had to be applied in all areas. The making of my pavilion through Minecraft was most rewarding as a I got to visualise my design digitally.

I learned a lot about how crucial and fundamental a design of a building is and how its environmental friendliness could be hindered by its poor blueprint. I would highly recommend this work experience if it were offered next year.