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The Lion, The Scot, and Mebalwe

Our museum residency is now underway with T&D programming regular workshops, talks and training for our group. During our first few sessions we were fortunate enough to hear from artist Josie Ko about her work with the David Livingstone Birthplace Museum and participate in a making some papier-mâché art works with her. In this post T&D group member Layla, shares her experience of the workshops so far and some of her own papier-mâché artworks.

The Josie Ko Workshop was really interesting to me, especially at the beginning when we were asked to think over David Livingstone as a hero and as a human being and indeed, we had an interesting discussion. So, we tried our best to think critically and reflect intellectually as well as evaluate our information unconsciously. Step by step, we got to know more about David Livingstone’s activities and initiatives, even though I think I need to do further research about his travels, discoveries and fame.

After our discussion, we used newspaper and PVA glue to create papier-mache sculptures directed by Josie Ko. In the workshop, we, as a team, were able to portray one of the elements of David's life which had a great impact on his personal life, that was a lion who attacked him. Of course, Josie finished our work beautifully.

I am also engaged in artistic works and make sculptures. I am interested in the sea life world and try my best to create mythical creatures using my own imagination and observation. I produced these works with papier-mâché and plaster of Paris which I bought online. I created them and left them to dry a little bit, then I paint them with acrylics.

The Thistles and Dandelions project has helped me to think more about the cultural heritage of Scotland and especially about David Livingstone and his great efforts made by him. During the era of slavery, when most of the wealthy people thought of getting richer and richer at the expense of the poor and the innocent, trading in human beings, some individuals such as David Livingstone gave up their lives, not in the way of their own country, for the sake of higher human goals.

For your information, I moved to Scotland 8 years ago and as I was not familiar with this country and its culture, language, heritage… I lived in isolation. I am happy to have met this group and come to know good friends by entering upon this project. I feel I continue to develop more and more motivation whenever I attend the project and sessions, which will add to my knowledge about Scotland and its cultural heritage. In my opinion, the project has been a great success.

A huge thank you to Layla and Josie for sharing their creative practices with us. We have really enjoyed how it has worked as a way to engage with the stories held at the museum and look forward to seeing what other ideas, creations and discussions come out of the project. Stay tuned for more updates from the T&D group!

Please enjoy some more of Layla's works below.


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