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Art at Doune Castle for African Families

6 August 2008

Women and children from Africa will be among a group of more than 50 taking part in an art, history and wildlife day at Doune Castle.

All are linked to the Glasgow-based Umoja Inc community group and the YWCA Family Learning Centre.

Umoja Inc is a volunteer-led project for vulnerable lone women asylum seekers who have fled violence and persecution in African countries such as Zimbabwe, Somalia, Mozambique and many others.  

The Glasgow YWCA family centre offers a range of learning opportunities to women experiencing social exclusion and health problems.

There will be tours of the castle, a chance to follow the nature-based sculpture trail in the company of Historic Scotland rangers and art activities led by professional artist Hannah Ayre.

The Art About the River day is part of the agency’s outreach work with groups that can find it difficult to access and enjoy Scotland’s heritage.

Kirsten Wood, Historic Scotland education officer, said: “The visit will be a chance to see a great castle which has fabulous wildlife all around, in its grounds and the river.

“The idea will be to make it as relevant to their own lives as possible. As some of the mums and children are from Africa, we will talk about things like migratory birds.

“Everyone will have the chance to make some animal artwork, either inspired by Scottish wildlife or something from their homelands.”

The art activities will use recycled and recovered materials.

Vicky Grandon, building womens’ capacity officer , said: “We are really looking forward to the visit. It’s a great chance to see a beautiful part of Scotland.

A previous visit to Stirling Castle was a tremendous success.

“The women from Africa were especially interested in the tapestry project and talked about the strong similarities to crafts they practice themselves.

“The educational and historic information was presented in such a dynamic and enjoyable style that everyone felt welcomed and able to ask questions as well as join in the fun.

“Historic Scotland really made it a perfect day out, and the families are still sharing photos and memories of a wonderful event.”

Unfortunately Historic Scotland staff are having to improvise to find temporary replacements for parts of the sculpture trail - the salmon and heron carvings - which have been destroyed by vandals.

The trail was commissioned by Historic Scotland as a celebration of the wildlife of the castle grounds and river, to be enjoyed by local families and visitors.


Invitation to Photographers

Date:           13/08/08
Time:           2pm
Place:          Doune Castle
Photo:         Community group members enjoying art activities, tours of the castle and a nature ramble with Historic Scotland rangers.


Notes for Editors

  • Doune Castle is 10 miles north west of Stirling off the A84.
  • Prices are £4.20 for adults, £2.10 for children and £3.20 for concessions.

For further information


Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871
rebecca.hamilton@scotland.gsi.gov.uk