Tuesday, 29 January 2013

“To See Oursels As Ithers See Us”

In Scotland at this time of year our thoughts turn to Rabbie Burns. Its a great way to shake off the winter blues.  Haggis, whisky and poetry!

Recently I took one of the lines of a Burns poem to form an exhibition of dry point etchings called
“To see oursels as ithers see us” 

It's a line from "To A Louse" and describes how Burns witnesses with horror as a beastie has the audacity to crawl amongst the lace collar of a particularly upper crust lady as she sat infront of him in church.  He comes to the conclusion that we are all born equal, and it would perhaps be an advantage to view ourselves through someone else's eyes. 

 Nearly 300 children took part from 2 of my schools, all the 8 - 12 year olds.  were given a small piece of perspex and a photograph of themselves and scratched their own image, with a sharp point.

The children then inked the plates (and their hands and the tables and their faces!) and armed with a tiny portable borrowed printing press and a ton of beautiful hand made paper we set to printing 300 of the little faces, pinning them on to large sheets of polystyrene, for display 


Friends who have a photographic studio (Hamilton Kerr, Kirriemuir, check them out!) kindly lent us the space to hang the work for a week, and we sold  the pieces to delighted parents.  True to form we had the most dreadful snow storm in Kirriemuir on the opening night (Burns Birthday), but still children and parents braved the snow drifts and joined us for the evening.  

We even had our local poet,  Mark Thomson, drop in to see "Whit the craic wis"

So proud of my pupils, quite an achievement, and hopefully they will see themselves as others see them.


  1. Beautiful portraits! So much character in these. Congrats to you on a great show!

  2. Dear Mrs. Crosbie,
    I haven't found an art teacher blog as unique and different and fabulous as yours in quite some time. Each post on your blog is so startlingly exciting, it makes me want to get out markers and pencils and chalk and create something! I write to you from a world away, in Omaha, Nebraska,USA. I too, have taught for over 30 years and hope to make it to 40! Thank you for sharing your art projects and student work. I especially enjoyed the poem about the Corbie! The student's drawings lent a misty, eerieness to the poem. I look forward to following your blog.

    :)Pat Stevens

  3. Maureen, I keep finding beautiful lessons on your blog I'd never seen before. These little portraits are stunning.