SCoJeC was delighted to facilitate two events for young people to learn about – and try their hands at – Jewish traditions in paper-cutting at Mearns Castle High School and Glasgow UJIA Youth Club.
Abi Pirani, an artist in this medium whose work represents Jewish traditions and Jewish ceremonial objects, introduced a group of older students at Mearns Castle, many of whom will be visiting Holocaust sites in Poland this year, to Polish papercuts and the history of paper-cutting around the world. The students also tried cutting a multi-fold design such as a six-sided or snowflake cut.
Teachers from the school's art department were very interested to hear about the mini-exhibition, and brought other students from S1 to S3 to have a look and hear from Abi about some of the history and techniques. They then invited her, along with Joanna Hyman from UJIA, to participate in an S1 art class working on cutting stencils.
In the evening, Abi joined the very first UJIA Youth Club meeting, to show the young people the Polish papercuts, and then worked with them on producing papercuts using imagery relating to Rosh Hashanah. With no previous experience they picked up the idea quickly.
These events were a taster for an an innovative interfaith art project for young people during Scottish Interfaith Week in November, for which SCoJeC has been awarded £500 from the Interfaith Youth Trust. Abi will be joined by Maryam Golubeva, whose art reflects her Muslim background, for an interfaith workshop in Falkirk.
The Falkirk event is being held in partnership with the Al Masaar community. Many thanks also to the Interfaith Youth Trust, Joanna Hyman and Brittany Rittell of UJIA, Mearns Castle High School, and, of course artist Abi Pirani.