Scottish history in the frame at new exhibition by young people

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KEY moments in Scottish history are the focus of an extraordinary exhibition involving more than 200 young people.

The project at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG) has been supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Scottish Government.

Opening on June 26, 2021, Ruined: Re-inventing Scottish History is the result of the Image Liberation Force project which saw young Scots from Ayrshire, the Borders and Edinburgh radically reimagine the nation’s past through art over a four-year period.

SNPG - Entertainment News Scotland
Photo by SNPG. Subjects covered include disputed territories, false heroes and heroines, wicked tyrants and bloodied martyrs.

Visitors to the Gallery will enter an immersive time-machine where multiple video projections flicker across a set of ruins showing shocking events and ghosts from Scotland’s past

Their story is also told by their very own ‘bard’, Edinburgh producer and rapper Mercurius MC, who delivers a visceral address to the nation, past and present.  

Shannon McLeish, a young person who worked on the exhibition, said: “The RUINED project allowed young artists to think more about Scottish history.

“It opened a door for us to make changes and create our own result.

history - Entertainment News Scotland
Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on Unsplash. Historic paintings depicting epic events and powerful personalities are brought to life in new ways by young people.

“Some of us created worlds entirely new, others adapted historical events and made them their own.

“History for young people isn’t as important as it used to be.

“For us, we are the history. One day, people will look back at this time, and hopefully our art.

“We want to make today just as important as the great historical events.

“We want to control the narrative and do things our way.

“RUINED helped show us how that could be possible.”

Commenting on the display and the work behind it, Robin Baillie, Senior Outreach Officer, said: “The young people have fearlessly trusted their own interpretations of what they see in great Scottish paintings.

“They see that the stories we tell about the past are often more about how we want to see ourselves in the present

“These creative and inspiring young people have made old works of art live again, using them to express their own views about the challenges facing young people in Scotland today.”