This online exhibition features work by students at Edinburgh College of Art. Runs from June to December 2020.
The National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art Illustration Department collaborate each year on a student project. A theme from the Library’s collections is chosen as the basis for artwork to be displayed in the Library’s exhibition spaces.
This ongoing relationship helps students understand how they might use archives, libraries and heritage collections for research and inspiration.
To mark the Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters in 2020, the ‘Sea and Light’ project focused on the theme of lighthouses, coasts and the sea.
Created by students in their first year studying illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, these images resulted from a visit to the National Library of Scotland in February 2020.
In February 2020, a group of students in their first year studying illustration at Edinburgh College of Art visited the Library to view a selection of material from the archive of the Stevenson civil engineering firm.
From the late 18th century, successive generations of the Stevenson family served as engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board, and were responsible for the design and construction of most of the lighthouses still visible around the coast of Scotland.
The items viewed by the students included technical drawings, letters and account books relating to the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, the world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse off the coast at Arbroath.
The students viewed items relating to the work of members of the Stevenson family of civil engineers, whose archive is at the National Library of Scotland. Stevenson engineers were responsible for the design and construction of most of the lighthouses still visible around Scotland’s coasts.
Each student selected a theme based on what they saw or heard during their visit, and used it as the inspiration for a unique piece of artwork.