Seeds blown in wind find way into Aileen’s art­work

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY DAVID MACKAY

A Mo­ray school­teacher has opened a new art ex­hi­bi­tion in­spired by the wishes of chil­dren.

Aileen Neil­lie’s col­lec­tion of paint­ings fo­cus on dan­de­lion seeds that have been blown in the wind.

De­spite the gallery’s ti­tle of “Gone to Seed”, the prin­ci­pal teacher of art at Milne’s High School be­lieves it is an up­lift­ing sub­ject.

In­stead of plants with­er­ing in the wind, Mrs Neil­lie has de­picted seeds from flow­ers which are giv­ing new life as well as “hope and re­spect”.

She said: “I was fas­ci­nated with the idea of us­ing dan­de­lions to rep­re­sent gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren who have blown seed heads to tell the time or make a wish.

“I find the lat­ter the most in­trigu­ing – it al­most verges on su­per­sti­tion or folk­lore. I’m moved by the in­no­cent naivety that this sim­ple act will make wishes come true.

“In re­al­ity, this act as­sists the dan­de­lion’s very ef­fec­tive method of seed dis­per­sal – en­cour­ag­ing fu­ture growth and en­sur­ing its long-term sur­vival.”

The Milne’s teacher started work­ing in sec­ondary schools 12 years ago, but has al­ways made time to con­tinue her own art prac­tice.

Her lat­est col­lec­tion, which has gone on dis­play at El­gin Mu­seum, mag­ni­fies the seeds to un­cover the in­tri­cate de­tail that can only be seen un­der a pow­er­ful lens.

She said: “Ini­tially, I work from the source in a very an­a­lyt­i­cal way, in­ves­ti­gat­ing and un­der­stand­ing the vis­ual el­e­ments be­fore de­vel­op­ing my ideas.”

CHILD­HOOD VI­SIONS: Aileen Neil­lie says she is in­spired by in­no­cent naivety of chil­dren blow­ing dan­de­lion seeds

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