ECA Summer School of Imagination

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We are inviting applications from S5 and S6 students to attend our very first ‘ECA Summer School of Imagination’ this July, where hands-on workshops in a variety of subjects will be combined with career and portfolio advice, hosted by academic members of staff across Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).

Throughout the event, we will focus on Edinburgh as a space of imagination. We will be discovering, among others, the Leith-born world-leading artist Eduardo Paolozzi and his artistic play with toys, robots, and a range of different materials. We will also learn about artistic movements such as surrealism, which found the marvellous in the everyday. And this is our intention during the summer school; to find the weird and fantastic in our everyday environment, and to play with materials to create new realities.

The ECA Summer School will run for three days (10am – 3pm daily) and will allow you to:

  • Learn about Edinburgh’s recent and world-leading artistic history
  • Try out and experiment with a range of different artistic subjects
  • Learn about different arts-related career opportunities
  • Understand what is required to study at ECA
  • Get support with creating and refining your Art and Design portfolios

The Summer School will offer the following sessions:


July 25th

Paolozzi at the National Library of Scotland

Today we will tour some key Edinburgh sites associated with the artist Eduardo Paolozzi. The first stop will be the National Library of Scotland.

There will be an opportunity to examine and handle the 19 Paolozzi maquettes in the Library’s collections. There will also be an interesting selection of books by and about Paolozzi, as well as some of his handwritten correspondence from our manuscript collections. This is a chance to learn about the diverse career options in the field of collections and archives.

Paolozzi at the National Museum of Scotland

The tour continues to the National Museum of Scotland where we will discover Paolozzi’s sculptures and the artistic techniques involved in making them. We will investigate why he created these unusual sculptures, and why they are in the National Museum rather than in an art gallery.

Mosaic Ruins: Talk & handling session of Mosaic Arch Fragments

The tour ends with uncovering the story of the mosaic arches Paolozzi designed for Tottenham Court Road Tube Station. Find out about what happened to them and what’s planned for these fragments at the University.


July 26th

Fragments, Collage, and Printed Matter

Collage and printmaking were two of Paolozzi’s main means of expression. This practical workshop will focus on combining found material, printed ephemera, and simple prints to allow you to make a series of collages and constructed artworks. Materials and equipment will be provided.

This is not Jewellery

A two-hour, hands-on workshop where you will make an item of jewellery. Please bring along 3-6 objects you’ve found – at home, or outside. We will transform your found objects either by collage and/or re-assembly, thereby changing their visual meaning. Be prepared – you may be asked to cut up and/or dissemble your found object so don’t bring anything precious!


July 27th

Imagining Music

The human, musical brain is an extraordinary phenomenon. Here we will explore the latest neuroscience findings together and try out some different ways of learning music and imagining music.

Phonotrope Workshop

Using record players and digital cameras, you will learn how to reinvent the illusion of life that intrigued the Surrealists. There will be an opportunity for an informal discussion of portfolios for application to Animation courses, and a tour of ECA's animation facilities at the end.


Applications are now closed and all places have been allocated. We are looking forward to welcoming our Summer School students!

For further information, please email us:

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