Dawn ‘til Dusk, at Mount Stuart, June 2023, Credit CHARTS (10)

The Argyll Collection, From Dawn 'Til Dusk

"Working with CHARTS and Mount Stuart on the student led Argyll Collection exhibition project has allowed me to see first hand the importance of providing young learners with real life learning experiences that combine community and culture. Students have had the opportunity to plan and design an exhibition event that reflects their perspectives and has, at the same time, taught them about the different roles and skills that are required to build a successful event. They have been supported through this process by professionals in areas such as art curation, graphic design, project management, and this experience is giving our students a real world perspective and genuine ownership of an important art event. I, for one, can't wait to see how it all comes together." Allan Arneil, Teacher of Art and Design at Rothesay Academy.

The Argyll Collection is a unique art collection of great cultural significance, established between 1960 and 1990 as a learning resource for the young people of Argyll and Bute, by the former Argyll County Council. The collection includes many notable modern Scottish artists, including Joan Eardley, Elizabeth Blackadder and Anne Redpath, and a significant collection of mid-century African art. Jim Tyre, an art advisor for Argyll County Council, and the renowned author Naomi Mitchison collected artworks to enable young people to experience fine art across the wide, largely rural spread of Argyll, with otherwise little access to museums and galleries. The collection is currently managed by Argyll and Bute Council Education Department, and is exhibited in high schools and libraries across Argyll and Bute.

"My plan had two edges: one was purely artistic. But the other was to build up a Scottish confidence, a sense of nationhood, something a civilized person could be proud of." Naomi Mitchison, Times Educational Supplement 1966

"Working with Rothesay Academy pupils on this exhibition has been a fantastic way to animate and champion the Argyll Collection. We hope what we have all learned can suggest ways to continue working with and supporting the Collection."  Morven Gregor,  Curator of Contemporary and Learning, Mount Stuart Trust

From Dusk Til Dawn, enabled Rothesay Academy pupils to research and learn about how exhibitions are created, working alongside key professionals in their field and to highlight the cultural significance of the council owned Argyll Collection. This offered complex insights into curatorial practice and team work. CHARTS are further reviewing the ways schools and community interact with the Argyll Collection, in their next Project - The Argyll Collection Reconnected. Including the interpretation of artworks for display and assessment of conservation needs, this project resulted in an exhibition hosted by Mount Stuart.


"I am delighted to be a Project Manager for Argyll Aspires. I have lived and worked in Argyll and Bute for over 20 years, as an Art Teacher in Lochgilphead and Dunoon, and also as a Cultural Coordinator across the region. Living in the region, I quickly became aware of the vastness of Argyll and Bute and the barriers that we have when it comes to accessing Culture, Heritage and the Arts. This experience has developed my passion for supporting projects which allow young people to gain access to working in the Cultural sector’’ Lucy McAra Neish, Argyll Aspires Project Manager, CHARTS 


Dawn ‘til Dusk is part of CHARTS Argyll Aspires project, made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by Mount Stuart, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Argyll Collection and Argyll and Bute Council.