Celebrating the work of Penicuik Artist in Residence

Wednesday November 30th 2022


Fiona Maher (on the right) with a participant at one of the workshops.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

An Artist in Residence appointed by the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project has been working with local community groups to produce artworks reflecting the history and heritage of the town.

Print maker and sculptor Fiona Maher, who has many years of community-based experience, is a former pupil of Penicuik High School. She currently runs regular classes at Edinburgh Printmakers on a freelance basis.

Fiona chose to concentrate her work for the Penicuik project on the paper making history of the town. Over the past year, she has held 15 residents’ workshops in Penicuik Town Hall and at the Pen-y-Coe Press with around 160 people taking part. The workshops, which included community groups and pupils from Beeslack High School, involved printing and drawing, etching and other techniques using materials from the Penicuik Historical Society and other local groups.

Eight prints have been produced as a result, with all but two of them created by the participants under Fiona’s guidance. The new artworks will hang permanently in Penicuik Town Hall.

To celebrate the project’s completion, a special event will be held on Saturday 21 January when Fiona will present the artworks to the community. Midlothian Provost, Councillor Debbi McCall, will be there to welcome visitors and to thank Fiona for her work.

“Fiona has done a great job working with local community groups to stimulate interest in the history and heritage of the town, with local people creating some attractive and exciting prints,” said Provost McCall. “By displaying these permanently in the town hall, we will hopefully encourage people to take an interest in the heritage of the town and to learn more about the creative processes involved in drawing and printmaking.”

Local residents and visitors are welcome to attend the presentation of the artworks in Penicuik Town Hall on Saturday 21 January 2023 at 10.30am.

The Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project is a 5-year scheme aimed at regenerating the historic core of Penicuik through historic building grants, shop front improvements, public realm improvements and an extensive education, training and engagement programme. It is funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, and Midlothian Council, and supported by Penicuik Community Development Trust, Penicuik First and Penicuik and District Community Council.

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