POLSKI is a curated Polish artists-in-residence programme in a publicly funded primary school in Edinburgh established in 2015 and aiming to ensure all pupils aged 3 to 12 years including those from Polish heritage, have an entitlement to quality cultural learning and meaningful access to contemporary visual and performing arts.

The line-up of POLSKI artists featured since 2015, include Zu Dominiak, Joanna Lubonska, Dawid Gumula, Jolanta Dolewska, Monika Szydlowska, Anna York, Monika Smekot, Robert Motyka, Agnieszka Mietkiewicz, Kristin Mojsiewicz, Sylwia Kolasinska, Romy Danielewicz, Sylwia Kowalczyk and Izabela Walkowiak-Radcliffe.

Curated by Iga Bozyk, Patrycja Godula and Iliyana Nedkova

Izabela Walkowiak-Radcliffe performing Nature Goddess living statue at Colony of Artists Garden pARTy at Abbeyhill Primary School on 16 September 2022. Image by Stibor Lipinski

Since its inception in 2013 the artists residency programme also known as A is for Abbeyhill Artists has been led by the curator-in-residence Iliyana Nedkova and integrated in the Curriculum for Excellence at Abbeyhill Primary School in partnership with the annual Colony of Artists community art festival. The programme has brought in and outside the classroom over 50 resident artists, including 15 of Polish heritage. It has been delivered with the support of 30 project partners, including the Polish Contemporary Art Organisation led by Iga Bozyk and Patrycja Godula and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Keep up with all POLSKI news and stories via the dedicated Artists-in-Residence at Abbeyhill Primary School online publication. READ MORE

Find out more about POLSKI in the context of A is for Abbeyhill in this online presentation by Iliyana Nedkova delivered at ITAC6 Oslo Conference on 29 August 2022 – The Sixth International Teaching Artists Conference: Art as a Catalyst for Change. The POLSKI presentation is in the first hour of the three-hour session entitled Social Impact Through Participatory Arts in Scotland, which also features presentations by Vikki Doig and Mahri Reilly WATCH HERE

Find out more about POLSKI in this curatorial project report by Iliyana Nedkova entitled P is for POLSKI and subtitled Adopting Polish artists-in-residence at Abbeyhill Primary School: Understanding how an arts alliance of primary schools, independent curators and community festivals can help us ensure that all children and young people have an entitlement to quality cultural learning and meaningful access to contemporary art. The report was commissioned by the Polish Contemporary Art Organisation with the support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, Scotland and published in November 2021 DOWNLOAD

Whereas previously the art pedagogy at primary school level was delivered by non-arts-trained class teachers, the innovative artists-in-residence programme at Abbeyhill Primary School, which incorporates POLSKI at its heart, enables this delivery to be aided by professional contemporary curators and artists, including those of Polish descent. This presents opportunities and challenges for primary schools and independent curators around Scotland and beyond on how to adopt artists-in-residence programmes and curatorial tools such as POLSKI, and the potential for making them sustainable at scale beyond the boundaries of Abbeyhill Primary School and Colony of Artists festival.

Iliyana Nedkova

Screenshot from Imaginary Cityscape by Agnieszka Mietkiewicz and Robert Motyka. Find out more about the making of this short animation film here

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