Our young people, attending both secure and residential schools, have shown their creativity and together developed a unique and fascinating design for a sculpture to be included in the ‘OorWullie Big Bucket Trail’.
The launch of all of the OorWullie sculptures took place June 10th around all the major towns and cities in Scotland.
Our young people were given the opportunity to tell their stories and express their often difficult life experiences through the design of the ‘wee’ Oor Wullie sculpture. Every young person in Rossie was given the chance to contribute to the design responding to the question ‘what does it mean to be a young person in Rossie?’ and an opportunity to explain their thinking behind it. The design helps us to understand that every child and young person’s experience is different and unique. The Oor Wullie design enabled Rossie to celebrate the creative and special ideas of our young people.
Rossie’s Art & Design teacher, Andy said “Rossie was extremely lucky to be selected as one of the organisations to produce a Wullie for the Bucket Trail and it’s been a hugely positive project for me to work on with our young people. I wanted to give them the freedom to interpret the brief in any way they saw fit, because many of our young people have in the past had their choices limited or ignored, or have been let down many times in their often-traumatic lives. This was a great opportunity for their voices to be heard both within and beyond Rossie. I was genuinely blown away by the colour, complexity, positivity and often challenging nature of their responses. I’m really proud of what they achieved.”
The sculpture features a colourful and complex montage of many different elements, including camouflage print, hair painted as the LGBT flag, animal print, armour plating (including a metal beard), a ‘Parental Advisory’ logo, a boombox instead of a bucket, sunglasses, a zip up the back of the head, a rocket seat, trees, an ‘Irn Cru’ can, headphones and a microphone – all with different meaning and reasons behind them.
The design expresses the young people’s hope and positive perspective for their futures – they describe the concept behind each design element, written in the first person as if in Wullie’s own voice.
One young person said they chose to depict camouflage “because when I started at Rossie, I just wanted to blend in, but it gets lighter and brighter as it goes up towards my head, which represents me becoming more confident and able to express my individuality.”
Another said “I wear animal print but with bright colours because one day I will have power and nothing to fear and because everyone at Rossie can be who they want to be. It’s ok to stand out.”
A young person explained that “parts of me are armour plated because I can handle anything life throws at me. I’m indestructible. I have a beard because sometimes I have had to grow up quicker than I’d have liked.”
Another young person chose to have Wullie wear a ‘Parental Advisory’ logo to warn that “people have prejudices about young people; we aren’t stereotypes.”
Another said “I’m wearing my shades because my future’s so bright. You can see my armour unzipping to show the brightness.”
One of the design elements making it onto the final sculpture sees Wullie “on a rocket seat flying over Lunan Bay, the beach beside Rossie. Behind me are the reasons for me coming to Rossie.”
Another feature of the final design is the pair of trees on Wullie’s back, which one young person chose to create by adapting the slingshot Wullie carries in his back pocket, stating that “at Rossie I like Forest School. That’s why I’m sat on my log. Like the trees on my back we can grow, together.” A classmate explained that “I have ‘IrnBru’ in my back pocket because I’m full of energy.”
Another young person wanted the Wullie sculpture to hold a microphone in his front pocket and headphones on his head; “Music helps me relax – I’ve got my headphones on. I am carrying my microphone because my voice WILL be heard. The mic is ‘ON’. That’s ‘NO’ reversed.”
Rossie’s CEO, Mary Geaney said: “I am delighted Rossie has been selected to be part of the OorWullie campaign. This national initiative has given our young people the opportunity to demonstrate their talents, passion and creativity – to truly shine. In spite of many difficult starts in their young lives they have great futures ahead of them and much to offer society.”