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National Library of Scotland going old school for art projects

School examination papers from the 1930s and 1960s are being used as a source of inspiration for 21st century artists.

The National Library of Scotland is offering six bursaries of up to £1,000 each to enable creative reinterpretations of old exam papers.

The library, which has just digitised its collection of exam papers from 1889 to 1963, is keen to demonstrate the re-use potential of its collections for those working in the creative industries.

Graeme Hawley, the Library’s general collections manager, said: ‘The idea is that we want to see if a Higher maths question that was set in 1962, for example, can be turned into a choral or even a punk musical performance in 2018.

‘It will test the creative ability of artists while helping the exam papers to live again. If algebra made you want to scream when you were at school, now’s your chance.’

There will be two opportunities to create dance shows based on the 1932 Geometry (Higher Grade) Section II (question displayed above); two visual art opportunities based on either the 1937 Day School Certificate (Higher) General paper Question 2 or the 1938 Day School Certificate (Higher) General paper Question 2 and two musical performance opportunities (punk, indie or choral) based on questions 1 to 6 of 1962 Mathematics (Higher Grade) Second paper Section I.

The closing date for application is 23 January. Those interested are asked to submit a CV together with a brief artistic proposals and an outline of costs to [email protected]

Graeme added: ‘Past generations might never have considered that the exam questions they faced could be seen as art but this project aims to look at them in a completely new and exciting manner.’

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