Welcome to the Barter project.
For one week at Dalkeith Palace, artists from Artlink’s Barter project have reworked the grand entrance hallway of the Palace, which currently houses U.S. university students from the Experience Scotland study abroad programme. Together with professional artists, barter project participants have changed furniture, added their pictures, created new ornaments, as well as created some comfy seating, making the space look entirely different. In exchange, students will offer their skills from line dancing, guitar recitals, cookery classes in American foods to local community groups. A lovely way to exchange skills and open up an altogether different understanding of the local community.
The palace exhibition is the latest Artlink ‘Barter’; a Midlothian based series of exchanges between people with learning disability, and locally based organisations. The project itself is unique but simple: an artwork is made especially for an organisation, and is traded for an experience or skill for the makers (logical people with learning disabilities).
Everything we do is based on a belief in each individual’s potential, and in the power of creativity to change lives. Our Barter Project has met with huge enthusiasm from the local community. The businesses have received beautiful artworks and the individuals with learning disabilities have received experiences that have broadened their horizons. Everyone gets something uplifting and valuable from it. In recent projects, our groups have worked with traditional musicians, a magician, an organic farm, a residential home and a homing pigeon club.
Other barters have included making a house sign for a vintage car hire owner in return for trips in a Rolls Royce, and magic shows in return for making the children’s entertainer a prop box. People have experienced watching badger pups in the wild, learned how to make canapes and had a ceilidh in a cafe, all which build experiences and networks.
Organisations involved say it lifts the spirits and makes you proud to be connected to their community. For people with learning disabilities, it offers the opportunity to do things that they have may never experienced before. Participants have the chance to contribute something creative and worthwhile, to learn new skills, to be appreciated as active citizens rather than passive recipients of care.
A win win project for the people of Midlothian.
If you are interested to have a barter created for your organisation or have something you’d like to exchange, please get in touch
0131 229 3555