Over 70 years ago, a young girl
from Pitlochry was left dismayed when she failed her Girl Guides artists’
Last week, at Craft Café
Edinburgh, 85-year-old Netta Watson was awarded what was rightly hers as
the Guides took the time to correct a wrong done seven decades prior.
A resident of St. Raphael’s care
home, Netta has been attending Impact Arts’ Craft Café workshops for just over
Craft Café workshops run in
partnership with Viewpoint care homes, giving residents a place to work with
professional artists on arts and crafts projects.
As well as workshops running on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays each week, the residents’ artwork is
celebrated at high-profile exhibition events.
The most recent of these took
place the Image Collective gallery on the top floor of Leith’s Ocean Terminal
Work sold in this exhibition
raised over £1,200 to be reinvested into Impact Arts charity art programmes,
and Netta made a significant contribution to this total – she sold nine
watercolour, pastel and acrylic works, including portraits and Scottish
Surprised at selling so much,
Netta commented that this was not bad, considering she failed her Girl Guides
badge – and this led Impact Arts tutor Kate Bell to contact the Guides to right
an injustice that had taken place in the 1940s.
Last week – determined to recognise Netta’ artistic achievements – Gillian Fraser of the Girl Guides surprised Netta by turning up at the St. Raphael’s
workshop to present her with her arts badge, in front of fellow Craft Café
“It was a great surprise, so
unexpected and exciting,” said Netta. “It had me in tears.”
Has receiving an arts badge
wrapped up some unfinished business? “Definitely. I can’t actually remember why
I failed it in the first place – I couldn’t see that my work was much worse
than anybody else’s!
Why does she enjoy attending Craft
Café? “For good company, for good coffee and for good conversations. I so enjoy
trying all the different artforms and media – and nobody fails you!”
Kate Bell is the lead tutor for
Craft Café in Edinburgh. She is thrilled that Netta has received due
recognition for her artistic efforts.
“Netta is incredibly dedicated and
I am delighted to see her awarded for creating so much thoughtful and colourful
artwork,” says Kate.
“Craft Café members were in on the
idea from the start – Netta was told only that someone was coming in to have a
chat with her on Thursday morning.
“We were all very moved when the
penny dropped and Netta realised what was going on! She is a great
encouragement to her peers who share in her infectious enthusiasm for the
Craft Café workshops run each week
in two Viewpoint care homes in Edinburgh: St. Raphael’s and Lennox House.
The aim of the workshops is to
celebrate older people’s creative achievements, offer access to materials and
quality arts tuition, and help break down isolation and loneliness in