Children’s Procession

Since 2017 we have commissioned artists to work with our most local primary schools Timmergreens and Muirfield to celebrate graduation from primary seven to high school. Separated by a busy road, the procession was designed to connect and celebrate two schools by joining them together in creativity, feeling a sense of pride for Arbroath and embracing the exciting move up to secondary school.

A yearly event where pupils celebrate stepping forward into the next stage of their lives. Each year a different artist is commissioned to design the procession through workshops with over 400 children. Previous artists have been Pester + Rossi, Holly White, Mark Bleakley & Katie Miller and Sally Hackett.

2021: Therapets of Your Dreams Children’s Graduation Carousel with artist Sally Hackett

For Hospitalfield’s 2021 children’s graduation project artist Sally Hackett asked 400 children to imagine their dream ‘therapet’: An imaginary pet with magical abilities to look after, comfort and generally make each child feel better.

Hospitalfield’s annual graduation commission with Timmergreens and Muirfield Primary Schools celebrates the move of Primary 7 children onto their secondary schools. Through weekly workshops over six weeks at both schools, artist Sally Hackett created this graceful sculpture, much like a fairground carousel, which combined the wonderful dream therapets conceived and painted by the children. Installed around a grand old tree within Hospitalfield’s grounds, this was an alternative to our annual Procession, allowing visitors to come and see the work in their own time, with their families from dawn to dusk.

We are grateful to all the pupils, teachers and colleagues at Timmergreens and Muirfield Primary Schools for working with Sally Hackett and Hospitalfield to create this magnificent art work.



Sally Hackett is an artist and educator living and working in Glasgow. Sally makes sculpture with a range of materials of widely different shelf lives and sell by dates from glazed ceramics to peanuts, garlic husks and toilet rolls. Spurred by intuitive making, Sally creates her work predominantly around emotion and mental states. Characters appear showing stories of social intricacies, heartbreak and human failure but with a playful aesthetic of bright colours and cartoon faces. Her work aims to simultaneously express both joy and pain. The playful aesthetic of the work mirrors the sentiment, displaying the energy and beauty present in imperfection. Sally’s interest in pedagogy often sees her working directly with community groups and children to create works collaboratively or facilitate others in their act of creating. She has worked on educational projects with a wide range of organisations, completing projects and residencies with Glasgow Royal Hospital for Children, GOMA, Project Ability, Platform, Panel and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Recent exhibitions include ‘A toilet is a wishing well’ Generator Projects (2020) ‘A Weakness for Raisins’ CCA, Glasgow (2018) ‘From Glasgow Women’s Library’ (2018) and ‘The Fountain of Youth’, Edinburgh Art Festival (2016).

2019: Through Sludge, Sand and Stardust We’re taking you to the Future!

In summer 2019, dance artists Mark Bleakley & Katie Miller led 500 children from Timmergreens and Muirfield Primary Schools in Arbroath, in the Annual Children’s Graduation Procession. The Procession began at Timmergreens and included 4 performances along the route.

Through Sludge, Sand and Stardust
We’re taking you to the Future!
Watch the Video

Celebrating the children graduating onto secondary school and moving onto new things, the 3rd annual Children’s Procession was choreographed to travel along the streets and avenues of Arbroath. Dance Artists Mark Bleakley & Katie Miller worked with pupils and teachers at Muirfield and Timmergreens primary schools to create the new procession with movement leading the way. Arbroath’s school kids brought the surrounding landscape to life and lead the procession to the Paddock.

Through weekly rehearsals over 8 weeks, the artists and children drew inspiration from the surrounding landscape of Arbroath, the beautiful coastline, the fields and meadows surrounding Hospitalfield, the picturesque and changing urban landscape and importantly the young people living in Arbroath and who in the years to come will transform it.

Thanks to Janice Parker and Luke Pell for their advice in developing this Procession.

2018: Over the Land and Under the Sea

Holly White was commissioned to design the Children’s Graduation Procession 2018, along with 400 children from nearby Timmergreens and Muirfield Primary Schools.

The Procession entitled Over the Land and Under the Sea launched the Hospitalfield Summer Festival 2018. It celebrated the Primary 7 children moving up to secondary school and all the younger children moving up to their next stage of life. The theme was inspired by the animals, myths and stories which the children spoke about and drew pictures of in the initial workshops which White delivered at the schools. Neighbours, friends and family were invited to line the streets to cheer the Procession on. The sculptural floats show mermaids, seals, dolphins, a garden and the Bellrock Lighthouse. Each of the children made a drawing on a specially dyed t-shirt which was their costume for the Procession. They have kept these garments as mementos of the event.

Holly White was born in London and lives and works in Glasgow. Her work involves digital media, sculpture, text, performance and video. Recent solo exhibitions include: Orange World, Cordova Gallery, Barcelona, 2017; I Need Your Love is This True, Jupiter Woods, London, 2016; I’m always lazy when I miss you, AND/OR Gallery, 2015; No One Is Going To Go There Anymore, Evelyn Yard, London, 2014.

2017: Pester + Rossi

Artist duo Pester & Rossi were commissioned to design the Children’s Graduation Procession 2017, along with 400 children from nearby Timmergreens and Muirfield Primary Schools.

Artist duo Peter and Rossi (Ruby Pester & Nadia Rossi) designed a colourful, noisy, moving display. They worked with the children in the months leading up to the procession to develop ideas for the design, and to make the costumes and props. Friends, families and neighbours lined the streets on the procession route to watch, and also attended the special welcome event at Hospitalfield.

This was our inaugural Children’s Summer Procession, now a yearly event where pupils from local schools celebrate stepping forward into the next stage of their lives. Each year a different artist will be commissioned to design the procession through workshops with the children.

“A procession is like a party but it’s no ones birthday.”

“It’s when everyone stands in a line and walks together.”

– Discussion about processions in Timmergreens and Muirfield classes

Pester and Rossi (Ruby Pester and Nadia Rossi), are a collaborative artist duo who have been working together for 6 years, producing performance projects across Scotland and beyond. Both graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in 2008, receiving degrees in Fine Art and Time Based Art and are currently living in Glasgow, based at Crownpoint Studios. They have presented projects at Baltic 39, Newcastle; Platform, Glasgow; Suttie Art Space, Aberdeen; Stockholm Fringe Festival; Experimentica Festival, Cardiff; Retramp Gallery, Berlin; Queens Park Railway Club, Glasgow and Crawl, Dundee.