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Crawford College of Art and Design

Extending the artist’s practice, grounding it in a social context. Looking at engagement through the intersection between the senses, society and the arts.

Crawford College of Art and Design CIT are delighted to announce a new Masters in Arts and Engagement. A 2 year part time course that prepares graduates to develop a professional practice in arts rich engagement with individual, group, and broader societal contexts. Participants on this Masters programme will develop an understanding of the role of the arts within learning, changemaking and the development of culture.

Employment Opportunities:

MA Arts and Engagement
The course will run part-time, one day a week, plus 2 day block monthly for elective module. Applications are welcomed from graduates of arts (visual arts/theatre or music) or social sciences interested in:

This Masters programme builds on a number of existing Special Purpose Awards all centred on learning through expressive meaning-making: Arts based facilitation training, creativity and change-making and art therapy. These programmes educate through and activate different modes of communication, promote learning through experiential and reflective practice, and engage with other perspectives and diverse intelligences.

Participants on the Masters will develop an understanding of the role of the arts within learning and engagement and will develop the skills to apply this to a range of contexts. Core modules over the two-year programme relate to the arts in engaged practices which recognise neurodiversity, equality, social justice, power and autonomy. Through research, reflection, group and practical work participants will explore different ways of learning, investigating the transformational power of the arts in personal and societal regulation through a broad scope of contemporary methodologies.

Through elective modules in year one, opportunities will be provided to broaden skill sets through Socially Engaged Theatre, Eco-Arts Practice or Art Therapy. In the second year, opportunity will be given for students to develop their ongoing arts practice informed by, and in relation to, one of two strands of engagement – Health & Wellbeing or Global Citizenship.

Duration: Part time over two years (1 day a week + 2-day block monthly for elective module)
Course Fee: EU Applicants: €6,000

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/ma-in-arts-and-engagement-/or for course enquires email Avril O’Brien avril.obrien@mtu.ie.

Two Additional Special Purpose Awards 

Certificate in Eco Arts Practice Level 9
Certificate in Socially Engaged Theatre Level 8

The Glucksman
Free online art toolkits

The Glucksman has released a series of online art toolkits suitable for primary and secondary students. Organised around key themes, their free art toolkits enable you to explore works in the UCC Art Collection. Whether you are an educator, activist, student or individual art lover, these online toolkits are full of ideas and information to support you and your community.

The toolkits focus on the work of Irish artists Fiona Kelly, Deirdre Breen and The Project Twins. Fiona Kelly’s work has a strong environmental interest and
focuses on ideas of urban sprawl and its impact on the Irish landscape and its traditions. Deirdre Breen is a printmaker and designer who makes screen
prints characterized by flat abstract motifs and geometric compositions. The Project Twins, a Cork based collaborative art duo, create bold and playful graphics which explore ideas of absurdity, identity and the mundane.

To download this art toolkit, see www.glucksman.org/discover/digital/toolkits

Based in Cork, The Glucksman is a leading museum nationally and internationally for creative learning and access to the visual arts.  For more information about the toolkit, get email education@glucksman.org.

Cork County Council Arts Service
Deadline: 3pm, Thursday 10th June 2021

Cork County Council’s Arts Service is inviting schools to participate in a new classroom based arts in education programme that will be facilitated by a professional artist. Four schools in County Cork will be invited to become temporary custodians of Cork’s County Art Collection.

Cork County Council has a substantial collection of visual art. This civic collection includes works in various media including, painting, drawing, print, photography, video and small scale 3-dimensional work created by emerging and established artists, many of who are living and working in Cork County. This collection is owned by the people of Cork and as such it is the policy of Cork County Council to make this collection as widely available to the public as possible. It is in this context that they have developed a schools education programme that will enable young people to gain knowledge and engage creatively with work from the collection in a managed programme in the classroom. They will have an opportunity to create a collaborative artwork with an artist, using the artworks as a springboard for creativity.

The programme is funded by Creative Ireland and will be provided free of charge to all schools.

Deadline: 3pm, Thursday 10th June 2021

Applications should be made via email to grace.mitchell@corkcoco.ie no later than Thursday 10th June 2021 at 3pm. Queries can be made to Grace Mitchell, Creative Ireland Projects Coordinator, 021 4346210 or grace.mitchell@corkcoco.ie.

The Glucksman 
Date: Saturday May 22nd, 10:30-11:30am or 12-1pm

The Glucksman presents Natural Creators: Exploring and Creating Soundscapes with composer Karen Power. These free, interactive workshops focus on early years listening, composing and improvising sound. Using found sounds from our natural and constructed environment, these workshops encourage children’s natural openness and curiosity through a series of guided composing, improving, listening and play activities.

Natural Creators workshops are built on slowly integrating sound into children’s everyday lives. This program is designed in an open and improvised manner facilitating every child to engage in the process with their own unique approach to creating sound.

Date: Saturday May 22nd, 10:30-11:30 or 12-1pm

For more information or to book, see karenpower.ie/natural-creators.html

The Everyman & Graffiti Theatre Company

Dates: 1 – 31 May On Demand

On demand audio stream theatre for young audiences 8+ for families or schools.

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing by Finegan Kruckemeyer, is presented by The Everyman and Graffiti Theatre Company as part of Play It by Ear, a programme of shows performed on The Everyman stage, and available as an audio stream.

Triplet sisters are left in the forest by their woodcutter father. From this fairytale beginning, three resolutions are made – one sister will walk one way, one the other, and the third will stay right where she is. Twenty years later, having circumnavigated the globe, and fought Vikings, and crossed oceans, and tamed wilds, and achieved greatness, the three meet again, as women.

Fun and accessible resources will be available on Graffiti’s website for teachers and parents to support children’s enjoyment of the episodes.  These resources – which will be available for the audio stream live date – will include creative prompts and activities to give children a deeper engagement with the piece.

Price: On Demand Audio Stream Family €12 | Schools €65

Age recommendation: 8+, recommended for young audiences and their families

Running Time: 5 X 10mins

For further details go to everymancork.com/events/this-girl-laughs-this-girl-cries-this-girl-does-nothing/

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I had run similar intergenerational projects in Kerry in the past, using music, songwriting, singing, and visual art to express ideas and feelings about our own stories. These projects always received great support from local partners and the press, and culminated in a public exhibition and/or a performance. The interaction between the generations was a most important part of this project.

I moved from Kerry to Cork in 2016, and I was touring two one-woman shows. One of the characters in the shows is my Jewish grandma, and there was a lot of audience interest in this character. I started researching the Cork Jewish community as it was in the early 1900s, and writing a musical play on the subject. I’ve always played Jewish music, and I saw great interest in Cork in its Jewish historical past, which I wanted to know more about, and to share my knowledge of. This had not been evident in my 28 years in Kerry, as there was no Jewish community in Kerry previously.

I had built up a relationship with the Arts Officer in Cork County Council, Sinead Donnelly who suggested running the project in two areas, Youghal and Bandon.

We worked with Bandonbridge Primary School sixth class pupils and their teacher, Freda O’Neill and the Bandon Daycare Centre, with support from Bandon Library.

The project took place over four Tuesdays in September and October 2019. Two workshops would take place in each centre (the schoolchildren had their workshops in Bandon Library), one visit by the children to the Daycare Centre, and a visit by the daycare participants to the school for the concert day. In the end, I visited Bandon a total of 7 times – two introductions, the four planned dates, and one evaluation day.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children completed a number of workshops with Ruti, in the local library, in school and at the day-care centre. The goal was for both groups, the children and the day-care patients to compose and perform a song for each other and to enjoy a singsong and each other’s company at the final performance.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I worked with the principal, the teacher, the daycare staff, and the 2 groups (older and younger).

In the first workshop,  I introduced each group to a little bit of Jewish Irish history and Jewish culture, I taught them a song in Yiddish, and we had a little jam with me on accordion and them playing percussion. I then asked them to think about how it might be to move to another country, and about any experiences they had themselves of living in other places, or moving from one place to another. I asked the groups to say out loud how they might feel if they moved to a different place. These words were written up on a flipchart. We used chime bars (each person gets a note to play, from a kind of xylophone) to work out a melody that might be nice for a song. Then we fitted some of the words that the group had come up with into the melody, and with a bit of adaptation from myself, we worked the words and melody into two songs. One verse only was developed that week. I also taught the children the song In My Town, a song I wrote and recorded on my CD for children, Stomping in the Woods.

The following week, the children came to the Daycare Centre to meet the older people. We had a singsong, which I facilitated as I had brought song lyrics, my accordion, and some percussion, and the children had prepared questions to ask the older group about where they went to school, did they ever travel, etc. One lady had brought some instruments that she had bought in Ghana years before, and she passed them round to everyone. I had brought apples and honey with me as it was Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and this is a traditional food for this festival, so everyone had a slice of apple with some honey.

It was a lovely intergenerational, intercultural sharing. Everyone really enjoyed it, and the older people commented on how polite the children were. The groups sang their song verse to each other, and they shook hands and looked forward to meeting again.

The next week was a workshop where each group completed the song, with my help, and we added instrumentation to it. The children brought in violin, tin whistle, keyboard, and guitar, and I brought percussion instruments and chime bars.

A lot of work at home followed, as I wrote out precise arrangements for the teacher to work with the children on, and recorded both songs, and sent them to the schools.

The final week, I arrived early at the school, with the film maker Dervla Baker, and ran through the original song, and the Yiddish song, with the children, while Dervla set up the video camera. The older group arrived, and about 20 of the children’s parents, and two other classes from the school, and their teachers, so the hall was packed. The new songs were sung, as was a Yiddish song that I had taught the children, and a song about Bandon Town that the older group sang. Then there was dancing to live klezmer (Jewish wedding music) as my band, Pop-Up Klezmer, came from Cork to take part in the concert. It was great to see the children and adults of all ages singing along and dancing and clapping to the music. And to give the older and younger groups a chance to perform original songs. All agreed it was a great experience. After the audience left, the children chatted with the older people and shook hands again before everyone left.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children chose to work on their lyrics first and then to add in the melody and instruments afterwards. They worked in small groups initially and then Ruti helped them to collaborate to create a whole class edition. We practised on a daily basis leading up to the final performance. Some of the children worked through a couple of lunchtimes to perfect their parts.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

The challenges were mostly weather, as the children had a long walk to the daycare centre and library, although they weren’t deterred. For me the biggest challenge was setting up the project, as it was a complicated project, and it was quite tricky communicating with the funders, as one of the arts officers was off sick. So the admin side took a lot of time and energy.

Although it was lovely working with both groups, there were challenges with the older group, as one or two of the participants were partially deaf, or just didn’t have the energy to participate very much. But most of them were delighted to take part.

The feedback from the Daycare Centre group was that they enjoyed the interactions with the children, but that they could have done with more workshops to prepare them for the concert, and that it took them a while to be clear what the project was about. They enjoyed playing different instruments, hearing great musicians, and the chats with myself and each other. The staff said it was challenging to get the participants confidence up for singing in public.

The feedback from the school children was that they enjoyed learning the dances, playing the instruments, meeting the daycare group, learning about Jewish culture and religion, hearing the klezmer band, learning new songs,  and the final performance. They would have liked longer with the older group, and more time to learn the song lyrics and instrumental parts.They would have liked more musical styles and more younger children attending the concert. The feedback from the teacher, Freda, was that the children loved it, the venues worked well, the final performance was fantastic, positive, and seeing the interactions between the groups was lovely.

My personal experience of the project was very positive. Everyone involved saw the benefits of so many aspects of the project – making music, creating new music, discussing ideas, and the interaction between the generations.

Both groups and all staff agreed that they would like to do a project like this again.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The project was a great success. The children really enjoyed the music side of the project but mostly responded very positively to the intergenerational element. It was wonderful to see how both groups interacted so pleasantly with each other.

A challenge may have been the time allowed for this project. Another couple of meetings and practices with Ruti would have been worthwhile.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

Intergenerational interaction, composition in groups, arranging music, and performance  – these are all aspects of this project that I would like to highlight as significant. Composing in groups means working together to create something interesting, meaningful, and hopefully, beautiful. This is a good team-building exercise, and just a lot of fun. Also great for confidence and interaction. Performing one’s own composition in public, and getting recognition for its value, is one of the most uplifting things I enjoy as a performer, and I think that this was so for the participants also. The Jewish aspect was also meaningful to me – to teach children a song in Yiddish – a language they have never heard before – and to lead them in dancing to klezmer music, was a privilege.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

Sixth class were enthusiastic and happy while participating in this project which made it quite easy to manage for me as their teacher. As mentioned above, the most significant part was how well both groups responded to one another.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I have more confidence in bringing Jewish material to schools (although I have been doing this in different ways, eg candlemaking workshops at Chanuka, for many years anyway). I bring my interests into the classroom, and I do quite complex projects, even though it is a lot of work and tires me. I put a lot of energy in, and often don’t feel that I am earning enough to warrant the amount I put in. But that is my journey. I have been very lucky to be supported along the way by a lot of lovely people. It’s worth it!

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

I would definitely be open to taking part in a project like this again. Also, the inclusion of the older generation in some school activities would be something I would consider more now.

 

The Creativity and Change programme & CIT Crawford College of Art

Application Deadline: 18 August 2020

The Creativity & Change programme targets change-makers, educators, activists, artists, community workers, adult education tutors, youth workers, volunteers and anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes.

Amplifying Voices Scholarships

During the unprecedented time of Covid 19, the Creativity & Change team have had to radically rethink how they engage their learners, as the educational work they do is so embedded in a heart connection with others. They don’t yet know what restrictions and guidelines will be in place for the next academic year, but they know that when it is any way possible for learners to engage safely in shared spaces, that’s where they want to be. The team are excited to share that they have acquired funding to purchase a mobile studio classroom, transported on a cargo e-bike so that they can facilitate learning spaces on the move and outdoors. So, much of next year’s course will be on wheels!

They are also excited to share the news of their new Amplifying Voices scholarships. The core of Creativity & Change’s work is to explore and address global justice and they value the perspectives and experiences of a diverse participant group when doing so. They are consistently seeking to improve the accessibility of the programme and would love to provide opportunities to those who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing post-graduate education, such as those in the Direct Provision system, or Travellers. The Creativity & Change team are now in a position to offer a number of free places on their course to those who may not have otherwise been in a position to apply. Application is via the CIT website, Amplifying Voices should be cited in the title of your application statement.

What is Creativity & Change?

The CIT-accredited award is two 10 credit modules combined within a level 9 Special Purpose Award. It ordinarily takes place one weekend a month from September to May in the new campus of the Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork City Centre, but much of the 2020/2021 will take place outdoors around Cork City centre and suburbs, and online.

The first module is an experiential module where you will engage in a wide range of hand on creative processes including visual arts, creative writing and theatre. You will engage in a wide range of global justice topics and reflect on your own identity as a global citizen and on the process of transformative learning. In the second module, you will put learning into practice in designing learning experiences for a range of contexts.

The course fee is heavily subsidised by Irish Aid. Application deadline is 18th August. Please note that places may be offered on a rolling basis, so early application is still advised.

For further information and to apply online go to www.creativityandchange.ie/accredited-award/

Crawford College of Art & Design (CIT) 

Course Starts Early October 2020

The Arts in Group Facilitation Certificate (level 8, 10 credits) focuses on the practical skills of planning and running creative workshops with groups in a range of non-formal contexts. Participants learn these skills through experiential learning processes, taking part in visual arts, drama, dance and music workshops and reflecting on the experience. The focus is on acknowledging the individual within learning, recognizing the importance of play and the need for learning to be engaging. There is a strong emphasis on engaging with diversity and learning to adapt a range of arts approaches to meet the varying needs within a group. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online.

What will you be doing?
Exploring ways of working with the Arts through experiential workshops where you will experience firsthand approaches and techniques. Peer working will enhance your learning – exploring planning, design and evaluating working with groups. We are adapting to Covid-19 restriction and see the potential of learning in outdoor environments for participants in the programme and for those participants may work with in the future.

We are inviting participants to join us with a bicycle to access outdoor learning environments. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online. The programme will be delivered through blended learning, involving face to face experiential learning and online learning. The face to face learning is being designed to maximise the potential of creative learning in outdoor environments.

Why do this course?

Who is it for?

Of particular interest to those interested in;

Applications are recorded on a rolling basis and will close once the course is full so early applications are advised. The course will start in early October 2020.

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/group-facilitation/

Or contact Jessica Carson at jessica.carson@cit.ie or +353 21 433 5256

 

CIT Crawford College of Art & Design

Dates: 29 February, 28 March, 9 May 2020

Early Years Arts & Play Education workshops, delivered by Artists/Educators, Rachel Doolin and George Hannover. CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Grand Parade Campus, Cork.

This series of CPD Masterclasses at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design will focus on early years experiential and creative play methodologies, with each workshop exploring a different material theme such as: LIGHT Play, PAPER Play, CARDBOARD Play and POP UP Play. ‘Simplicity’ and ‘wonder in the ordinary’ are at the very core of this holistic series of workshops. Artists will guide, offer ideas and materials to inspire and ignite curiosity in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Participants will be encouraged to activate their imaginations and to explore ‘ways to play’ that encourage and embrace spontaneity, open-ended exploration and unpredictable impulses!

Dates & Times

For more information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/masterclasses-for-early-childhood-educators-and-childcare-professionals/

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: 11 – 20 February 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre invites toddler groups, playschools, junior and senior infants to a guided experience of Art in Action. An interactive exhibition where artists have used images, objects, actions to communicate with their surrounding world.

An interactive, multimedia exhibition for children with work by Basia Bańda + Tomasz Relewicz, Ewa Bone + Ewa Kozubal, Tomasz Madajczak, Krzysztof Matuszak, Aleksandra Ska and Hubert Wińczyk. Curated by Bartosz Nowak in collaboration with MOS: Municipal Art Centre, Gorzów Wielkopolsk, Poland. http://www.mosart.pl/ wystawy-2019/detail,nID,6164

This exhibition is a meeting of children and artists. The eight visual artists included in the exhibition have created interactive artworks that involve children in the co-creation of the works presented in the gallery. Encouraging children to participate in their construction and reconstruction allows them to experience artistic processes in action.

The exhibition and accompanying events are focused on enabling children to develop creativity, self-confidence and curiosity, explore the world, to communicate and to think critically, demonstrating that art is primarily a way of experiencing and building mutual relations with the environment, other people and oneself

Your group can book a guided experience led by one of the exhibiting artists Tomasz Madajczak. Group bookings are free of charge and can be made by telephone on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

 

The Glucksman

Dates: 14-26 January 2020

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to the ‘The Classroom Museum’ exhibition.

The Classroom Museum enables schoolchildren in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. In Autumn 2019, with the support of Kerry County Council and Creative Ireland, the Glucksman brought the Classroom Museum initiative to Caherdaniel NS and Portmagee NS in South West Kerry.

Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers had the opportunity to interact with artworks by Irish contemporary artists Dara McGrath and Fiona Kelly.

The Classroom Museum is built around the value of providing children with an opportunity to engage with works of art in a personal and continuous way. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and includes a visit by the artist to the school, a collaborative art project by the children and an exhibition of this work in the Glucksman.

The students from Caherdaniel and Portmagee will visit the Glucksman in January 2020 to see their artworks on display. The exhibition is open to the public and runs until January 26th.

For further information go to www.glucksman.org/projects/the-classroom-museum

 

The Glucksman

Date: 19 October 2019

Join curators, academics and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our responsibility towards the environment.

Current issues of education and communication of climate change and sustainability are complex, multi-faceted and potentially overwhelming unless the problems can be scaled down and re-framed. This masterclass focuses on peatlands, an important part of our biodiversity and an example of ways that individual and collective effort can be valuable for climate action.

Date & Time: Saturday 19 October 2019, 10am -1pm

Places are Free but booking is required.

For further information and booking go to www.glucksman.org/events/art-teachers-masterclass

Ciara Gallagher Profile Pic

Ciara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as Administrative and Development Officer.

Blog 4 – On Practising Creativity and Change

The second half of the Creativity and Change course focused on “application to practice” – on applying the forms and modes of creative engagement we had experienced and worked with in the first half of the course. Over numerous weekends, we practiced creativity across a variety of forms. In small teams, we co-facilitated creative workshops to critically focus on important local and global justice issues with our peers. We created a 60 foot piece of street art – participating in the entire process from beginning to end.  We planned and designed a number of creative street actions to engage the public in Cork city in support of Climate Case Ireland.

A core part of the Creativity and Change course is its focus on connecting learning that occurs through the head, hand, and heart – through reflection and critical thinking, through doing, making and taking action, and through affective learning and creating connections. Each weekend, each activity, actively engaged all three modes of learning. Not only did we practice the application of creativity and creative processes to encourage a critical reflection and action to change on global justice issues, we also built a community, a collective, however temporary, within which these experiences became all the more meaningful.

This head, hand, and heart model is not just something to apply to just certain learning experiences, but something that can inform so many areas of our lives, our learning, our teaching, our living. This too, like creativity, is something to practice each day and to continually build on.

Now, perhaps more than ever, it seems like the time to take action in our world, to resist retreating into apathy. The scale and persistence of the global justice issues that we face can make taking action seem like an impossible task. What the Creativity and Change course encourages is a sense that this continually coming back to these issues need not feel futile, or as evidence that things do not change despite our best efforts. That instead, circling back to social justice issues in new, creative, and diverse ways, is also something to live, and to make part of our lives.

 

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Celebration Time – Blog 4

As the end of the school year approaches we have been looking forward to celebrating all our creative work that we have engaged in throughout the year.
On the 31st May all students in Scoil Bernadette participated in our Creative Schools Celebration Day. All students arrived in the hall to participate in eight different creative stations in small groups. There was a doodle corner, a lego station, a dance station, jenga, hook a duck, incredibox and a card making station. Everyone got a chance to try out each station to create, dance and play! A lot of fun was had and we all enjoyed ourselves.

In the afternoon, we all assembled in the hall to see some creative performances. In our school this year, our first years participated in the Music Mash Up programme where they learned to play different instruments and sing in a band. Music Mash up provides access for young people of all abilities to music in a fun, relaxed and inclusive way. This project was facilitated by Eamonn Nash.  For more information see musicmashup.ie/about. We were lucky to see two performances by this group.

Our next performance we saw a dance piece that a selection of students from throughout the school were involved in. These students have been attending dance workshops every Thursday in the school with dance artist Lisa Cahill. The dance piece was part of the international movement of Global Water Dances. More information can be found on the website globalwaterdances.org/It was clear that the students had put in a lot of work and practice into their performance and it was a pleasure to see them express themselves so creatively.

We then saw a dramatic re-enactment of Johnny Cash’s song ‘A Boy Named Sue’ by the LCA 2 class. The group devised and performed the piece themselves. The play was entertaining and funny and the audience really enjoyed it.

Our main focus this year as a Creative School was to offer students additional Visual Arts Workshops for students across the school. These workshops culminated in a friendship tree which is proudly displayed outside our school. Each student coloured and drew on a series of discs which formed part of this collaborative picture. To conclude our Celebration Day we watched a photo story which documented these workshops. We saw the process of the work which involved a lot of teamwork and collaboration. These workshops were facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, and led by Mairead O’Callaghan of Crawford Supported Studios. For more information see crawford.cit.ie/supported-studio-project-with-gasp-and-c_ig-artists/.

All of the participating students received a certificate from the principal for their role in the Creative Schools project this year.

This year we have developed existing relationships and also we have made new links and friendships with a lot of artists and organisations outside of our school. We were privileged to have all the artists who have worked with our school this year as guests on our Celebration Day.

The Creative Schools Project has ended for this year but creativity continues in Scoil Bernadette. Towards the end of the June we will be running an X Factor Competition where all students will again be taking to the stage to sing and dance. We are looking forward already to next year when we can get planning for our next Creative School project. Students already have an abundance of ideas of what they would like to do. We are delighted that we took part in the Creative Schools project this year and are proud of our participation and achievements.

The Glucksman

Date: Friday 29th March 2019

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to join them to mark the culmination of ‘The Classroom Museum’ a project with rural schools in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford on Friday 29th March at 11am. The celebration will be marked by Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President and Registrar at University College Cork and will be followed by a meet and greet with the participating school students, teachers and with artists Billy Foley, Fiona Kelly and Dara McGrath.

The Classroom Museum initiative enables school children in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers have the opportunity to interact with art in their own surroundings and to develop the skills and confidence to express themselves in educational and public contexts. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and develops the presence of this original work through a structured programme of activities with the schoolchildren overseen by the Glucksman’s Senior Curator of Education + Community.  The programme includes a visit by the artist to the school, a collaborative art project by the children and an exhibition of this work in the Glucksman.

This event is an opportunity to recognise the creativity of the young participants and to hear about their journey of creative learning.

For further information go to www.glucksman.org/projects/the-classroom-museum

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Working Together – Blog 3

As Spring slowly emerges with its brighter days and new beginnings, we too are delighted to get started with our new creative project in Scoil Bernadette.

After lots of planning and negotiating with calendars, our first visual arts workshop started on the 8th March with ten enthusiastic students, one from each class group, ready to pick up their pencils and get drawing.

During our first workshop we were introduced to our facilitators, Ailbhe Barrett and Rosaleen Moore who showed us some of their work and told us about their professional careers as artists. Ailbhe and Rosaleen are two artists who work in a supported studio as part of the Gasp programme. Gasp artists meet on Tuesdays in the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork and are facilitated by Mairead O’Callaghan (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists) We were certainly impressed to see their beautiful paintings and to hear of their celebrity appearances on the Late Late show.

We played a few icebreaker games to settle the nerves and to get to know each other a little better. Soon we were ready to get down to the busy work of creating. We each chose a word that represented the feeling of being at the workshop. Some of the words chosen were ‘happy’,’ listening’,’ together’, and ‘Cork’. It was the first step in expressing ourselves within the group. We then drew our words on paper, decorating them to our liking.

We finished the workshop with another fun game where in a circle we threw a ball of string from one person to another. We ended up with a visual representation of a very connected group. As one student remarked, it was all about ‘teamwork’.

The following workshop re-enforced this theme of working together. We were divided into two groups. Each group had to build a structure as high as they could. It was challenging, stressful, but lots of fun!

On the 22nd March the group set off for the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City to get some inspiration. Here we met with Julie who gave us an extensive tour of the gallery where we viewed and interacted with the current exhibitions. We met with Ailbhe and Rosaleen there and got to visit the studio space where they work. We were lucky enough to have time to do some drawing in the Art Gallery at the end of our tour, taking inspiration from the paintings and installations we had seen.

So far the project is going well. The students look forward each week to having extra time in the school timetable to draw, build and create, taking inspiration from each other and the work of professional artists. After three weeks of working together, I feel that the group has bonded well and there is a collegial and supportive atmosphere which adds to the enjoyment of the workshops.

We have three weeks left to continue this work of creative collaboration. We are eager to continue to develop our skills and to discover our talents.  We hope to have a day of celebration in the coming months to display the finished and unfinished work to parents, friends and the rest of the school community. We are proud to be a creative school.

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

Beginnings – Blog 3

The Creativity and Change course continually pushes its participants, encouraging us to engage, act, and reflect in new and different ways. One of the most fundamental ways it stretches its participants is simply through giving students the opportunities to start something new – to begin new actions, challenges and experiences, and in the process, to unearth new confidence for future beginnings.

At each of the course weekends, we participate in intensive workshops on different creative forms. For example, one weekend focused on poetry and theatre. We moved from creating poetry as a collective to individual creative writing and finally into spoken word performances and a poetry slam. The following day, performance and action were channelled into theatre as we engaged with some of the techniques of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Throughout the course of the weekend we moved through reflection and action; from our own words to shared action and performance through poetry, and from the action and movement of the Theatre of the Oppressed to reflection again. Not only did we experience this as participants, we considered this process as facilitators – thinking through ways we could engage people through these creative forms in a manner that encourages interaction with beginning to write and enact change.

Our next task on this weekend was putting this cycle of reflection and action to use in a new context as we moved from the safe space of the Creativity and Change workshops to the public space of the city. Part of our challenge for the afternoon was to engage the public in some way, encouraging people to contribute to creating something as a group. My group set about getting people to contribute to a line poem, written in chalk on the street, beginning with the line “I know I am home when…” I was surprised at how readily and generously people got involved, moved by their openness and warmth. Individuals and small groups contributed their lines, writing on the pavement, marking the city space out as theirs a little bit more.  Groups of people contributing collectively take away some of the pressure and open up new possibilities. The same was true for our groups, as our styles of interaction with the public crossed and intersected, and we reflected on and learned from each other’s actions. Even though our engagement with the public was small and transient, we learned it is possible to bring people together to create something worthwhile, that people care and will get involved.

The willingness and want to be part of a collective is encouraging in these times when we need it most. Now to find all our different ways of starting.

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

 

Creative Schools: An Insight into the Creative Schools Project: Barryoe National School – Blog 4

My schools are at a very exciting stage of the Creative Schools Project. Plans are being brought to life in all schools. At this stage, I thought it would be interesting to give you an insight into the project so far in one of my schools: Barryroe National School. The school is located on the Ibane peninsula and is surrounded by beautiful beaches and countryside. It has 176 pupils enrolled and a speech and language unit. The school is very lucky to have a wealth of creative local people and staff who are open to new ideas and projects. Parents strive to give and provide the best all round education possible for their children and encourage involvement in the arts. The school was delighted to receive entry to the Creative Schools Project this year and are thrilled to be accepted again next year. Their enthusiasm for the project is evident and they are very much making the most of this fantastic opportunity. They have dedicated a lot of time to the project and I have had the opportunity to engage in meetings with all staff and students. There is a core team of staff within the school working on the project including: the Creative Schools Coordinator, two teaching members of staff and local artist: Eilbhe Donovan.

Puppetry:

All students in the school were lucky enough to attend ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ performance of ‘Listen Janey Mac’ in the school. They were given this opportunity to inspire them to create their own work.‘Dowtcha Puppets’ are a renowned puppet specialist company based in Cork. They came to the school and did three separate performances of their show for different class groups. It tells the tale of a character called ‘Janey Mac’ and her puppy ‘Pepper’. They make a wish in a magical stone circle in their aunty Megan’s back garden and find themselves transported back in time, trying to find each other and their way home. One aspect of the Creative Schools project is the importance of finding ways in which the arts/creativity can be linked with and used to enhance the teaching of other subjects. Along with giving the students an appreciation for puppetry, the show produced by ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ also provided students with a history of Cork and Ireland. All students really enjoyed the experience:

“It was great to see the puppet show before we did our own one”. (Student)

“The setting and the props were great and how they showed the puppets when they were far away –it was a very funny story”. (Student)

“It was strange working behind the puppet stage. The lighting made it exciting. The show was great the way the characters were going to another dimension”. (Student)

Voice of Young People:

As I mentioned previously there is an importance emphasis on ‘The Voice of Young People’ in the Creative Schools Project. At the beginning of the year, I was given the opportunity to do a workshop with a group of students (with representatives from each class). I also met with all class groups and teachers to gain a further understanding of student’s artistic/creative interests. We regularly consult with the ‘Creative Schools Student Advisory Group’ when making plans. Having gained inspiration from watching ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ performance, a group of students (from all classes) worked with their drama teacher Annemarie to write their own devised puppet show piece. Other classes had the opportunity to make stick puppets and perform in puppet shows linked to fairy tales for their fellow students. Students are also very lucky to have the opportunity to work with renowned artist: Eilbhe Donovan to create their own air dough puppets. It is evident from their feedback that the process is very much child led:

“It was great fun – we were in charge of what we wanted to do. It took a long time but it was worth it when you saw how it played out in the end. We would love more time to work on it!” (5th Class Student)

“We did all the work”. (3rd Class Student).

“We could make up our own story, make up our own characters”. (3rd Class Student)

“Our characters could talk or not e.g. our castle was the narrator. We used objects that don’t normally speak and gave them voices”. (3rd Class Student).

“We added jingles. We were free to decide everything ourselves e.g. I had a potion and it didn’t have to be a certain colour – I could choose”. (3rd Class Student)

“We could move around and work in small groups. There was no right or wrong information and it was exciting that we could add props”. (3rd Class Student)

“We were working together and we weren’t fighting – we were laughing”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could act out the characters – perform and add music”. (2nd Class Student)

“While making the puppets it was difficult to get everyone working together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We made puppets in afterschool together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could make up our own story, make up our own characters”. (3rd Class Student)

“Our characters could talk or not e.g. our castle was the narrator. We used objects that don’t normally speak and gave them voices”. (3rd Class Student).

“We added jingles. We were free to decide everything ourselves e.g. I had a potion and it didn’t have to be a certain colour – I could choose”. (3rd Class Student)

“We could move around and work in small groups. There was no right or wrong information and it was exciting that we could add props”. (3rd Class Student)

“We were working together and we weren’t fighting – we were laughing”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could act out the characters – perform and add music”. (2nd Class Student)

“While making the puppets it was difficult to get everyone working together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We made puppets in afterschool together”. (2nd Class Student)

Sustainable Creative Teaching:

It is important for all arts and creative activities undertaken by the school to be as sustainable as possible. Teachers in Barryroe National School are learning about puppetry as a new art form which they can incorporate into their teaching into the future. Teachers have been enabled to develop experience and expertise in this new creative area and implement their acquired skills across the curriculum with confidence. Here is some feedback from teachers about the puppetry workshops.

“It really encouraged turn-taking and team work. Children had to change their voices to suit the characters”. (Teacher)

“We had less control over the output. Junior Classes needed more scaffolding to bring the story to life using the puppets. Senior pupils lead the classes”. (Teacher)

“One class was completely child lead – teacher only had to facilitate. Children took on the responsibility and worked on their stories at home”. (Teacher)

“Without a lot of effort, I worked on puppetry, which I was not comfortable with, and found once the idea was suggested to the pupils, they took ownership of it and followed through”. (Teacher)

Stop Motion Animation:

The sixth-class students are also learning about how to create their own stop motion animations. They created a fantastic animation piece called ‘Jack and Jill Cycled Down the Hill’ which was very exciting to see.

“We were so excited. We were looking forward to the lesson as it was so different to anything we had done before. I had never done anything like animation before”. (6th Class Student)

“Taking the pictures and when they were all moving having put it all together was so cool”. (6th Class Student)

“It wasn’t like being told what to do and how to do it. You could make up your own story and put it together whatever way you liked. Our stories were brought to life through animation”. (6th Class Student)

Creative Schools Continues:

I was delighted to hear a recent announcement from Creative Schools which indicated that the schools currently involved in the project will have the opportunity to continue next year. Furthermore, there will be a further one hundred and fifty schools added to the project. Things really are going from strength to strength for the Creative Schools Project. The project is having a ripple effect across Ireland as there is an increased recognition of the importance of the arts and creativity in the lives of young people.

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Making Connections – Blog 2

Since our return to school in the New Year, we have begun the next stage of our Creative Schools journey, which is developing our school plan. In mid-January, I met with Naomi Cahill (Creative Schools Associate) to discuss our aims and objectives for the near future as a creative school. Using the framework provided, we were enabled to assess our current strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: Teaching and Learning; Leadership and Management; Children and Young People and Opportunities and Networks.

The process of writing the school plan has renewed our school’s commitment to the creative arts and also has highlighted the areas we would like to develop in the near future. We have committed to providing CPD (Continued Professional Development) for teachers in the next academic year. We will receive training on how best to use drama as a teaching methodology which can be integrated with all subjects across the curriculum.

Scoil Bernadette has a strong focus on the arts already and is involved in a number of extra-curricular creative projects including, dance, music, and theatre. In keeping with our overall objective, which is to enable all students to access a broad range of creative activities whilst in school, we have decided to organize additional visual arts workshops this year.

As Scoil Bernadette is a special school it is vital that all activities are accessible and inclusive for all students. Naomi has been invaluable in providing the school with links with a variety of organisations and practitioners that have experience in working with students with disabilities. It is important for us a school to expand our community network and provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to participate in activities that will aid their journey as lifelong learners.

We have made links with Mairead O’Callaghan in Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. Mairead facilitates visual arts workshops with a number of supported artists each week. (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists.html)

On 14th February 2019 Naomi, Mairead and I met to develop a plan where a series of six art workshops could be run in Scoil Bernadette during March and April. The workshops will be led by Mairead and co-facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, two supported artists that attend the Crawford each week.

It is envisaged that this project will be collaborative and student-led. A group of ten to twelve students from Scoil Bernadette, one from each class, will attend each Friday in the school. The workshops will also involve a visit to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City. Together the students will decide on how the project will take shape. We hope to document the process with photographs which can be used to form part of an exhibition to be held in the school.

The workshops will begin on 8th March. We are looking forward to welcoming Mairead, Ailbhe, and Rosaleen to our school and beginning this new adventure.

We are excited to make new links with our local community which hopefully will expand both current and future possibilities for students in Scoil Bernadette.

 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Deadline for bookings: Friday 29th March 2019

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is delighted to offer West Cork Primary Schools an opportunity to engage with our Dance Artist in Residence, Mairéad Vaughan in a short summer project – Mapping the Divide.

Mapping the Divide is a creative exploration into the effects of technology on our body, mind and environment.

Uillinn invites three primary school groups to take part in a short series of workshops at school and at Uillinn. Two will take place in the school and one at Uillinn and will creatively investigate the impact that technology, and in particular the use of mobile phones, can have on us.

Students will be invited to journey into the body and out to the landscape, to bring awareness of the direct sensory and kinaesthetic relationship we have with our environment. Using gathered materials chosen from the landscape, they will explore textures, patterns, smells, sights and sounds. Then movements will be choreographed from this investigation to create a site-specific, pop-up performance.

About Mairéad Vaughan

As an artist, I am passionate about the transformational power of dance and creativity. My teaching practice highlights the need to reconnect with body-mind, specifically through cultivating sensory awareness (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste). I teach a practice called ‘Attuning’ which develops all of these aspects. This practice is the result of my PhD research and highlights the need for inclusive arts education.

Project Details:

Ages:  The workshops are suitable for 5th and 6th class groups, aged 10 to 13 years. Limited to 22 children.

Venue: Your school for two workshops and Performance Space at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre,  Skibbereen for one workshop.

Dates / Times:  Workshops will take place on Wednesday afternoons during May / June, duration 60 to 90 minutes. Dates and times to be arranged to suit the schools involved.

Clothing: Children should wear loose clothing like tracksuit bottoms, rather than school uniform when taking part in the workshops.

Booking Details:

Fee for series of three workshops is €2 per person

Closing date for bookings is Friday 29 March 2019

To find out more or to book your class please contact Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

 

Creative Schools: New Beginnings in 2019 – Blog 3

Step Two: ‘Develop’

2019 has been great so far with the continuation of the Creative Schools Project. Having completed the ‘Understand’ stage, I have moved onto the next stage: ‘Develop’. Using the planning framework, I work with schools to firstly develop a ‘Creative Schools Vision’. This is a long-term vision for placing the arts and creativity at the heart of the school. It should be aspirational but realistic. It is used to enable the school to develop aims, success criteria and activity plans. The aims state what the school ideally hopes to achieve by introducing the plan. As I previously mentioned, the voice of young people is of key importance to all stages of the project. The school must outline the role of young people in the development of their plan. The success criteria must then be detailed which states how the school will know if their plan is having the desired impact on the school and wider community.

The next step I take is to work with schools to develop a ‘Creative School Plan’. This plan is used to support the ‘Creative Schools Vision’. It includes key areas for development which should be implemented over a number of years. It is used to support the following areas for development: children and young people, teaching and learning, leadership and management & school environment, opportunities and networks. The work completed to date in the ‘Understand’ stage is used directly to the benefit of the ‘Develop’ stage.

I also work with the school to develop an activity plan. The school uses this plan to detail the exact arts and creative activities they wish to undertake this year. A series of questions must be answered which ensure schools think thoroughly about the long-term benefit of chosen activities for example: Which areas of the curriculum are involved (including the potential for collaboration/integration across subject areas)?

Linking Schools to Opportunities:
Every school is unique and they each have particular strengths and arts/creative areas which they wish to develop. I am now working to link schools to relevant opportunities according to their plans. Some activities which have come up so far include: staff undergoing CPD training in drama education to learn how process drama can be used in a cross-curricular fashion as a means to enhance learning in a practical, engaging way. Another includes: students working with a street artist over a series of weeks to create their own work. There has been a fantastic response from arts/creative organisations and artists to the project. Some of the links I have made so far include: artists (in a variety of disciplines), Arts Officers, Creative Ireland Officers, Education Officers (from arts organisations), art galleries, university drama department, music organisations and dance companies.

Student Advisory Group:
To ensure students play an active role in the implementation and evaluation of the project I work with schools to set up a ‘Student Advisory Group’. This is a cross-section of students from different class groups that I engage with on a regular basis. These students give us a valuable insight into their own artistic & creative interests. Their views must be taken on board in the development, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Arts in Education:
This project is raising the level of importance of the arts and creativity in education across the board. It is not only creating opportunities for schools but also for artists that are highly skilled and trained with vast experience. Personally speaking, my career to date has revolved around creativity. On a regular basis, I hear about the benefits creativity has to mental health and well-being. Exposure to the arts and creativity is something which needs to be made possible through the education system in order to ensure equal opportunity to young people. In a world that is constantly changing, creativity is needed more than ever.

Fiona Lawton Profile Image Fiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Creative Coordinator – Blog 1

My Name is Fiona Lawton and I have been teaching in Scoil Bernadette for the last ten years. Scoil Bernadette is a special school in Cork that caters for students with mild general learning disabilities. The school aims to make each student be as independent as they can be.

We do this by providing a secure, caring and supportive environment through the provision of a broad curriculum of social, personal, academic, sporting, vocational and relevant life-skills programmes.

I teach a range of subjects in Scoil Bernadette and have a keen interest in drama, I am a graduate of the Masters in Drama and Theatre at UCC. My learning there has taught me the value of creativity in an educational setting. As teachers in Scoil Bernadette we are consistently looking for new ways to engage our students and make learning fun.

We have a strong focus on the arts in Scoil Bernadette. We have a choir that performs in school, at fundraising events and in an annual Christmas Concert each year. Our students are involved in a Samba drumming group and they participate in the Music Mash Up community arts programme where they learn instruments and singing. We have an annual visit from GMC rapper who works with our final year students in creating their own rap. We are also very involved in the dramatic arts. We are good friends with the Everyman Theatre in Cork and attend their musical theatre productions each year. We also regularly attend workshops and performances with Graffiti Theatre and Cyclone Productions. Our Fifth years create their own drama production where they devise, produce and perform their own show over a period of four months.

This is just a small selection of the creative activities that we are involved with. As you can imagine we were delighted to be chosen to participate in the Creative Schools programme. For us, it provides us with a forum to celebrate and consolidate the work we have been doing and it also gives us an opportunity to take stock, evaluate and plan how we can develop our school as a creative learning community.

Attending the in service for the Creative Schools Coordinators was an exciting and encouraging start to the year. It was great to meet all the other teachers and youth workers who are involved in the programme. The day was informative, hands on and great fun. The enthusiasm showed by the facilitators and participants was infectious. It was a great reminder of how we learn best when we are active and collaborating. This belief is one of the core teaching methodologies that we would like to promote in Scoil Bernadette as a creative school.

I did my best to recreate the days learning (albeit a condensed version) at our own staff planning day. We all did the envelope activity which required us to think ‘outside the box’ and engage with our creative sides. We don’t always have the opportunity to consider these things together so it was nice to discuss and share ideas about what creativity means to us as a staff. We also did an inventory of the creative activities that we are currently doing. It was great to acknowledge the many creative activities we are involved with already.

It was a pleasure to finally meet our Creative Schools Associate, Naomi. Naomi came up to meet with a group of our students and did a fantastic workshop with them where they were given an opportunity to consider what creative activities they are currently involved with and what they would like to do in the future. Naomi also distributed surveys to the staff so that we could give our thoughts on our current strengths, challenges and hopes for Scoil Bernadette as a creative school. Naomi’s enthusiasm for the project is evident and we are delighted we have her expertise to guide us through the planning process.

I feel that the wheels have been set in motion and we are off to a good start. I am looking forward to the next stage of the process where we can start planning and making decisions about where to go next.

It will be exciting to make links with other schools and expand our thinking and share experiences. We are delighted to be involved with this project and are looking forward to the rest of the year.

Read Naomi Cahill, Creative Schools Associate blog series at the links below:

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 1

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 2

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: Until 2nd March 2019

Elemental an exhibition with interactivity, tactility and spacial enquiry, where children are the primary audience.

School Group bookings available. 

Aimed especially at children aged 4-12, Elemental is an exhibition that invites children and people of all ages to encounter contemporary art through touch and movement, as well as sight. Leading artists Caoimhe Kilfeather and Karl Burke are transforming the galleries with their interactive, tactile sculptures and installations that explore scale, texture, space and light.

Primary school groups of all levels are encouraged to come and experience this artwork throughout the exhibition.  A tour of the work is not necessary, teachers can bring along their school group to spend time in the galleries interacting and investigating the artwork and then take time to The Make Space – by practising primary school teacher and trained artist Anne Bradley – a calm room where children can take time to creatively respond to the themes and materials of the works on exhibition; using materials such as sand, small objects, pieces of wood and fabric to explore pattern, visual order, touch and more.

Charlotte Donovan, Uillinn’s Artists in Residence for Learning and Engagement will be available for schools on Friday’s to facilitate a workshop where the children can respond to their experience in the gallery and make their own work to take away.

Elemental contains a major commission from Caoimhe Kilfeather, with artworks that suggest an imagined forest of both indoor and outdoor elements. One element, created from hundreds of metres of green Indian silk, hanging 3 metres high, will offer pockets of space for children to inhabit. A tree house will perch 5 metres high overlooking the exhibition space, and the floor will be covered with cushions and ‘leaves’ fashioned from organdie, with brooms and sweeping brushes to tidy up. In the upstairs gallery, children will be able to walk around and through a steel sculpture by artist Karl Burke (entitled ‘Taking a Line’), which stands 2.5 metres high, and creates a very subtle optical illusion that implies density in empty space. Both Caoimhe and Karl have also each made interactive works that speak to children’s oft held desire to creatively arrange objects found in nature.

During the final weeks of the exhibition, a number of additional artworks will be exhibited throughout the gallery. These commissioned works will be made collaboratively by local primary school children from Dromore National School Bantry and artist Siobhán McGibbon, who will be working together over eight sessions in Uillinn to research, experiment and create their own artworks, responding to the exhibition themes.

Curated by Superprojects

To book your free visit, just call 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

To find out more about the artists go to www.westcorkartscentre.com/Elemental

Further images of work available on Superprojects website at www.superprojects.org/projects/#/elemental/

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

Making Connections – Blog 2

The Creativity and Change programme meets once a month for one full weekend, each weekend bringing new experiences, challenges, and connections. These full weekends allow participants a depth of experience in learning, critical thinking, and creativity. There are also spaces for pause, reflection, and making connections woven into the structure of the course, and I begin to appreciate the space for reflection that the weeks between each course weekend allow too.

The idea that creative engagement is key in facilitating transformative learning experiences that might effect change in the way we see, exist, and act in the world is at the core of the Creativity and Change programme. With this focus, new possibility is discovered within seemingly simple, everyday acts. Listening, speaking, and observing, core components of many adult education courses, are first given renewed attention. For example, as part of our learning in a day dedicated to transformative learning and the creative process, participants pair up and take turns speaking and listening without interruption. The experience of listening intently and actively, and that of speaking uninterrupted demonstrates perhaps how often we take these acts of speaking and listening for granted in teaching, in facilitation, and in learning, and in simply communicating with others.

Consideration of communication and creativity is furthered in a weekend dedicated to the exploration of visual facilitation, which broadly refers to a process of facilitating meetings, seminars and other exchanges in visual form using images, words and symbols. As someone used to working only in the written word, this was a challenge for me. We began by visually representing sounds and playfully making marks on the page in groups. Once those daunting first marks were made on our paper canvases, the temptation to overthink into inaction was removed, at least temporarily. As we gradually built toward the challenge of visually documenting the conversations of other participants, the merit of incorporating creatively challenging work into my own facilitation and my learning became clear. A completely different part of my thinking and concentration was engaged. I gained new insight into the process of how I listen as well as how I order and create meaning. Just as the exercise on speaking and listening drew attention to the dynamics of dialogue, this act of visually representing the groups’ words brought a new attention to how I interpret and document, as well as a feeling of responsibility to accurately reflect and honour the group’s conversation.

Developing new ways of seeing and interpreting continued throughout the weekend on visual facilitation, which concluded with the class working in small groups, each tasked with creatively representing different sets of data. Groups worked on visualising data relating to the deficiencies of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, the difficulties people with disabilities face when trying to access social housing, and on numbers of people on housing lists against the units of social housing available – important data that can become meaningless in spite of its devastating reality. From an assortment of seemingly random materials, groups created stop-motion animations, made clay models, assembled sets, and designed performances incorporating material to represent this data. What emerged from the varieties of modes and forms through which this data was visually represented was perhaps the force of that which could not be measured or visualised, the shock of what this data represented that could not be contained or incorporated numerically. Through this creative process, the groups began to find new ways to see and explore some of the most pressing justice issues in our contemporary moment.

Creativity & Change, CIT

If you are hoping to inject some creative change into your 2019 then look no further than the Creativity & Change Masterclass programme. They start off next month, Feb 9th and 10th with a weekend of creative writing.

Creativity and Change masterclasses are an opportunity for inspirational, intensive and in depth engagement over one or two days. Delivered by facilitators with specific expertise and experience, the programme is designed around the identified gaps and expressed interests of practitioners. Each masterclass is a deep dive into a specific method that can be used to explore change-making, global citizenship and social justice. Fees are subsidised by our partner Irish Aid in order to make these courses affordable and accessible to all. They will all take place in inspiring locations around Cork City.

Explore all the masterclasses and register online here: https://www.creativityandchange.ie/master-classes/2019-masterclass-programme/

 

 

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

 

First impressions of the Creativity and Change programme, (CIT) Cork – Blog 1

I’ve always had a keen interest in the creative arts and concepts of creativity. Issues of social justice have also always been to the forefront of my concerns, very much connected with my interest in creativity and literary forms, and informing much of my research. It’s not surprising then that the Creativity and Change course, a programme aimed at “anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes”, piqued my interest. However, having spent most of my career to date firmly on the analytical and critical side of creativity, and perhaps on issues of social justice too, it took some courage and the making of some pros and cons lists before I applied. Though I’ve invested much time in thinking about how literature can help us think about, see, and shape the world in different ways — in other words, how engaging with a form of creative expression might form new pathways of understanding — I haven’t spent much time on what is perhaps the more uncomfortable side of creativity.

From the very beginning of the course, I was struck by the emphasis on doing, on movement, on activity. Introductory ice-breakers were conducted by participants physically orienting ourselves at different points in the room according to different prompts. Each new topic was prefaced by games involving movement and reflection. Instead of beginning by talking about our interests and experiences related to global justice, we explored these ideas through working with watercolours, pencils, markers — objects unfamiliar to the adult me. We worked silently in groups on numerous activities. In one instance, groups of participants were given a block of clay, to shape and mould any way the group saw fit, without speaking or communicating. Working with paint and clay in silence allowed me to experience quiet contentment in the process, with “doing” for its own sake, rather than focusing on my lack of competence or confidence in these activities. I think I also reflected more deeply on ideas of teamwork and leadership as a result of these experiences than through many of the designated courses on these topics that I’d attended as part of training for previous jobs.

One full day of our first weekend was spent at the “creative fair”. Course participants were let loose in a room with numerous stalls with various familiar and unfamiliar art materials, books, newspapers, magazines and much more. For the first part of the day, we were given no instruction — only to enjoy, play, or create something from the materials at hand. After a couple of hours of being absorbed in activity, we were tasked with making something that somehow engaged with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and were given some instruction on how to use the material at each stall. This, for me, and I think for many other participants, completely and perhaps deliberately changed the earlier atmosphere of experimentation and engagement. I attempted to make a postcard based on the fourth SDG, quality education. Though it’s an issue that I feel strongly about and have given thought to, attaching the logo for the SDG of quality education made the postcard feel like a flimsy exploration, expressing an easy platitude without depth or engagement. And so, the first weekend of the course ended with numerous reflections and realisations about the relationship between creativity and issues of global justice.

 

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

Creative Schools: The Journey Continues – Blog 2

Creative Schools Coordinators:

In every Creative School there is a Creative Schools Coordinator. The coordinator is my first point of contact with each school and I liaise with them in regular meetings. I have now met all coordinators in my corresponding schools. In some schools the coordinator is a member of the teaching staff and in others it is the school principal. There has been a great response and enthusiasm from all coordinators and schools as a whole to the project and a strong belief in the positive impact it can make on putting the arts and creativity at the heart of young people’s lives.

Completion of Step One: ‘Understand’:

I am continuing to work with schools on the process of gaining an understanding of the school’sengagement with the arts and creativity. Having completed workshops and meetings with relevant parties and staff, I am liaising with Creative Schools Coordinators to complete the documentation for this section. All schools are provided with a document called ‘Understand’ complete with four sections: 1) Children & Young People 2) Teaching & Learning 3) Leadership & Management & 4) School Environment, Opportunities & Networks. In each section there are a series of statements which are rated on a scale of: 0-5 (0 means: the statement is ‘Not at all true’, 5 means: the statement is ‘Very true’). For example: “Pupils/students are involved in decision-making on existing arts opportunities and are able to shape their learning experiences in school” (Section 1: Children & Young People). Using age specific surveys designed for appropriate parties and information gathered from staff discussions I work with coordinators to rate all statements (using an average from the individual ratings). The following individuals are consulted with in this process: the school principal, deputy principal, coordinator, teachers (including resource staff & S.N.A.s), staff with a responsibility for the arts, parent’s association and board of management. These findings will support the development of the Creative Schools Plan which will be carried out in step two: ‘Develop’.

What is Creativity?

As I mentioned in my previous post the voice, opinions and views of young people is of key importance to this pilot project. Through ‘The Voice of Young People’ workshop I collected lots of useful information which I use as data for the ‘Children & Young People’ section and to influence my work with schools going forward. I go through this information, document and analyse it. I found it inspiring to read young people’s understanding of the word ‘Creativity’. From my experience, all young people have their own individual understanding of creativity. It is very interesting and uplifting read their definitions:

“I think it is about showing who you are and what you like to do”. “I think if you’re creative, you have a big imagination”.

“It’s about expressing yourself”.

“Imagination”.

“Like your dreams are what you feel & draw & do”.

“Do what your mind tells you”.

“Creativity is free! When you break rules, you are being creative”.

I believe it is important to let young people come up with their own understanding of creativity rather than provide them with a set definition. This is similar to the constructivist approach I often use in my own teaching. Using constructivism, students are actively involved in constructing their own meaning and knowledge as opposed to passively receiving information.

Through the workshop, I also gathered information on student’s individual artistic and creative interests. Students listed: the creative activities they are currently engaged with inside and outside school. They also listed the creative things they would like to do if they had the opportunity. It is very interesting to hear their responses. The answers vary greatly from school to school. The school’slocation and the cultural and artistic opportunities in close proximity of the school also have an influence on the responses given.

Meeting Teachers:

I have commenced meeting all teaching staff in my corresponding schools. It is very important that staff are fully aware of what is involved in Creative Schools and are able to contribute their ideas in order for the project to be of benefit. The staff are of key importance to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the project. In these meetings I initially provide staff with a thorough understanding of Creative Schools. I then explain the different components of the programme including the first step: ‘Understand’. I design posters listing the following questions as headings:

What are the creative strengths of the school?
What creative areas can the school develop?
What creative activities can the school implement to develop these areas?

I then facilitate a discussion with staff where they are given the opportunity to provide answers/ideas to questions listed. We pass around the posters and everyone makes a written note of their contributions. I also ask staff about their own individual areas of expertise for example: Is there a staff member that is a particularly skilled/trained musician/dancer? etc. This is very beneficial for all staff to be aware of going forward. I have found that a lot of schools are interested in working collaboratively together to share their creative skills and knowledge.

New Beginnings in 2019:

I am looking forward to a new year of opportunities for Creative Schools and excited to move on to the next stage of the project.

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

Creative Schools: The Start of the Journey – Blog 1

Creative Schools is a pilot initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme. It is led by the Arts Council in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The aim of this initiative is to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. My job as a Creative Associate is to enhance and shape the place of creativity in schools. I work to inspire, energise and drive schools forward in developing creative opportunities in the school and wider community. I enable schools to understand, develop and celebrate young people’s engagement with the arts and creativity.

Getting to Know Schools:

I work with a number of schools throughout Cork and Kerry. At the beginning of November, I began engaging in meetings with the Creative Schools Coordinators from my designated schools. There are a series of objectives I aim to achieve in these meetings. Initially, we go through the Creative Schools Planning Framework. We then begin to discuss the first step of the programme: ‘Understand’. This allows schools to understand their current engagement with the arts and creativity. It also enables them to assess the creative interests of students and the resources which are available in the school and wider community. We talk about the school’s current involvement with the arts and artistic areas which they wish to enhance. Through this meeting I develop a better, more thorough understanding of the school as a whole.

In each school I run a workshop with students on ‘The Voice of Young People’. All creative associates were lucky enough to have the opportunity to undergo training in Hub na nÓg. This is a national centre of excellence which supports us to give children and young people a voice in decision making. I use the Lundy Model to ensure the voice of young people is a priority. This model indicates that young people should be provided with a safe space and appropriate information to enable them to express their views. It is also important to make sure that their views are communicated with someone with the responsibility to listen, taken seriously and acted on where appropriate.

Workshop:

Giving young people the opportunity to actively participate in a workshop is a great way to hear their views. Let me give you a brief insight into ‘The Voice of Young People’ workshop. I use two different methods in this workshop called: ‘Open Space Method’ and ‘World Café Method’. The‘Open Space Method’ involves me asking student three questions as follows: 1) What is creativity? 2) What kind of creative things do you currently do? 3) What kind of creative things would you like to do? Students write their answers on post-its and stick them on three different parts of the wall. Students then divide these answers into sections according to what kind of arts activity they are e.g. music, dance etc. This leads to a very effective visual portrayal of student’s artistic interests. We then move on to ‘World Café Method’. Students are provided with a poster on which they are asked a series of questions containing blanks: 1) What is …..? 2) What kind of …… activities have you done/do you do? 3) What kind of ….. activities would you like to do? The young people use the arts activities they came up with in the previous exercise to fill in the blanks in these questions. Students then design the poster using a series of words and illustrations in order to answer these questions. I like using these methods as students take ownership of the kinds of arts activities they would like to explore and they are decision makers from the offset. I also give students surveys which are specific to their age and ability which allow them to express their opinion on their experience of the arts. These are important to give me concrete data to work from. If you want to know what young people want the best thing is to ask them. This workshop enables me to do that.

Further action I have taken in my role as Creative Associate is to create links between the school and local arts opportunities. So far, I have met people such as the local arts officer, programme manager from arts centre etc. These links are important to make to ensure the sustainability of the Creative Schools Programme.

The next step for my work as Creative Associate is to develop a Creative Schools Plan schools. Finally, schools will celebrate their experience with the arts and creativity by sharing their experience as a school, community and beyond.

Onwards & Upwards:

I firmly believe that providing young people with improved, sustainable arts opportunities will benefit them now and into the future. I am delighted to be working as part of this exciting new programme which allows us to make a positive difference in the lives of young people through the arts & creativity.

 

The Glucksman 

Date: 12th January 2019, 10am – 1pm

Artists have long used visual methods of expression to consider and interrogate personal experiences and challenge mental health stigma.

Join curators and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators – Art and Mental Health. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our mental health using artworks from the University College Cork art collection.

The new toolkits are designed for educators from Primary to Third level and uses the artworks of The Project Twins to look at projects about art and mental health that can be re-imagined in the classroom.

The Art Teachers Masterclass is run as part of the First Fortnight 2019 programme. First Fortnight utilises arts and culture to challenge mental health stigma while supporting some of Ireland’s most vulnerable people through creative therapies.
Cost €25 – Booking required. For online booking go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-art-mental-health-tickets-52432269329

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers or www.firstfortnight.ie/

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

Róisin O’Donnell is a 19 year old leaving cert survivor and writer. She was a participant in the first ever Young Playwrights’ Programme. Her play ‘Bernie’ premiered through the programme. She lives in Cork, where she spends her time writing fiction and plays, obsessing over books and her dog.

College has changed the way I write… – Blog 2

I write this blog like a stereotypical college student, with a deadline looming, on a tiny computer, in a big academic library. Eight months ago I was accepted into the Young Playwrights Programme and four months ago my first play took to life on the stage. Do I miss the programme? Short answer: Yeah.

In college, I am constantly reminded of the time I spent at Graffiti – not to jinx it. Just like then I am surrounded by people I like with my trusty keyboard only a stretch of my arm away.

A lot of things that I did not expect happened when I became a first-year student at UCC.

I can stare/glare/laugh at the ‘world’ now. And feel comfortable enough in it. John and Katie always encouraged us to say what we are- writers. An obvious title. But up until this new chapter of my life, I was waiting. Waiting for proof that I could post on Instagram and make everyone stop scrolling for a second and think- wow, Róisin… she’s not average… every negative thought gone…

I am not going to type bullshit if my time with the journalism society has taught me anything. The doors did not open present my ambitions to me.

My personal life turned into the Titanic on speed when the Leaving Cert came around. And the neat blue lines of the exam booklets had no sympathy marks to give. I didn’t get the results I wanted. The State Examinations Commission said you’re not good enough, the days, the months, the YEAR you spent was as worthless as the paper the results are printed on.

I got my dream course because I got lucky. Any other year… let’s not think of that.

My Leaving Cert is worthless now. Lecturers don’t mention it and us students squint and cringe about it, rarely.

I have learned to stop wishing and writing sloppy coming of age stories that made me sick with boredom. I write about my life now and the world around me. I send my drafts to the UCC Express or the Motley to connect with other students. So far I haven’t got a no, just edits. and ‘you can do it.’ And I am happy. The tiny achievements college has offered me have given me more than six years and two exams ever could.

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Saturday 20 October 2018, 10am – 1pm

Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Fiona Kelly for a masterclass that explores our new Digital Toolkit (www.glucksman.org/discover/digital/toolkits) for teachers. The session will focus on the environment and how online resources can enable creative activities for your classroom.

Cost €25. Booking required

For more information go to http://www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org to book a place.

Online Ticket Bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/primary-teachers-masterclass-tickets-48732211356

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Dates: Saturday 13 October 2018, 10am -1pm

Join artist Clare McLaughlin for a non-visual exploration of art at The Glucksman, University College Cork. This masterclass for educators of all backgrounds will provide entry points to the understanding of artwork for students who are visually impaired or blind.

Cost €25. Booking required.

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers 

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org.

Online ticket bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-teachers-masterclass-tickets-49381187461

 

 

Róisin O’Donnell is a 19 year old leaving cert survivor and writer. She was a participant in the first ever Young Playwrights Programme. Her play ‘Bernie’ premiered through the programme. She lives in Cork, where she spends her time writing fiction and plays, obsessing over books and her dog.

Youth, the Internet and Fiction – Blog 2

There are millions of stories on Fanfiction.net. 791K of those stories alone are listed under Harry Potter.

Meaning: Thousands of mostly young people around the world using their keyboards to enter the writing world. All because of words someone else has written.

I think that sounds amazing.

But attach the label ‘fanfiction’ and people start cringing.
Why?

Using the incorrect form of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ shouldn’t automatically make you a joke. Writing isn’t easy. And I can relate.

On my way to becoming a writer, I went through the terrible years of primary and early secondary school feeling average. I had nothing in front of me, so much energy and nowhere to put it.

According to school there are only three categories to slot into. Athletic, brainy or social butterfly and if you aren’t a superstar at one of those things – tough shit. To the end of the pecking order, please!

One day, out of boredom, I typed 500 words on my phone and called it a first (bad) chapter. I wanted nineteen years later to be more than a just happy ending at a train station. Those 500 words turned into 230,000 words and counting. And that, I can safely say, drew me to more books, made me see things from multiple perspectives and start to question things. English class didn’t improve my editing skills, get me into the Young Playwrights Programme or give me the opportunity to write this blog. Writing something I loved did.

Yes, there are the scandalous stories but isn’t there Mills and Boons lining the shelves of every library? You just need to know where to look. The most followed stories on the site are under the genre adventure and are longer than any of the books I have on my shelf.

The readers and writers work together. They learn to improve their writing technique by editing and even beta-ing. People constructively break down each other’s work and work together to build each other up. Even the reviews are kind and supportive for the most part.

You wouldn’t believe the number of teen writers testing the waters and spreading their wings. They are trying to teach themselves. They want guidance and acknowledgement.

If you type fanfiction into any search engine late-night talk show segments will show up trying to get a cheap laugh and articles trying to teach parents what it is like in the depths of the community will appear. No one on the sites cares. That’s the outside world. The writers and readers do what they do with confidence. Confidence that would be benefitable to schools and societies in this cynical world.

And I’ll end this first blog with the lessons online writing has taught me. Lessons I should’ve learned in school:

Ability, even a magical ability like creativity takes works.
And
The only way to really succeed is to push forwards through the shitty phase every writer goes through and post that next update.

The Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award recipient project, the Young Playwright’s Programme, culminated on Friday, June 22nd in a presentation of staged readings involving professional actors and directors at the Everyman as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and in association with Landmark Productions and The Everyman’s staging of Louise O’Neill’s award winning novel Asking For It.

Between January and June 2018, the nine young playwrights selected over a series of Saturday workshops, had the the opportunity to work with  professional playwright mentors John McCarthy and Katie Holly at Graffiti Theatre Company as part of Fighting Words Cork to help them create the short dramatic pieces that were staged last week.  In addition, the young playwrights were invited by The Everyman to attend selected performances throughout the programme, to inspire and inform their work.

Award-winning Cork author Louise O’Neill is a patron of Fighting Words Cork, and Asking For It has been described as “one of the most important books for young people ever written. Deeply moving, incredibly written.”

The Fighting Words programme was developed by Roddy Doyle and Séan Love in 2009 in Dublin to provide a space to support creative writing among children and young adults. In January 2017 the programme was launched at Graffiti Theatre Company.

The Young Playwright’s Programme

Date: 2pm 22nd June, 2018

The Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award recipient project the Young Playwright’s Programme to showcase at The Everyman as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

The Young Playwrights’ Programme brought together nine aspiring young writers to develop and hone scriptwriting skills, supported by professional playwright mentors John McCarthy and Katie Holly at Graffiti Theatre Company as part of Fighting Words Cork.

The project culminates in a presentation of their work as staged readings at the Everyman for Cork Midsummer Festival. The process which these young people have engaged with was truly transformative, far more powerful than the simple assembly of words on pages. This enriching collaborative environment has acted as a catalyst for the unique voices of the Young Playwrights and led to the creation of these nine compelling pieces.

Graffiti/Fighting Words Cork are really proud to be working with these wonderful young people in collaboration with The Everyman, Landmark Productions and The Cork Midsummer Festival as part of a programme of events in connection with Asking For It funded through the Arts Councils Open Call Awards.

This event is free but ticketed.

To RSVP you can just call the Everyman box office at 021 450 1673 or emailing info@everymancork.com

Graffiti Theatre Company & The Cork Midsummer Festival

Dates: 15th-17th June & 22nd-24th June at 11am & 2pm

Seoid/Jewel will be Graffiti’s first Opera for Babies devised by the team who brought you Blátha Bána/ White Blossoms and Gile na Gealaí/ Melody of the Moon. Seoid promises a musical and visual treat for an important audience.

Seoid will have its world premiere at the Cork Midsummer Festival and will be the first baby opera commissioned and performed in the Republic of Ireland. Performed in Irish and English it is a treasure not to be missed.

Seoid is a gentle musical journey though the seasons and through love.

Seoidín is looking through a box of memories (her baby clothes, a much loved toy), when she comes across her own childhood drawing of her Mother and Father. Memories stir and she sings. As she sings, she recalls her parents’ voices. They join her on an adventure through the seasons as Seoidín searches for the bright jewels of memories.

Starring: Linda Kenny (Soprano), Chloe Kiely (Soprano), Damian Smith (Baritone) and Chris Schmidt Martin (Cellist)
Composer: Fiona Kelleher
Director: Emelie FitzGibbon

Assistant Director: Síle Ní Bhroin
Set Designer: Deirdre Dwyer
Lighting Designer: Aoife Cahill
Production Manager/Set Construction: Olan Wrynn

Venue: Graffiti Theatre, Blackpool, Cork
Tickets: €8 per baby/child/adult
From:15th-17th June and 22nd-24th June at 11am & 2pm

To book go to: www.corkmidsummerfestival.com

University College Cork

Date: 25th May, 2018

Performative Pathways between Schools, Universities and the Wider Community

The invited speakers will offer their perspectives on why theatre should be introduced and established as a subject in primary and secondary schools, why universities should embrace performativity within and across academic disciplines, and why leading theatres should continue to embrace and increase their outreach activities and aspire to employ theatre education specialists. The symposium should be of special interest to those who aim to form stronger links between theatre and education, including teachers, lecturers, theatre students, directors of theatres and theatre companies, applied theatre practitioners and policy makers.

Symposium organisation: Manfred Schewe and Fionn Woodhouse, Department of Theatre, School of Music & Theatre, UCC

Venue: Creative Zone, Boole Library, Main Campus, University College Cork

Date & Time: 25th May 2018 (12 a.m. to 4.30 pm.) – attendance free of charge, please confirm by May 24th

For more information go to www.ucc.ie/en/music-theatre/drama/news/theatre-connects-symposium.html

 

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Date: 10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. The course offers a blend of art appreciation, art interaction and art making exercises and participants will have the opportunity to work with professional artists and curators throughout the week.

10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

€75. Booking essential. To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/learning-through-creativity-summer-course-for-primary-teachers-tickets

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

 

The Glucksman

Date: 10am – 1pm, Saturday 12th May 2018

Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Inma Pavon to look at projects that can be re-imagined in your classroom. This season’s masterclass will look at learning beyond the classroom and how educators can capitalize on this when designing their own lesson plans. Inma Pavon will introduce participants to movement, dance and performance exercises that can be developed for students of all ages and abilities.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance from the Centre of Continued Professional Development at University College Cork.

10am – 1pm, Saturday 12th May 2018

€25. Booking required. To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-teachers-masterclass-tickets

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

Arts in Education Portal

Date: 10th March 2018

The Arts in Education Portal is going on tour!

In 2018, we invite regional audiences to connect with us during a series of regional events, where practitioners can learn more about the Portal and what it offers, tell us about their work, connect with the community at regional level, share practice and find out what opportunities or events are available in their local area.

The first of these distinct events will be held in The Glucksman, Cork on Saturday 10th March, 2018. We welcome teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to join us for this free event.

Places are limited – booking is essential 

Schedule

 

To book your tickets for the Cork event go to
artsineducationportal-regional-day-cork.eventbrite.ie

The second regional event will take place at The Garage Theatre, Monaghan on Saturday 24th March, 2018.

 

blue_mug2016Julie Forrester is a visual artist based in Cork City. She has been working with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings since her return to Ireland in the 1990s. Her work celebrates process and open ended enquiry into materials and context. Julie Forrester is currently in residence with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership at Killard School, Co Down.

Blog 4

In my final blog I would like to describe my response to an invitation to lead a workshop.

I have been asked to focus on the interaction between the identities of maker and educator…

exciting!

and to begin by submitting a 50 word blurb for the workshop

– challenging! 

Settling in to task I find that I am a little ill at ease with the label, educator. Learning in arts practice comes about from the creative encounter, and the excitement of discovery, we all know that even when a ‘discovery’ has been made a thousand times before by others our own personal experience is the vital thing. So, by setting a path and then looking for traces, following these and generating some excitement about where they might lead, I feel more like a Companion tracker than ‘educator’: we find our own routes of discovery in the world about us.

The richness of arts practice means that discoveries may be found in just about anything: the way a particular material behaves, or by becoming aware of a new sensitivity to sound or colour, or in the places a mind might wander while creating a rhythm with a lump of charcoal. And in the education setting, where there is a wealth and breadth of experience, sharing these discoveries with others is a particular pleasure which doesn’t happen in the studio.

Often in the education setting a theme is superimposed onto the art process, this theme might be drawn from with the school curriculum. So for example one might begin with a broad parameter called “Ecology.” We look for a jumping off point and so we may begin by a brainstorming activity – perhaps the naming of all of the plants we know, then perhaps by making a collection of indigenous species of plants – the way one might approach the creation of this collection is diverse and this approach will often set the methodology for the project.

MAKER

When I am alone, in studio I have my radio tuned, usually to Lyric FM, it may be day or night, music and light discretely setting mood and contributing to context. The starting point for work is incidental to me, and the farther it is from any kind of reasoning, or logic, the better. The first mark in the void, needs to be unattached, innocent. Throw up a coin and watch it land. After that there is something to respond to. This initial mark is like a lodestone attracting whatever is buzzing in the air, it expands the possibilities of the moment.

Work becomes a series of acts, of making and responding of adjusting and reinterpreting, slipped in with memory and carried out with a heightened sensitivity to coincidence and connection. The work evolves, parts are discarded, parts are advanced, the whole becoming gradually orchestrated into some edited, arrived at, Thing/Series of Things. If this all sounds rather vague perhaps it is in this part, a conjuring; a cloud of energy seeking form. A theme will arise midway through a project, the beginnings are tentative, arbitrary and blind. The way is felt.

(EDUCATOR)//TRACKER

One of the  privileges of working in education settings is to be working with the curiosity of young collaborators. Collaborators, in addition to being creators in their own right, contribute much to my practice, becoming part mirror, part joker and part external eye on process. It is this working in tandem that allows flow and mutual enrichment between my practice and the project’s unfolding. Feeling my own way in the dark I am able to see more clearly what others do with the same criteria, what gets thrown up: Whatever the seekers find, and how they communicate their findings will lead us deeper into the project, and into the next phase. It is in the observation of this process that reflection becomes a driving force.

I try to encourage a commentary from participants. The voicing of observations aired during the making process are witness to a wider sensibility. When a maker becomes commentator on the work both commentator and audience are led into an observational position that opens up a reflective dimension. Process becomes foregrounded, motivations become more clear, particular sensitivities and attractions are voiced and often more subtle and unusual connections are made between image, outcome and intention.

A drawing of a dandelion might lead to a conversation about yellow, or sunshine, first experiences of the bitter sap staining hands, folkloric warnings about bed wetting or other knowledge latent within the imaginations of a group of participants. A conversation about a dandelion may begin with its name – what a strange name this flower has! We might research and find that the name is middle English and comes from French dent-de-lion, meaning ‘lion’s tooth’ that’s another image straight away. Discussions might find other routes, the gardener’s phrase that “a weed is a plant out of place” may throw up extended conversations about migration and belonging. We could think of dandelion seasons, perhaps about how a dandelion might support an ecology.  An observational drawing of a dandelion before such a discursive process will be very different from a drawing from the imagination, made after these wanderings (and this is just me thinking aloud).

By recording this commentary we deepen and extend the reflective process. The recording of those observations involves an echoing and a a translation, from an initial drawing, to spoken word to written report, photograph or other kind of document. The choice of media for documentation influences this enquiry. It’s fun to play with different recording methods. …the pressing of the flower, the crushing and collection of sap, the particular material properties and behaviours of dandelion seed heads, stories about dandelion experiences, the folklore of a dandelion, actions with a dandelion.

Translation from one media to another will involve further images, references, words, actions or sounds, and will also throw up different kinds of problems, seeking creative solutions, all of which will augment and colour the work leading it on to new places. Curiosity will drive this process along. I try to remember the voice, I scribble things down on scraps of paper, transferring them later to a notebook. I find that multiple translations help my process, a hasty scribble is wildly different from a concentrated drawing out of an idea, but each has their own qualities.  I use notebooks for ideas that I might try out in studio and I use blogging as a kind of scrapbook for documentation and references to other realms, a blog post might include a bit of research arising from the work in progress, it may be a fragment of video, a link to another artist’s work, something I am reading about, a piece of music, or a random image or connection found online.

Blogging is a perfect space for holding these observations and documenting the process. It is a shared space. Maker, student and teacher can refer to the observations held in the blog, an audio visual record of the territory, a map.

I arrive at my wording for the blurb:

WORKSHOP

The idea is a spark – the spark can be as volatile or as contained as you decide. There will be some parameters which will guide the explorations. Shared knowledge is rich, we will tap into this. The imagination is wild and we will allow this to roam. Other peoples’ ideas are always interesting. Roaming between our own perception, responses to peer work and free expression we will explore the territory together. (71 words)

The Glucksman, UCC

Date: January to March 2018

From Frankenstein to the Hulk, Shrek to Beauty and the Beast, monsters who seem to be really frightening often turn out to be misunderstood. This Spring, the Glucksman presents a monster project that invites schools, community groups and children living in Direct Provision to take over the museum with fabulous creatures of their own making. In Monsters in the Museum workshops, participating children will explore ideas of difference and respect, working collaboratively to create artworks for an exhibition that will take over all of Gallery 1. The renowned illustrator Chris Judge will visit the Glucksman to see all the monster artworks on display and to launch the exhibition with a special event for participating children.

If your school or community group would like to get involved in Monsters in the Museum, please email education@glucksman.org.

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

The Glucksman, UCC

Date: 10am -1pm, Saturday 24th February, 2018

Art can help us understand and address difficult issues. Artists have long used visual methods of expression to consider and interrogate societal problems such as homelessness and discrimination. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively explore global and local challenges. Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Cassandra Eustace to look at projects about art and social change that can be re-imagined in your classroom.

€25. Booking required.

For more information go to www.glucksman.org.

To book go to Eventbrite

Creativity and Change programme

2018

For 2018 the Creativity & Change programme have an exciting line up of masterclasses for educators and artists including:

Street Art – March 24th -25th

Street Art-Using creative expression in the street to communicate justice messages and to practice active citizenship with artists Claire Coughlan and Helen O’Keeffere from ‘Splattervan’.

Theatre  – April 21st and 22nd

Theatre workshop, from the Personal to the Public: using theatre to explore understand issues of power from the micro to the macro, local to global with Peter Hussey, Artistic Director of Crooked House and Kildare Youth theatre.

The Creatively & Change training opportunities bring creative methodologies and energy to Global Citizenship/ Development Education. The programme is based in CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, in the Department of Arts in Health and Community Practices and is supported by Irish Aid.

For the full programme, profiles of the facilitators and registration links go to www.creativityandchange.ie/masterclass-programme-2018/

Mind the Gap

Workshops to take place between January – March 2018

Mind the Gap‘ is a development education arts project based in Cork offering fully funded arts based workshops for post-primary schools and Youthreach programmes exploring global justice issues such as Human Rights, refugees, interdependence and Intercultural understanding. Offering performances, workshops and residencies in schools.

‘Mind the Gap’ is funded by Worldwise Global Schools, a sector of Irish Aid and is managed by ‘Head, heart & hands Ltd’.

Interested teachers please email us at gapmindthe@gmail.com.

 

Graffiti Theatre Company

Touring: November – December 2017

‘The world may be in miniature but the story is universal …’

Walking Man tells the tale of a man who has spent his whole life in pursuit of success.  He has always rushed headlong through life, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps to the best job on the top floor of the tallest building in the whole city. And when he has done all that, with Walking Woman and little Walking Baby at his side, something doesn’t feel quite right …

So, Walking Man must go on an entirely new journey, which takes him far from home.

Walking Man is a charming allegory, which will captivate its audience. With the help of an original live music score, the actor brings us into the miniature world of the Walking Man, a tiny wooden figure.

Walking Man is designed for 1st, 2nd & 3rd classes and performs to one class at a time (up to a maximum of 35 students). The accompanying Teacher Resource Book (available online) links carefully with the curriculum across a range of subject areas.

Please note: Graffiti Theatre can give your school the exciting opportunity to attend a performance in their fully equipped Theatre on Assumption Road. If the performance is booked to take place in your school please contact Graffiti for space requirements.

Cost: Thanks to their funders, Graffiti Theatre Company can offer this production for just €150 per performance (and €100 for a second performance on the same day).

For more information & booking: tel. 021 4397111,  email:bookings@graffiti.ie

www.graffiti.ie

Tom Dalton headshotTom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities.

A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country.

Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture.

Collaborative Mural Project at Terrence McSwiney Community School, Cork

The Kabin Studio at Knocknaheeny is a much loved and utilized building. Tucked inside the grounds of Terrence McSwiney Community School, this little hut is home to GMC Beats, the creative initiative of Garry McCarthy. GMC Beats deliver workshops in creative songwriting, rapping, singing and music production. Working mostly with schools and youth groups, these workshops give people the confidence and skills in putting their own thoughts, words and voices into action through performing and recording their own songs. Over 600 tracks produced by various community groups have come out of this space over the last 5 years, often garnering local and national radio and media attention.

Although a hive of activity on the inside, the exterior of the building had begun to look a bit tired and was in dire need of some sprucing up. Norrie Louise Ross, Art Teacher at Terrence McSwiney Community School Art got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts Centre with the idea of working with her students to breathe new life into the building. The school was looking for a mural, created by the students and staff, that would reflect the energy and output coming from this small cabin.

Walking through the hallways of Terrence McSwiney Community School, its clear that staff and management there understand the value an engagement with art has on the life and learning of their students. Perched on an elevated site overlooking the city, light fills the building, illuminating walls filled with student work. A spirit of collaboration and partnership between the school community and various local artists and groups has produced much of these works.

The school was approaching the end of the academic year and Ms Ross was keen to introduce an element of teamwork and fun into the school’s activity in order to maintain student engagement at a time when attendance can wain. A group of seventeen 2nd year students were selected to be part of the project, many of whom Mayfield Arts Centre had gotten to know over the years through other projects. Mayfield Arts staff Wayne Ford and I were joined by Ms Ross, JCSP Librarian Anne Masterson, Garry McCarthy and SNA staff in carrying out the mural alongside the students.

Every Wednesday for three weeks our team of staff and students gathered at the cabin, donned our white painting jumpsuits and got to work. Given the short time frame for the project we devised a framework whereby the mural would be designed ‘on the go’ and carried out by our team from the moment we stepped onsite.

The first part of this plan involved geometric ‘drawing’ on the wall surfaces using masking tape. Each team member was handed a roll of masking tape and a single line of tape was ran diagonally across the cabin wall. From here the group used their rolls of tape to divide up the space into intersecting shapes of triangles, lozenges, diamonds and rectangles. Members spread out over three of the sides of the building, their design growing and changing as more tape was added.

Now and again we would all stand back and as a group, discuss how things were going; how was our design looking? Did it have balance? Did we need to add more lines? Or take some away?

Once a consensus was reached each person was handed gloves, a small tub of paint and a brush. We selected chalky greys, dusty whites and charcoal blacks to give it a graphic aesthetic, but this palette also acted as a neutral ground for other graffiti works to join the wall into the future.

The group moved around the building painting in the shapes made by the tape, swapping colours between themselves. Once all the spaces were filled and the paint had time to dry the tape was peeled back revealing the patterned surface. Over the course of the few days this processes was repeated, adding shapes over shapes, and carving the space up in different ways.

G-MC Mural 0517 (16)_edit

It was wonderful to see both students and staff at the school working shoulder to shoulder. Kitted out in our painting jumpsuits we were all equal members of the same team. The Kabin now stands out in all the right ways, and there is a renewed sense of ownership of the space among the students at the school.

To find out more about the work that goes on at The Kabin visit gmcbeats.com

Mayfield Arts Centre would like to thank Norrie Louise Ross, Anne Masterson, Principal Phil O’Flynn, Gary McCarthy and all the students for their support and commitment to the project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie

 

 

We welcome educators from all backgrounds to join us for a curatorial tour of our exhibitions Now Wakes the Sea and Deep Maps. The evening will include light refreshments and an opportunity to discuss upcoming Glucksman projects and events.

Wednesday 11th October 2017, 4pm

Free. Booking required.

Please contact education@glucksman.org to register.

Join Curator of Education Tadhg Crowley and artist Carol-Anne Connolly for a morning masterclass that looks at art projects ready to be re-imagined in your classroom. This season the masterclass will look at techniques and approaches to helping students develop personal projects and establish individual ideas through sketchbooks and drawing exercises.

10am – 1pm, Saturday 21 October 2017 – €25.

Booking required.

Please contact education@glucksman.org for booking or for further information

blue_mug2016 Julie Forrester is a visual artist based in Cork City. She has been working with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings since her return to Ireland in the 1990s. Her work celebrates process and open ended enquiry into materials and context. Julie Forrester is currently in residence with Kidsown Publishing Partnership at Killard School, Co Down.

Blog 3 –

As the new year unfolds into Autumn I would like to reflect on that heady time, a few short months ago, when the holidays stretched ahead and routine was being dissolved into the long days of summer.

My summer usually begins with a week of creative activity with teachers, as part of their Continuing Professional Development. This CDP Programme run by CRAFTed and the West Cork Education Centre takes place in different host primary school each year and the number of participants is 25. So teachers find themselves in a familiar setting where their roles are reversed, the tables are turned, teacher becomes pupil, and, I have found, they make this switch naturally and with gusto!

Teachers are on a giddy high at this busy time, there is a sense of release as they wind down into the summer and also sense of self evaluation and reflection as they are packing up after a year in the classroom. The CPD programme must address this ‘end of year’ dynamic and the structure and content of the programme allows for this valuable teacher time together, peer to peer, sharing ideas, catching up, meeting new friends and enjoying each other’s company. After a year of routine and responsibility, it is time to be on ‘the other side’ and a chance to allow for loosening up, and a complete freedom to adopt a “what happens?” approach. Our CPD programme allows plenty of time for interactive play while opening up opportunities for sharing, testing and evaluating individual classroom procedures and preferences. It is a place where a process of ‘discovery towards’ something is the modus operandi for all activities, where there is no such thing as a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ format to fall back on/aspire to/comply with/copy. For many teachers, who have a profound sense of responsibility, and who are expected to be in control at all times, and must who achieve measurable results across a classroom of pupils, this artist’s approach can present a daunting task and a leap into the unknown. The discovery approach involves great faith in process and requires some practice, it can meet with both enthusiasm and resistance in a classroom full of disparate personalities and performance pressures. The reward for this open ended practice is a confidence in the ability of the child to meet the challenge of the task at her own level.

So in the spirit of a new term I would like to share here one of my favourite loosening up activities for drawing. This activity comes from copying, or, more grandly put, from observation, and celebrates the capacity for invention. It is a drawing game in the spirit of an old party favourite, Chinese Whispers. In my example the source material came in the form of photographs I had collected of extinct and endangered Irish wild flowers (but the source could easily be from any other kind of ‘category’  and is ideal for focussing closely on any area of research). Each individual is invited to fold their A2 sheet into 8 sections and numbered 1 to 8 (in a room of lively teacher/pupils it quickly became evident that this was a task in itself!)

In the first section, numbered “1” they must make a drawing from their photograph. I set a time limit of 5 minutes for each drawing. Each artist then passes the sheet to the person on their right who must copy their predecessors drawing in the next section. Participants may only look at the previous drawing and must work from the information contained in that section. The drawing goes around the table and comes back to the original draughts-person.

Results are always interesting, we can see the corruption from one drawing to the next we can note changes, omissions and exaggerations and we can think about evolution, design, glitches, copying, originality, perception, imagination, preference and progression that affirm each artist’s hand in the final work. It can be the beginning for al kinds of enquiry and further artwork. This activity touches on the relationship between perfection and invention, itself a profound enquiry. There is no right or wrong and its impossible to dictate a ‘correct’ outcome. Many rules are broken. I love this activity especially because it celebrates copying – one of the cardinal sins of the child’s universe and often the bane of the teacher’s classroom! What’s more, it celebrates copying badly, turning a vice into a virtue. It celebrates collaboration and corruption and all that deviates from the original. It celebrates the original.

After this exercise drawing becomes a whole lot easier for everyone.

Leanne Troy is a primary school teacher based in the Midlands. She told us that she has a great passion for art both inside and outside the classroom. ShLeanne Headshote attended Learning through Creativity educational course at the Glucksman Art Gallery this summer

I am very enthusiastic about visual art and its impact on education. I challenge myself to try and be as creative as possible in all my approaches to teaching each subject area. Thematic teaching allows me to integrate subjects more freely and use more hands on visual methods. An example of this is the Craft Ed project I recently undertook through my local education centre (a fantastic scheme that unfortunately very few teachers know about). For this project I was paired with a local artist who came to my school to complete a six week project. The wood carving artist and I team taught my class in 2 hour blocks. The children from my 1st class were delighted to be handed chisels and pieces of wood! We based the project on a trip to Lough Boora Sculpture park in Co.Offaly, where the children learned all about the local wildlife and the history of the bog . Each child chose an animal to write a report on and also drew an accompanying image. This image was then transferred onto the wood and carved out. The results were amazing. We created our very own ‘Sky Train’ which is proudly on show at the front of our school.

My experiences with Craft Ed have even further heightened my interest in art education and so I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas and ways to upskill and develop my artistic abilities. I try to attend as many local art workshops as I can in areas such as ceramics, mosaics as well as art education classes in the Glucksman Art Gallery in University College Cork. A particularly strong influence is the art classes I attend with Hazel Greene in Shinrone Co.Offaly, where we paint mostly landscapes using acrylics. We also complete silk paintings and palate knife paintings. I also gain a lot of experience and inspiration from the childrens’ summer camp I run each year.  I am the co-founder of an art and alternative sports camp, named Da Vinci’s Frisbees, with my partner Liam. Our camp is in its fourth successful summer and it is based in Offaly and Cork. The art activities focus on the process of art making and creativity.

So this week I was delighted to get the opportunity to attend my own summer camp, in the form of the Learning through Creativity educational course run by Tadhg Crowley at the Glucksman Art Gallery. The bright, airy spacious gallery is the perfect space to facilitate our week long voyage of discovery.  Even with the end of the summer holidays looming, I was very excited. Throughout the week we have looked at art and the possibilities for integration with other subject areas on the primary curriculum.  We have explored various examples of artists that could be used to facilitate the creative combination of Art with Maths, English, History, Science and SPHE. Each afternoon we were also lucky enough to work with different artists to put into practice the theory from the morning session.

Initially we started off our discussion on the impact of art on education. Just like when you read a good book, art education allows you to develop empathy, different points of view and it awakens your senses.  Tadhg introduced the concept of creativity to us as an essential part to education and a unique human factor which allows us to show case our individuality. Everybody is creative in some shape or form whether it’s through your sense of fashion or how you hang the clothes on the washing line! Creativity is even fast becoming one of the most desired characteristics for employers who are seeking to employ innovative problem solving employees. Children are the future so let us prepare them as best we can!

I particularly enjoyed the caricature depicted by Ann Bamford, the art educator, which really highlighted the importance of teachers developing creative teaching methodologies in order to differentiate for the children in their class. There is a line of zoo animals in front of a tree.  Maybe there was an elephant, a lion, a monkey, a seal and a zebra. The teacher tells the class, ‘Now climb the tree’.  We discussed how as educators, we sometimes ask all of our class to do the same thing, using the same method, when there are many different capabilities and skills present in every classroom. By making the effort to offer a variety of imaginative approaches we will have a much more beneficial impact on the education of our students. We were also told about the impressive project in Harvard Medical school, ‘Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis’. In this project a group of doctors were split into two groups. Group A received an art education course and group B didn’t.  Both groups were observed during their medical careers and it was found that group A had a much higher diagnosis rate with their patients. We discussed how art education can make you become more aware of your surroundings and awaken your senses and this was clearly evident for the doctors in group A who were demonstrating these skills.

I also thoroughly enjoyed working with Cork based artist, Cassandra Eustace, who outlined numerous invaluable creative activities linking art and language. These simple tasks included drawing simple still life objects using a blinder on the pencil. This took all of the stress out of drawing and some of the control. It really made you focus your attention and become aware of the lines and what you were looking at.  We also used a view finder and an acetate sheet to draw our hands. Both of these tasks took a lot of concentration but they were fun and you did not have to be ‘good’ at drawing. Everyone can find their artist!  Following this we then had to pick an object in the room and write a description about it without giving the name of the object away. For example, I chose a fire extinguisher and described it as a hard, cold, bright metal object with a beak that made me feel safe. These descriptions were then swapped with a partner. Based on the descriptive piece of writing that you received, you then had to create a collage of words and images, which made for some very interesting results! Another appealing activity was highlighting the use of drawing as a way of communicating and expressing ourselves. Using simple notebooks we had to respond to words that Cassandra said, firstly through non representative lines and then using symbols or images.  A series of words were used like, bored, angry, peaceful etc. All of the activities used very little materials and took very little organisation or tidying up, which will make them attractive to a lot of teachers. But also they provided a chance for children to express themselves in very creative ways.

Artists such as, Josef Albers, Sol Lewitt and Bridget Riley provided inspiration for our maths based art activities with artist, Dominic Fee. Dominic has an excellent website which links numerous artists to the world of maths and he outlined links to various strands in the curriculum, especially around the area of shapes, spatial awareness and tessellations. I enjoyed layering 2d shapes using textured wallpaper and ink. This was then passed through a printing press. For most schools, there is not the luxury of a printing press, so Dominic showed us how the taped down acetate sheet and paper can be covered in paper and a poly pocket and then a wooden/metal spoon can be rubbed vigorously on top to create the print.

We then examined the links between art and history. Tadhg outlined how art works can tell us about the clothes, politics, social situations and living conditions at different periods of time. As a cross curricular activity we had to arrange a number of paintings into a time line (which I found very challenging!)  Tadhg went on to highlight William Kentridge, Rita Duffy and Kerry James Marshall as artists who could be used to discuss themes such as conflict and human rights. This approach would be an imaginative visual way of tackling history in a classroom.

Later in the week with the guidance of artist Kevin Mooney, we studied some pictures of ancient artefacts and responded to the various images through painting. It was interesting to mix the various patterns seen in the images and collaborate African statues, the Book of Kells and New Grange into the one piece. One of my favourite activities that Kevin outlined was painting in response to a text. This simple idea could be used with any age group. We underlined the adjectives in a descriptive section about Cuchulainn and then depicted the words through painting and mark making.

As we were in the renowned architecturally designed gallery, it was only fitting that we also had a tour of the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea. I really feel that the pieces of art would mean little to me if I did not get the history and background of them and begin to fully appreciate the process that went in to making the piece of art. I was very impressed by the stories that went with each piece. This led to some interesting discussions for the group, for example, we discussed who decides what art is worthy of hanging in a gallery. I think that an established artist can justify his/her pieces through outlining the process of the production and the idea behind it’s creation which in most cases turns out to be fascinating, even if the end piece sometimes does not seem impressive. Without the tour and information I feel that I could have been staring mindlessly at the art wondering what I was supposed to be looking at! This experience made me become more aware of my surroundings, engaging all of my senses in the process of looking at the art. Perhaps most importantly as a teacher it further developed my sense of empathy for the art making process, as opposed to just the final piece of art. This outlook allows me to appreciate art, (and life more generally) from different viewpoints and perspectives, a skill which I feel would be hugely beneficial for the children in my classroom.

The gallery tour also made me question what is it that can be described as art, the possibilities are endless. I am starting to develop a broader concept of more non-traditional examples of art work. As a very interesting activity we had to choose a piece of art from the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea, and develop a set of questions that could be used with children. This process of really looking at the art, identifying how it was made, the materials used, the colours, shapes and lines present in the piece as well as the whole thought process behind the piece, made me become much more aware of what I was looking at. My list of questions for my class became longer as I thought about what the children might see and how I could broaden their perspectives when studying a piece of art. For example, what is your first impression when you look at this art, how does it make you feel, what is the mood/tone, does it remind you of anything, what is the focal point, what title would you give this piece etc.

Tadhg went on to discuss the benefits of using a 3d object like a sculpture or an artefact to initiate a lesson. An object would make for an interesting starting point for engaging the children in a lesson. A visual stimulus like this could be multi-sensory and accommodate various learning needs in the class. It would also help to develop visual literacy in children as well as their capacity for careful critical observation of their world. I think that I would have to practice this approach myself to build up my confidence before introducing it to my classroom. However, I can see how it would create a buzz of excitement in the classroom to place some strange sculpture on the table and start the journey of exploration through the senses.

A highlight of the course was working with Killian, when we were integrating Art with Science. We developed photograms! In the dark room, I arranged my jewellery on a special sheet of light treated paper and placed a lamp directly above it for about five seconds. The piece of paper was then put in a tray of water with the chemical developer until the image appeared. The paper was then lifted into the water mixed with the chemical fixer for thirty seconds, before being rinsed off. I was both shocked and amazed at how simple the process was to create such a cool piece of art. I was so delighted to realise how cheap and easy it would be to set up a dark room in a school store room.  My third class are in for a treat this year! Bring on September, I can’t wait to try out some of my new ideas!

Tom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participTom Dalton headshotants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities. A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country. Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture

‘Parting Memories’: St. Patrick’s Girls National School Mural

Making the move from Primary to Secondary School can be a big deal. In 6th class you’re the big fish in the pond – you know the school like the back of your hand, younger kids look up to you and you have mastery of your environment.  When I meet the 6th Class year group of at St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiners Hill, the countdown to the end of the school year is underway. There is a buzz in the air – mostly of excitement, but with a little trepidation stirred in also. As eager the girls are to be approaching summer holidays there is an understanding that this is the last few weeks of their time within the walls of the school. The girls will surely miss this place – the colourful hallways, the sounds of the playground, the generosity of their teachers, the friendships they’ve formed. While many of the girls will continue on with their education just a short hop across the yard at St Patrick’s College, others are enrolled in other schools across the city – It’s the last few weeks they will all be together as a group.

Principal of St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Mrs Eileen Kelly, got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts to help devise an art project that would engage the 6th class girls creatively in this time of transition in their lives. There is a strong ethos of the holistic development of all children in St. Patrick’s Girls National School; ‘Our school is a happy, active, safe environment where we include, encourage and respect each other.’

Mrs Kelly wished to involve her students in something that would pay tribute to those ‘pupils and staff who have passed through our school, each making a difference.’ Mrs Kelly led me to a light filled corridor in the school and proposed it as the site of our project.

‘Parting Memories’ is a three dimensional wall mural composed of hundreds of origami butterflies individually created by the girls. A key motivation in designing the project was to provide an opportunity for reflection on time spent in the school; to recall, recount and visualize shared memories. It was hoped that this process of shared reflection on time spent together could make this time of change smoother for the girls; the process of remembering acting like a talisman for the crossing into the next phase of their lives.

Arts workers Wayne Ford and I, with support from Cuig artists Ailbhe Barrett and Bríd Heffernan made four trips to the school over the month of May, conducting workshops with Ms Dunne and Ms Conran’s classes of twenty five students.  Each student was asked to design and make two little paper butterflies. Each butterfly contains a memory between its folds – this could be a story, a memory or a wish for the future.

Origami can take a bit of time to get the hang of. Some of the girls mastered the butterfly shapes quickly, while others took more time. Once one or two had gotten the hang of things it was lovely to see the girls offer help to others in the group. The learning of this new skill spread and soon the tables and floor were scattered with little paper butterflies.

Once the technique was learned, each person was handed two squares of thick paper – one lined in either blue or red, reminiscent of copy book paper, the other blank. Instructions were simple; on the lined paper the girls were asked to recount a story or memory from school. Students were encouraged to ‘write outside the lines’, incorporating the lines of the page into their designs. Some stories spiralled through the lines, others fanned out in multiple directions. Once folded into shape the lines of the paper form geometric patterns, with the stories and memories tucked up inside.

On the second sheet the girls had free reign in visualising a memory from the past six years. Some of the work represented their involvement in school activities such as sport, drama and science, others depicted the forming of friendships, the natural surrounding the school or patterned abstraction. Once completed each butterfly was coated in a hardening medium and affixed to the wall. The installation resembles butterflies taking flight, symbolising the girl’s departure from the school – flocking together, yet moving on their own path through life.

The mural was kindly opened by Micheál Martin TD during a visit to the school in June. He told the girls that the mural reminded him that art is for everybody and is a reminder that it is the individuality of each of the girls that makes the school so special.

The real magic in this project for me is in witnessing what emerges when people are provided with time and space for reflection and exploration. There was a hum of conversation throughout the workshops as the girls drew out stories from one another. The success of the mural lies in the collective; the coming together of individual parts to make a whole. Mrs Kelly tells me that ‘every time I look at the mural a new butterfly stands out’. I think that’s lovely.

This project was generously funded by St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiner’s Hill.

Mayfield Arts would like to thank principal Mrs Kelly, and teachers Ms Conran and Ms Dunne for their support during this project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie or stpatricksgirls.net

Tom Dalton

Tom Dalton is an artist and arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. The arts centre is a unique, dedicated arts space based in the heart of Mayfield in Cork city, at Newbury House Family Centre. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes, training and education in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities.  A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre is to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country. Tom also coordinates and facilitates outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city.

“What I Do When I Feel Blue”

The teenage years and early adulthood can be particularly tricky times to navigate in life. According to the ‘My World’ National Survey of Youth Mental Health one in three young people have experienced mental health difficulties at some point (Headstrong and UCD School of Psychology, 2012).

Developing coping strategies and building self-esteem can offer a strong protection as young people move into adulthood. A secondary school setting offers an opportunity to reach young people in their formative years and provide tools for mental and emotional resilience, equipping them with skills to cope with the bumps in the road into adulthood and beyond. Funded through Creative Engagement (NAPD) and St. Patrick’s College, “What I Do When I Feel Blue” is a collaborative animation project between Mayfield Arts Centre and St. Patrick’s College in Cork.

June McCarthy, Transition Year coordinator, identified a desire on behalf of the school to engage students in areas of mental health, wellbeing, peer support, community and belonging. St. Patrick’s College has a strong history with Mayfield Arts, having engaged in many Creative Engagement Projects over the years. An introductory meeting with June allowed us to get a sense of the student group as a whole, learn about their previous experiences with art and to get an idea of what they and the school hoped to achieve through this project. Film was something previously unexplored in St. Patrick’s College and seemed particularly appropriate for a project of this kind. Video and stop-motion are communicative, accessible and fun mediums to work within. The potential to share their film through social media and Youtube also gives potency to the work of the students.

Every Friday for six weeks, a group of twelve transition year girls made the short journey up the road to Mayfield Arts. For most of the girls it was their first time inside the building. On day one students were introduced to basic principles of filming and stop-motion using slideshows, demonstrations, examples and warm-up exercises. Once the group was familiar with the process, we all sat together, drank tea and chatted about their ideas for the project. Students were invited to name and respond to important issues that impact their lives and that of their peers. I was taken by the openness of the girls in sharing their stories. Through facilitated discussions, it became clear that the group wanted to create something positive that could help their friends and others experiencing difficulties.

We went about compiling a list of things they do when they are feeling down; things that can help lift them out of difficult times. We quickly filled an entire blackboard with suggested actions; ‘go outside!’, ‘eat chocolate!’, ‘Ring your friends!‘ Through a voting system the group arrived on the six top things they do to make themselves feel better when feeling down. We then brainstormed how we might illustrate these suggestions through animation. Roles within the group formed naturally; some were eager to be in front of the camera, while others prefered ‘out of frame’ activities like setting up cameras, framing shots, controlling light and directing actors. The girls worked great as a team, generating ideas, sharing equipment, helping each other and discussing their outcomes. Footage was collected and reviewed in groups with editing carried out with support from facilitators. Regular feedback was sought from groups to access progress and offer support where needed.

The final film, a three-minute animation that acts as a ‘tool-kit’ for resilience, was launched and screened during the school’s Transition Year closing ceremony. A couple of the girls introduced the project, sharing their ideas, methods and processes with their peers, teachers and parents. Once uploaded to Youtube, the film and its message began to spread beyond the school grounds.

Feedback from the group was really positive and there was a tangible sense of pride in what had been achieved.

“I liked everything about this project but especially that we could do it all by ourselves with just a little bit of help.”

 “I wouldn’t change anything, it was very interesting and fun.”

 Take a look at the girls’ film here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cku_n_IJ4w

This project was funded by Creative Engagement (NAPD) and St. Patrick’s College, Gardiner’s Hill. For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie

 

 

 

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. Working with the Glucksman Curatorial Team and professional artists, participants will learn practical art making skills across a range of mediums and develop their own art integration lesson plans for use in the classroom.

This course is designed around the 5th/6th class Primary School Curriculum.

Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2017, 10am -2:30pm

€75. Booking essential.

+353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

 www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-tickets-33520592996?aff=es2

Tadhg Crowley the Curator of Education at the Glucksman

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses,Preview Evenings and Summer Course. Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog 4

The Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL) is a two-year education programme for people with intellectual disabilities designed for delivery in a third level education setting. It focuses on helping students develop strategic skills to promote self-reliance and independence and increased participation in society. The CCL course provides structured opportunities for interaction between students with intellectual disabilities and non-disabled students. As such it is about inclusion and not just about access.

Until 2015, the Expressive Arts module on the certificate in contemporary living course at University College Cork consisted solely of a semester devoted to music. Throughout the semester the group made outings to different cultural centres and galleries and the reaction of students to visual art exhibitions prompted the course coordinators to review ways that they could offer students a more rounded experience of the arts. In late 2014 the course coordinators approached the Glucksman with a view to working together on a visual arts module. The goal was to break the arts module into three strands – Visual Arts, Music and Drama.

The visual art module was designed around three key points that we returned to again and again over the 5 sessions. They were Individualism: how we all see things differently and therefore we all create differently. Capacity to be creative: everyone has the ability to be creative, we can be creative in many different ways and different mediums allow different people to be creative. Finding your voice: through experimentation, practice and choosing methods/approaches that are rewarding.

The days were divided into three pedagogical streams – art appreciation; art interaction; and art making. These three approaches are widely used in art education with the appreciation and interaction exercises informing the art making session and an understanding of the art making process informing the art appreciation and interaction. Each week we looked at different artists and artworks and the group engaged in practical projects with artist Paul McKenna.

A common link among the artists we studied in the appreciation sessions was that as well as pointing to the three key elements of Individualism, Capacity and Finding a Voice; they all had overcome major difficulties/obstacles to pursue a life of creativity.

Two of the artists we studied were Henri Matisse and Anni Albers. Henri Matisse was a renowned painter before he fell ill in later life and was confined to his bed for long periods. His movement now restricted he had to find new ways to continue his artistic career and so he began to work with scissors and paper. The work completed during this period of his life (cut-outs) is now regarded as some of his most important. Matisse found a way to continue his creativity and these new methods led to a rebirth in his artistic career.

Anni Albers encountered many obstacles throughout her extraordinarily creative life. Despite the challenges of a prejudiced college system, the peril of Nazi Germany and the difficulties of being an immigrant arriving in the USA without the language, she established an artistic practice and legacy befitting of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.

The art interaction sessions led students on drawing and photography walks on route to viewing artworks in the exhibition ‘Gut Instinct: Art, food and feeling’ at the Glucksman and a selection of significant works in the University College Cork Art Collection www.glucksman.org/collections.html

Under the guidance of Paul McKenna the group had the opportunity to bring the ideas and methods discussed earlier in the day to the practical projects. Working both individually and collectively, the students were presented with a diverse selection of materials and techniques in the quest to find their creative voice.

The three strands of this year’s CCL Expressive Arts module will conclude with an exhibition of the artworks created, along with sound recordings, video and live performance at the Glucksman in early May.

For more information please contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

Tadhg Crowley

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses, Preview Evenings and Summer Courses.

Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog 3

At the time when the Glucksman first began to incorporate projects and events for Primary School Teachers into its programme, there were a number of concepts that we sought to explore and that the teachers we engaged with challenged us to address. These ideas came to form the basis of the programmes that were designed and delivered in the subsequent months and years.

It is widely accepted that the visual arts can play a significant role in creating an innovative learning environment, but a pivotal question for the Glucksman team was, what can be done to improve the quality of arts learning opportunities for children in Ireland today and what is the role of the art museum in any initiative? Art museums provide exceptional art educational mechanisms and opportunities that include access to professional artists, introductions to various art making techniques, and the experience of seeing and understanding significant works of art but how could these resources best be utilized to improve art opportunities for children? At the Glucksman, we consistently see the positive impact that visual art has on young people, the opportunity to view an artwork up close without distraction and to begin to grasp an artist’s motivations can have a significant impression on a child’s mind. However, when children visit museums with their school or with their family it is not always on a frequent basis and this irregular exposure to art can mean that their appreciation and understanding is less than would be achieved through consistent interaction or through an enduring learning curve as can be achieved in a school environment.

The feedback we were getting from Primary School teachers was that increased pressure to allocate more time to the curriculum and in particular to the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy, meant it was becoming increasingly difficult to dedicate time in the classroom to art making activities and art appreciation. Understanding the limited time available for arts in the classroom, we began to look at how the Glucksman could enable teachers to develop projects that combined elements of visual art with other strands of the curriculum such as math, science, language, history or SPHE. By continuing to focus on intrinsic areas of the curriculum, classroom routine and structure would not be negatively affected. Instead students learning could be enhanced through exciting creative processes and exposure to important visual artists and art movements.

This idea for an art integration approach was influenced by the Glucksmans exhibitions model. Exhibitions at the Glucksman draw on the research of University College Cork academic departments and professionals from across the four colleges of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science; Business and Law; Medicine and Health; and Science, Engineering and Food Science. One of the primary goals of the exhibitions is to emphasis the unique role of visual media in communicating knowledge and central to this is the creation of discursive relationships between academic disciplines and art practice. The Glucksman finds itself in a favourable position where, right on its doorstep, it can create dialogues and exchanges with researchers who are leaders in diverse and interesting fields. The value of bringing an extensive and authentic knowledge to particular themes and ideas leads to both comprehensive and sensitive visual investigations.

Leading contemporary artists are constantly using aspects of curriculum strands such as history, science and language studies as the subject matter for their creative practices. Many art movements lend themselves to understanding subjects such as math or science while historical artworks can allow children to better understand the world at a specific period in time. We believed that learning from these artists, artworks and art movements, teachers could begin to develop creative projects that would augment a student’s experience and understanding.

In 2015, the Glucksman ran its first summer course for Primary School Teachers based on the art integration model to overwhelmingly positive feedback. The course followed the three pedagogical approaches of Art Appreciation; Art Interaction; and Art Making. The morning sessions led by the curatorial team investigated artists, their artworks and how their practices could relate to curriculum strands. These sessions took place in the exhibition spaces and included lectures, talks, tours and discussions. The afternoon sessions invited teachers to work with professional artists on practical projects for the classroom.

This coming August will see the third iteration of the art integration summer course at the Glucksman. For more information on the Glucksman Teachers Programme please contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

 

Tadhg Crowley the Curator of Education at the Glucksman

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses,Preview Evenings and Summer Course. Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog no. 2

As we enter the teenage years we begin to gain a little more freedom. This new found autonomy provides us with the opportunity to explore our local area (city, town or village) through aimless wanderings and walks or by beginning the process of ownership of our locality in the corners or streets we lay claim to. This process is crucial in the development of civic pride but also in the establishment of a sense of belonging.

For teenagers living in Direct Provision — who live in isolated and restrictive settings — they are not afforded the opportunity to get to know their local area in the same way as other young people.

Navigating the Urban Landscape was an art project that invited teenagers living in direct provision centres in Cork City and County to work with the Glucksman and practicing artists over a six week period in Autumn 2016. Throughout the weekly sessions participants engaged in projects that investigated the idea of dérive (an unplanned journey through an urban landscape) working with different mediums and artists.

The project invited 14 teenagers (ages 12-17 years) from the DP centres in Kinsale Road, Glounthaune, Clonakilty and Drishane Castle to work with practicing artists to create artworks that explored the landscape of the city and offered the group a creative and positive experience. This was an opportunity for these teenagers to interact with artistic ideas and mediums and to discover their own creative and imaginative capabilities away from their prohibitive surroundings.

Young people living in direct provision do not have access to any extra-curricular activities; any encounters with art making they would have in school. The centers are noticeably devoid of facilities.

Teenage years can be difficult for all young people, but to be dealing with the challenges of being a teenager and to also be living in a restrictive and prohibitive situation is incredibly demanding. Any opportunity for this group to engage in positive and stimulating activities can only be beneficial to their development.

From the earliest discussions I had with the artists, we all agreed that one of the primary elements of these workshops should be in providing the teenagers with the skills to continue being creative after the project had concluded. From the photography with Roseanne Lynch to drawing with Cassandra Eustace and film-making with Dervla Baker, all the sessions with the teenagers would focus on enabling the group to develop a set of skills that would allow them to share their stories. We felt it was crucial that what was learnt in the workshops could be taken and used or shared with others back at the centres.

Working with the teenagers was a very different experience than our previous work with younger children living in DP. The younger children had very high energy/excitement levels and their attention would wane quickly and so we found that short activities with immediate results worked best in keeping their focus. On the other hand, the teenagers were very calm, focused and eager to try all the tasks put before them. There was never any sense of hesitation. For the teenagers this opportunity for extra curricular activities was incredibly precious and it was notable how determined they were to make the most of their time at the Glucksman. This level of ambition and focus across the group was not only striking in comparison to the younger children in DP but to other groups of teenagers we have worked with in the past.

The project culminated with an exhibition of the group’s artwork at the Glucksman in early 2017. On what was truly one of my most memorable days working here at the Glucksman, the teenagers returned with family and friends for the exhibition launch party with music, food and good vibes. The day concluded with the inaugural screening of the teenagers short film ‘Undead Revenge

Reading some of the moving feedback from the teenagers highlights how crucial it is that these young people are cherished and nurtured and that they are provided with the opportunities that we all deserve.

I was amazed by the architectural designs and the surroundings itself. We took lots of pictures and had to draw different things. It was quite the most wonderful thing I have done.

I was a bit shy at first, but I was told, ‘Everyone has a talent, we have to show it to make it better’ and since then I have never been more proud of my art works.’

Meet some of the group here

The Navigating the Urban Landscape project was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Young Ensemble Scheme.

For more information contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

 

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of Tadhg headshot 2temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses,Preview Evenings and Summer Course. Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog no. 1

When as an earnest 14-year-old, I stood with my family and friends in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Cork City and admired my artwork that was on exhibit, it mattered little that what we were looking at was an oversized postage stamp that crudely depicted my sense of the most important Irish people in history (with a disproportionate number of fellow Corkonians!!). What really mattered, was at that moment I knew that my hard work and talent was being recognised, admired and shared with the public. To experience that sense of pride around my art was pivotal in the way I approached and thought about my creativity for years to come.

In April 2016, Aislinn Spillane, art teacher at Christ King Girls’ Secondary School, contacted me about the possibility of working on a project together and what immediately became clear was that we both wanted her students to have the opportunity to experience a moment like this. Another key motivation for the project was to provide the students with the conditions where they could really investigate a subject, to explore ideas and find exciting methods to create their visual responses.

Gut Instinct: Art, food and feeling’ was an exhibition at the Glucksman that drew on the cutting-edge research of Professor John Cryan, and his colleagues at the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC. Using artworks that explored the materiality of foodstuffs and that tested the boundaries of good taste and revulsion, the exhibition explored how digestion relates to our mental and emotional states.

Gut Instinct presented the ideal starting point for the project and from where the students could begin their own creative journey through ideas of the way they used and thought about food.

In December 2016, the students were introduced to the exhibition, its central themes and we looked at a number of the artworks in detail. After the guided tour, the group had the opportunity to creatively record their initial responses in a printmaking workshop with artist Killian O’Dwyer.

Back in school, the students were provided with additional information on the artists/artworks and on the research of APC. I visited them in early January to discuss the plans for the next stages, principally the film they would make. What was striking about this visit and the discussions with the group was that they had highlighted an area around food and emotions that was not explored in Gut Instinct. The students were drawn to ideas of appearance and the pressures attached, what that means to the way we feel about food and how that could develop to eating disorders. The Gut Instinct curators consciously took the decision not to venture into this field of investigation when developing the exhibition as it strays from APC’s research aims and crucially they felt it was an area that deserves considered investigation and reflection in a separate moment.

Clearly this topic had significance to the group and it was impressive to see that in the prints they created for the exhibition in March 2017, they had looked closely at how they could create images that would articulate their thoughts and concerns.

The students were presented with the challenge of developing a film script that would reflect their thoughts on the exhibition, before returning to the Glucksman in early February for filming. On a Friday morning in February, the students worked together under the guidance of filmmaker Dervla Baker to produce the short film ‘The Power of Taste

The 5th year students at Christ King Girls’ School had their exhibition moment in early March when their artworks went on display at the Glucksman. I hope they too experienced that sense of pride that I felt way back at the beginning of my life in the arts.

Sincere thanks to the art teachers from Christ King Girls’ School – Niamh Rigby, Jodie Kerins and Aislinn Spillane.

For more information on The Power of Taste or the Glucksman Schools Programme please contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you get started?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Our Place was a project that sought to offer a marginalized section of our community a creative and positive experience within a museum environment. Over six weeks in early 2016 the Glucksman hosted art workshops for a group of children from two direct provision centres in Cork City. During the six sessions, the group were encouraged to create artworks that looked at ‘place’ both imaginative and real using a wide variety of materials from film, print, drawing, painting, animation and collage. The workshops were framed within a larger project ‘Once Upon a Place’ run with Laureate na nÓg and Children’s Books Ireland which brought together school and community groups to the Glucksman to create artworks that reflected on their sense of place. This project culminated in a public exhibition at the Glucksman in March 2016 and was launched with a storytelling session by Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer.

Central to the Glucksman’s Education Policy is a commitment to work with community groups, enabling people of all ages and abilities to access different aspects of visual art. We first met with Mike Fitzgibbon and Eileen Hogan at University College Cork to discuss the possibility of an art project with children living in Direct Provision back in the spring of 2015. Even at that early stage, without any funding, clear numbers or dates we were all determined that we would find a way to make this project work. Around the same time the Glucksman was named one of the host locations for a reading by Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer as part of the Once Upon a Place project. Once Upon a Place sought to bring storytelling to children all over Ireland focusing specifically on communities who may not have access to libraries, storytellers, writers in schools etc. These readings were to be held in extraordinary places that would help bring stories to life. The timing of the Once Upon a Place project and the proposed project with children in Direct Provision couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

The art project had its origins in discussions a group of University College Cork staff and students had with staff of the Glucksman. I had described in an earlier email some of the awful experiences of people, and in particular children, living in the Direct Provision system. Staff in the Glucksman responded to this, offering to work with us in putting a programme in place that would offer some relief from the system, some break from the mundanity, and might provide outlets for expression and enjoyment for these children. It took a number of months to organise, but the programme began at the end of 2015, with three workshops before the end of year, and three in early 2016.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Working with partners who knew the residents, the needs of the children and the expectations of a project was crucial. The relationships that our colleagues in UCC have developed over 15 years with residents of direct provision centres meant that they had garnered a trust and understanding that we at the museum would have been unable to achieve in such a short period of time.

Children’s sense of place was the perfect theme for the group but also a delicate topic that needed to be navigated appropriately. Speaking with Mike he gave me an idea of the centres and the living conditions that children were exposed to. Understanding the places where these children lived meant that to ground our projects in real life place had the potential to unearth difficult and complex emotions for the children. The focus of the workshops was to be on joy and to offer a small moment to escape reality. And so we looked at the what if? What place you could be living/visiting? With no restrictions and no limits – where was your place?

We had wanted to ensure that the interests of the children were demonstrated in the projects and activities that we undertook. Alongside a number of shorter activities each week we had three core projects. In each session we completed between five and six activities. We looked to incorporate as many mediums as possible, particularly using materials and techniques that the children may not have been exposed to in school. And also crucially children had an opportunity to bring their colourful creations back to their centres.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

This was a new experience for all of us. Controlling and channeling the children’s dynamism was the most challenging aspect to the workshops. We found that the group’s attention would fall-off very quickly and so having multiple short activities worked best. It was easier to return to our core projects over a number of weeks rather than attempting to see a project through during a single session. Over the six sessions we saw the physical and mental impact that life in Direct Provision was having on these children. On certain days some of the children would be drowsy, despondent and unresponsive to projects. These same children the following week would be full of life and enthuased about everything we were doing. These shifts in mood and energy were apparent across a large number of children. We sought to stimulate the children by undertaking short exercises and involving them in tasks around filmmaking and documenting workshops.

We had two sessions prior to Christmas and during the second workshop we gave each child an art pack with sketchbook and materials. After Christmas when we met back up, one of the older boys showed me his sketchbook that he had been working on. Even in a few weeks there was a marked improvement in his drawing ability, he spoke about his delight at having these materials to create with and how he’d spend time every evening working on his sketches. For this boy and others in the group the opportunity to interact with extracurricular activities and to get creative was having a considerable impact.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

Their enjoyment of the workshops was reflected in their huge enthusiasm to return each week. The exhibition afterward was beautiful – and the pleasure that the children took in showing their work to their parents and others was wonderful. Challenges we experienced with this were quite different to other areas that I work or volunteer in. What seem like simple things, such as finding suitable dates for the workshops came with complications, such as needing to find times that didn’t intersect with other life activities, such as religious events. The flexibility shown by the Glucksman around this was emblematic of their commitment to it, as was the quality of their work and engagement with the children every week.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

The Irish Refugee Council has reported that young people living in direct provision centres are more prone to depression and suicide due to their restrictive and ostracized living situation. Its report also states that Direct Provision is NOT a natural family environment. Our University colleagues have campaigned for the end to DP since its inception.

To have the opportunity to positively impact on these children’s lives was a wonderful opportunity for the Glucksman and one which aligned itself with our education policy and mission statement. Working with partners like Children’s Books Ireland and UCC Amnesty International Society allowed us to develop a project and exhibition that these children would value and remember. The experience of exhibiting their work alongside that of their peer group and for once in their lives to be the centre of attention under a positive gaze provided a special moment for the children living in DP.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

When we first met I remember Mike speaking about that moment after a day’s activities with the children when you have to send them back to the centre and how difficult that can be. Over the weeks I began to realize what he meant, as I got to know the children and the reality of their home lives it became increasingly difficult.

Working with the children living in Direct Provision has been in equal measures some of the most rewarding and yet most heartbreaking work we’ve undertaken at the museum. These children are incredibly brave, generous and kindhearted. Their lives have been ones of struggle, distress and in some cases trauma yet their determination and positivity shines through. These children need some fragments of light in their lives, some moments to be creative, to feel optimistic and to feel good about themselves.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

All of our engagements with the asylum-seeking communities in Direct Provision have had terrific support from students, societies and all areas of staff in UCC, and this was no different. The programme and other events couldn’t and wouldn’t happen without that support. Many staff and students gave up most of their Saturdays for the programme’s duration. UCC Amnesty society sponsored transport, a significant cost each week.

It is worth mentioning that because of our involvement with this, other projects and engagements have come about: one project involved working with women in direct provision on ceramics projects; another is ongoing with women engaging in different activities such as yoga, knitting etc.; we have had another art-for-teenagers project; we will have another young children’s programme. All have happened as a result of the running of this first programme for children by Tadhg and his colleagues. Seeing its success motivates me, and others, to continue to advocate for and work with people condemned to live in Direct Provision. The really hard part each week was seeing these beautiful young people leave to return to their Direct Provision centres.

 

 

National Architects in Schools Initiative

The project, part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s National Architects in School Initiative (NAISI), involved an Architect working with a Transition Year group of 25 mixed students and a Design and Technology teacher.

Students from Colaiste Cholim, undertook a wealth or tours and visits investigating many facets of architecture in their town of Ballincollig and the wider city of Cork. Starting from this perspective of how architecture relates to community, the students narrowed the focus for the design project, developing their own personal room for the garden of a semi detached house. As a fitting end to a project the students held an exhibition of their work in the local shopping centre of Ballincollig.

Engagement process:

The students began with a life drawing exercise to develop their observation skills. From here they were encouraged to develop their own opinions on architecture through research and discussion of the work of inspiring architects. There then followed a series of exploratory tours:

Development Process:

Having gleaned ideas, insights and an understanding of the diversity inherent in architecture, the student were set the task of designing a personal room in the back of a semi-detached sub-urban house. Designs based on a variety of personal interests emerged including an art studio, a cinema, a dance room and a chill out room. Using card, foam board and balsa wood the student made scale model of their designs for exhibition at the local shopping centre in Ballincollig, Cork.

Most useful activities:

Jerry Buttimer TD opened an Architecture Exhibition by students of Coláiste Choilm, of work produced during the IAF’s National Architects in Schools Initiative, at Ballincollig Shopping Centre. Each studetn presented their final project to a public audience and discussed individual projects with the TD and visitors including IAF Education Curator.

From the students:

I learned about design process + daily job and how jobs come about. I enjoyed making models and thinking of ideas for what to do for the project.
Student, 15
We’d done set projects before but this time we were able to use our own ideas and solve problems along the way. Felt more like a real designer!
Student, 16

From the Teacher:

Having taught a transition year construction module for a number of years, aspiring to develop an awareness and appreciation of the student’s environment, particularly their built environment, I heard of the Architecture in Schools initiative through the Cork Education Centre and decided to apply. My motivation initially was personal, as I have a great interest in architecture and was very interested in working with an architect. I also believed that if I could develop my own skills and knowledge it would ultimately benefit my students. I applied and was very fortunate to be paired with architect Seán Antóin Ó Muirí. We got on very well, both personally and professionally. This, in my opinion, was key to the success of the initiative. This is our second year working together and I have learned a great deal working with Seán.

Typically, we adopt a practical approach to student learning. The students learn through observation, sketching, discussion, research, presentation, and problem solving amongst other techniques. The students visit buildings of architectural significance locally, where they observe, record, present and discuss their experiences. They also watch videos, research architects and their work, and present their observations to their classmates. Another important part of their development is the visit to the Cork School of Architecture. This presents the students with a unique opportunity to view and discuss the work and course with college students and experience what life as a student of architecture is like. Also, the students are presented with a number of design challenges devised by Seán, from which they develop their own unique responses. These are varied in complexity, and time required for completion, and always have specific objectives.

I have learned significantly from my involvement in this initiative and particularly working with Seán. As a teacher with more than twenty years experience, I found I have become very focussed on “the end game”, which is the examination and marks in the Junior Cert and marks and points in the Leaving Cert for my students. I try to incorporate different teaching and learning experiences. However I am restricted in so far as the course must be covered, projects must be completed and time is limited.

Seán has an entirely different approach. He focuses very much on the process and allows the student the freedom to pursue their ideas. He guides, encourages and advises each student, and allows them to pursue their own ideas even if he disagrees with them. They are allowed the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. The students are also encouraged to find out things for themselves, for example, if they require the size for a door, they measure the door in the room. This leads to collaboration between students and an excellent learning environment.

The students are enthusiastic and have learned a great deal. Their increased awareness of architecture is great. However the skills and confidence they have developed as a consequence of participating in this course is the real benefit of incorporating this initiative in a transition year program.

Danny Moynihan, Teacher

From the Architect:

I was motivated to particpate in the architects in schools programe because I am simply interested in architecture so I am always interested in getting other people’s perspectives and thoughts on the subject.
I took a lot of heart from the conceptual thinking that some of the students displayed in realising their projects, this is always very encouraging. The project was the first time I had taught architecture at secondary school level this was a new and good experience. There is a lot of energy to be sourced from working with other people, as I work on my own this was good to tap into this energy twice a week. I was blown away by some of the designs produced by some of the students, because the class was so big (25 students) it was very hard to give much time to any one student, so to see some of the designs produced with very little direction was very inspiring.
The students’ work is of a standard you’d expect from third level student projects, they demonstrated exceptional ability and commitment to the project. Support from the teacher, Danny Moynihan who has an incredible passion and interest in architecture also made it this project a great experience.

Seán Antóin Ó Muirí, Architect.

Briefly tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did it get started?

The story began with a play, After Dark, by Olivier Award-winning English playwright, Mike Kenny. It is about fear of the dark and plays to First and Second Class pupils in primary schools. Graffiti first produced the play in of Spring 2015 accompanied by a short workshop. The company has a long track record of developing workshops using educational drama methods linked to the curriculum and to supporting teacher and pupil practice. The second time we produced the play we decided to build a substantial workshop around the play that could also function as a stand-alone workshop related to science.

We thought it was interesting to relate Drama to Science. Doctor Darkness could help investigate things related to nighttime. It began with nocturnal animals. This is part of the ‘Living Things’ Strand of the curriculum for First and Second Class and the Strand Unit is ‘Plants and Animals’. It also allowed us to use the Curriculum Skills of Predicting, Hypothesising and Investigating – all key skills in Science.

For some reason we immediately came up with something which made us smile! Doctor Darkness immediately offered roles for the teacher (Chief Scientist), pupils (Investigators and Specialist Expert Groups of Scientists) and Doctor Darkness, who desperately needs their help to restore the world’s faith in the value of darkness!

We trialed Doctor Darkness with the help of six schools with whom we were about to begin another research project that involves teachers and pupils in active collaboration and research. We felt that this curriculum rich workshop helped establish confidence in the use of drama methods and developed good and sharing relationships with teachers and pupils. From our point of view, by building on the teacher’s own practice and by ensuring support in the teacher’s use of very light role, we are building confidence in the use of role in the classroom.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Educational Drama creates a world in a classroom where the exploration of a fictional hypothesis allows everyone to have a voice, to share authority and to explore ideas.

Each of the four groups of children in their classroom were experts in their fields, the teacher the instigator and monitor of the investigations and consultant authority on the dark, and the facilitator had a problem which could only be answered with the help of the experts.

Each class has its own atmosphere and dynamic and because there are no absolute answers authority is given to the children to decide and to follow up. All participants are explorers together.

What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

There was a lot to smile about for all participants and it was one of those special projects where there were few challenges. That’s not to be complacent – a lot of hard work and stepping out of comfort zones happened.

There really is very little training for teachers in the use of drama as a teaching method and teachers frequently fear that they will make fools of themselves, lose control, not have the confidence and so forth. It takes courage to take the first step into role.

By having a support adult in role and by taking on a role very similar to that of a teacher the pressure is eased and the teacher is more free to try things out. With this challenge came great positivity and a willingness to engage which made this a really enjoyable experience for all.

What insights from the project are worth sharing?

Creating an atmosphere of shared responsibility, mutual respect and mutual support, trust and daring is at the center of collaborative exploration and invention.

Ways in which this came about include:-
1. Being open to discussion – e.g., willing to be flexible with the workshop
2. Setting clear learning objectives and learning outcomes
3. Being passionate about the use of drama to support learning development
4. By building on the teacher’s own practice
5. By using clear curriculum links
6. By working in partnership with teachers, children and schools
7. By observing and sharing best practice
8. By giving the teacher and the children an active and exploratory role in the session, eliciting prior knowledge and extending learning/teaching

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

The relationship with teachers, pupils and management has been enhanced and that has given us and, we hope, them a firm ground to move into our collaborative research project, Raising My Voice, which we mentioned earlier.  Raising My Voice is based on the Young People’s Voices in Decision Making document from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Further Feedback from the Teachers.

Throughout the workshop, children took on new roles, explored their creativity and enjoyed the freedom to decide things for themselves. The inclusive and safe atmosphere that was created enabled quieter children to freely express themselves and contribute their own solutions to the problems that emerged.

The children benefited from engaging with a variety of drama methods at the hands of experts. The children gained confidence and competence from seeing a teacher being creative and ‘becoming’ a different character – just like themselves.

The classroom set-up is usually children and teacher. By crashing through the barrier, whereby children and teacher engage with a third entity (in this instance Graffiti Theatre Company), the usual boundaries were crossed creating a unique and powerful opportunity for growth and development. The teacher became one of the children in a sense, and this had a tangible effect on the quieter, less outgoing children who really relaxed and engaged.


!!!! New MA in Arts and Engagement at Crawford College of Art and Design

Crawford College of Art and Design

Extending the artist’s practice, grounding it in a social context. Looking at engagement through the intersection between the senses, society and the arts.

Crawford College of Art and Design CIT are delighted to announce a new Masters in Arts and Engagement. A 2 year part time course that prepares graduates to develop a professional practice in arts rich engagement with individual, group, and broader societal contexts. Participants on this Masters programme will develop an understanding of the role of the arts within learning, changemaking and the development of culture.

Employment Opportunities:

MA Arts and Engagement
The course will run part-time, one day a week, plus 2 day block monthly for elective module. Applications are welcomed from graduates of arts (visual arts/theatre or music) or social sciences interested in:

This Masters programme builds on a number of existing Special Purpose Awards all centred on learning through expressive meaning-making: Arts based facilitation training, creativity and change-making and art therapy. These programmes educate through and activate different modes of communication, promote learning through experiential and reflective practice, and engage with other perspectives and diverse intelligences.

Participants on the Masters will develop an understanding of the role of the arts within learning and engagement and will develop the skills to apply this to a range of contexts. Core modules over the two-year programme relate to the arts in engaged practices which recognise neurodiversity, equality, social justice, power and autonomy. Through research, reflection, group and practical work participants will explore different ways of learning, investigating the transformational power of the arts in personal and societal regulation through a broad scope of contemporary methodologies.

Through elective modules in year one, opportunities will be provided to broaden skill sets through Socially Engaged Theatre, Eco-Arts Practice or Art Therapy. In the second year, opportunity will be given for students to develop their ongoing arts practice informed by, and in relation to, one of two strands of engagement – Health & Wellbeing or Global Citizenship.

Duration: Part time over two years (1 day a week + 2-day block monthly for elective module)
Course Fee: EU Applicants: €6,000

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/ma-in-arts-and-engagement-/or for course enquires email Avril O’Brien avril.obrien@mtu.ie.

Two Additional Special Purpose Awards 

Certificate in Eco Arts Practice Level 9
Certificate in Socially Engaged Theatre Level 8

!!!! Online resource: The Glucksman’s Free Art Toolkit for Primary & Post-Primary Schools

The Glucksman
Free online art toolkits

The Glucksman has released a series of online art toolkits suitable for primary and secondary students. Organised around key themes, their free art toolkits enable you to explore works in the UCC Art Collection. Whether you are an educator, activist, student or individual art lover, these online toolkits are full of ideas and information to support you and your community.

The toolkits focus on the work of Irish artists Fiona Kelly, Deirdre Breen and The Project Twins. Fiona Kelly’s work has a strong environmental interest and
focuses on ideas of urban sprawl and its impact on the Irish landscape and its traditions. Deirdre Breen is a printmaker and designer who makes screen
prints characterized by flat abstract motifs and geometric compositions. The Project Twins, a Cork based collaborative art duo, create bold and playful graphics which explore ideas of absurdity, identity and the mundane.

To download this art toolkit, see www.glucksman.org/discover/digital/toolkits

Based in Cork, The Glucksman is a leading museum nationally and internationally for creative learning and access to the visual arts.  For more information about the toolkit, get email education@glucksman.org.

!!!! Opportunity for Schools: New Arts in Education Programme with Cork County Council

Cork County Council Arts Service
Deadline: 3pm, Thursday 10th June 2021

Cork County Council’s Arts Service is inviting schools to participate in a new classroom based arts in education programme that will be facilitated by a professional artist. Four schools in County Cork will be invited to become temporary custodians of Cork’s County Art Collection.

Cork County Council has a substantial collection of visual art. This civic collection includes works in various media including, painting, drawing, print, photography, video and small scale 3-dimensional work created by emerging and established artists, many of who are living and working in Cork County. This collection is owned by the people of Cork and as such it is the policy of Cork County Council to make this collection as widely available to the public as possible. It is in this context that they have developed a schools education programme that will enable young people to gain knowledge and engage creatively with work from the collection in a managed programme in the classroom. They will have an opportunity to create a collaborative artwork with an artist, using the artworks as a springboard for creativity.

The programme is funded by Creative Ireland and will be provided free of charge to all schools.

Deadline: 3pm, Thursday 10th June 2021

Applications should be made via email to grace.mitchell@corkcoco.ie no later than Thursday 10th June 2021 at 3pm. Queries can be made to Grace Mitchell, Creative Ireland Projects Coordinator, 021 4346210 or grace.mitchell@corkcoco.ie.

!!!! Natural Creators Early Years Sound Workshops

The Glucksman 
Date: Saturday May 22nd, 10:30-11:30am or 12-1pm

The Glucksman presents Natural Creators: Exploring and Creating Soundscapes with composer Karen Power. These free, interactive workshops focus on early years listening, composing and improvising sound. Using found sounds from our natural and constructed environment, these workshops encourage children’s natural openness and curiosity through a series of guided composing, improving, listening and play activities.

Natural Creators workshops are built on slowly integrating sound into children’s everyday lives. This program is designed in an open and improvised manner facilitating every child to engage in the process with their own unique approach to creating sound.

Date: Saturday May 22nd, 10:30-11:30 or 12-1pm

For more information or to book, see karenpower.ie/natural-creators.html

!!!! The Everyman & Graffiti Theatre Company Present: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

The Everyman & Graffiti Theatre Company

Dates: 1 – 31 May On Demand

On demand audio stream theatre for young audiences 8+ for families or schools.

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing by Finegan Kruckemeyer, is presented by The Everyman and Graffiti Theatre Company as part of Play It by Ear, a programme of shows performed on The Everyman stage, and available as an audio stream.

Triplet sisters are left in the forest by their woodcutter father. From this fairytale beginning, three resolutions are made – one sister will walk one way, one the other, and the third will stay right where she is. Twenty years later, having circumnavigated the globe, and fought Vikings, and crossed oceans, and tamed wilds, and achieved greatness, the three meet again, as women.

Fun and accessible resources will be available on Graffiti’s website for teachers and parents to support children’s enjoyment of the episodes.  These resources – which will be available for the audio stream live date – will include creative prompts and activities to give children a deeper engagement with the piece.

Price: On Demand Audio Stream Family €12 | Schools €65

Age recommendation: 8+, recommended for young audiences and their families

Running Time: 5 X 10mins

For further details go to everymancork.com/events/this-girl-laughs-this-girl-cries-this-girl-does-nothing/

!!!! Songs For Our Times – An Intergenerational Intercultural Music Project

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I had run similar intergenerational projects in Kerry in the past, using music, songwriting, singing, and visual art to express ideas and feelings about our own stories. These projects always received great support from local partners and the press, and culminated in a public exhibition and/or a performance. The interaction between the generations was a most important part of this project.

I moved from Kerry to Cork in 2016, and I was touring two one-woman shows. One of the characters in the shows is my Jewish grandma, and there was a lot of audience interest in this character. I started researching the Cork Jewish community as it was in the early 1900s, and writing a musical play on the subject. I’ve always played Jewish music, and I saw great interest in Cork in its Jewish historical past, which I wanted to know more about, and to share my knowledge of. This had not been evident in my 28 years in Kerry, as there was no Jewish community in Kerry previously.

I had built up a relationship with the Arts Officer in Cork County Council, Sinead Donnelly who suggested running the project in two areas, Youghal and Bandon.

We worked with Bandonbridge Primary School sixth class pupils and their teacher, Freda O’Neill and the Bandon Daycare Centre, with support from Bandon Library.

The project took place over four Tuesdays in September and October 2019. Two workshops would take place in each centre (the schoolchildren had their workshops in Bandon Library), one visit by the children to the Daycare Centre, and a visit by the daycare participants to the school for the concert day. In the end, I visited Bandon a total of 7 times – two introductions, the four planned dates, and one evaluation day.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children completed a number of workshops with Ruti, in the local library, in school and at the day-care centre. The goal was for both groups, the children and the day-care patients to compose and perform a song for each other and to enjoy a singsong and each other’s company at the final performance.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I worked with the principal, the teacher, the daycare staff, and the 2 groups (older and younger).

In the first workshop,  I introduced each group to a little bit of Jewish Irish history and Jewish culture, I taught them a song in Yiddish, and we had a little jam with me on accordion and them playing percussion. I then asked them to think about how it might be to move to another country, and about any experiences they had themselves of living in other places, or moving from one place to another. I asked the groups to say out loud how they might feel if they moved to a different place. These words were written up on a flipchart. We used chime bars (each person gets a note to play, from a kind of xylophone) to work out a melody that might be nice for a song. Then we fitted some of the words that the group had come up with into the melody, and with a bit of adaptation from myself, we worked the words and melody into two songs. One verse only was developed that week. I also taught the children the song In My Town, a song I wrote and recorded on my CD for children, Stomping in the Woods.

The following week, the children came to the Daycare Centre to meet the older people. We had a singsong, which I facilitated as I had brought song lyrics, my accordion, and some percussion, and the children had prepared questions to ask the older group about where they went to school, did they ever travel, etc. One lady had brought some instruments that she had bought in Ghana years before, and she passed them round to everyone. I had brought apples and honey with me as it was Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and this is a traditional food for this festival, so everyone had a slice of apple with some honey.

It was a lovely intergenerational, intercultural sharing. Everyone really enjoyed it, and the older people commented on how polite the children were. The groups sang their song verse to each other, and they shook hands and looked forward to meeting again.

The next week was a workshop where each group completed the song, with my help, and we added instrumentation to it. The children brought in violin, tin whistle, keyboard, and guitar, and I brought percussion instruments and chime bars.

A lot of work at home followed, as I wrote out precise arrangements for the teacher to work with the children on, and recorded both songs, and sent them to the schools.

The final week, I arrived early at the school, with the film maker Dervla Baker, and ran through the original song, and the Yiddish song, with the children, while Dervla set up the video camera. The older group arrived, and about 20 of the children’s parents, and two other classes from the school, and their teachers, so the hall was packed. The new songs were sung, as was a Yiddish song that I had taught the children, and a song about Bandon Town that the older group sang. Then there was dancing to live klezmer (Jewish wedding music) as my band, Pop-Up Klezmer, came from Cork to take part in the concert. It was great to see the children and adults of all ages singing along and dancing and clapping to the music. And to give the older and younger groups a chance to perform original songs. All agreed it was a great experience. After the audience left, the children chatted with the older people and shook hands again before everyone left.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children chose to work on their lyrics first and then to add in the melody and instruments afterwards. They worked in small groups initially and then Ruti helped them to collaborate to create a whole class edition. We practised on a daily basis leading up to the final performance. Some of the children worked through a couple of lunchtimes to perfect their parts.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

The challenges were mostly weather, as the children had a long walk to the daycare centre and library, although they weren’t deterred. For me the biggest challenge was setting up the project, as it was a complicated project, and it was quite tricky communicating with the funders, as one of the arts officers was off sick. So the admin side took a lot of time and energy.

Although it was lovely working with both groups, there were challenges with the older group, as one or two of the participants were partially deaf, or just didn’t have the energy to participate very much. But most of them were delighted to take part.

The feedback from the Daycare Centre group was that they enjoyed the interactions with the children, but that they could have done with more workshops to prepare them for the concert, and that it took them a while to be clear what the project was about. They enjoyed playing different instruments, hearing great musicians, and the chats with myself and each other. The staff said it was challenging to get the participants confidence up for singing in public.

The feedback from the school children was that they enjoyed learning the dances, playing the instruments, meeting the daycare group, learning about Jewish culture and religion, hearing the klezmer band, learning new songs,  and the final performance. They would have liked longer with the older group, and more time to learn the song lyrics and instrumental parts.They would have liked more musical styles and more younger children attending the concert. The feedback from the teacher, Freda, was that the children loved it, the venues worked well, the final performance was fantastic, positive, and seeing the interactions between the groups was lovely.

My personal experience of the project was very positive. Everyone involved saw the benefits of so many aspects of the project – making music, creating new music, discussing ideas, and the interaction between the generations.

Both groups and all staff agreed that they would like to do a project like this again.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The project was a great success. The children really enjoyed the music side of the project but mostly responded very positively to the intergenerational element. It was wonderful to see how both groups interacted so pleasantly with each other.

A challenge may have been the time allowed for this project. Another couple of meetings and practices with Ruti would have been worthwhile.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

Intergenerational interaction, composition in groups, arranging music, and performance  – these are all aspects of this project that I would like to highlight as significant. Composing in groups means working together to create something interesting, meaningful, and hopefully, beautiful. This is a good team-building exercise, and just a lot of fun. Also great for confidence and interaction. Performing one’s own composition in public, and getting recognition for its value, is one of the most uplifting things I enjoy as a performer, and I think that this was so for the participants also. The Jewish aspect was also meaningful to me – to teach children a song in Yiddish – a language they have never heard before – and to lead them in dancing to klezmer music, was a privilege.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

Sixth class were enthusiastic and happy while participating in this project which made it quite easy to manage for me as their teacher. As mentioned above, the most significant part was how well both groups responded to one another.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I have more confidence in bringing Jewish material to schools (although I have been doing this in different ways, eg candlemaking workshops at Chanuka, for many years anyway). I bring my interests into the classroom, and I do quite complex projects, even though it is a lot of work and tires me. I put a lot of energy in, and often don’t feel that I am earning enough to warrant the amount I put in. But that is my journey. I have been very lucky to be supported along the way by a lot of lovely people. It’s worth it!

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

I would definitely be open to taking part in a project like this again. Also, the inclusion of the older generation in some school activities would be something I would consider more now.

 

!!!! Creativity & Change: Nurturing Change-Makers, Imagining a Better World

The Creativity and Change programme & CIT Crawford College of Art

Application Deadline: 18 August 2020

The Creativity & Change programme targets change-makers, educators, activists, artists, community workers, adult education tutors, youth workers, volunteers and anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes.

Amplifying Voices Scholarships

During the unprecedented time of Covid 19, the Creativity & Change team have had to radically rethink how they engage their learners, as the educational work they do is so embedded in a heart connection with others. They don’t yet know what restrictions and guidelines will be in place for the next academic year, but they know that when it is any way possible for learners to engage safely in shared spaces, that’s where they want to be. The team are excited to share that they have acquired funding to purchase a mobile studio classroom, transported on a cargo e-bike so that they can facilitate learning spaces on the move and outdoors. So, much of next year’s course will be on wheels!

They are also excited to share the news of their new Amplifying Voices scholarships. The core of Creativity & Change’s work is to explore and address global justice and they value the perspectives and experiences of a diverse participant group when doing so. They are consistently seeking to improve the accessibility of the programme and would love to provide opportunities to those who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing post-graduate education, such as those in the Direct Provision system, or Travellers. The Creativity & Change team are now in a position to offer a number of free places on their course to those who may not have otherwise been in a position to apply. Application is via the CIT website, Amplifying Voices should be cited in the title of your application statement.

What is Creativity & Change?

The CIT-accredited award is two 10 credit modules combined within a level 9 Special Purpose Award. It ordinarily takes place one weekend a month from September to May in the new campus of the Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork City Centre, but much of the 2020/2021 will take place outdoors around Cork City centre and suburbs, and online.

The first module is an experiential module where you will engage in a wide range of hand on creative processes including visual arts, creative writing and theatre. You will engage in a wide range of global justice topics and reflect on your own identity as a global citizen and on the process of transformative learning. In the second module, you will put learning into practice in designing learning experiences for a range of contexts.

The course fee is heavily subsidised by Irish Aid. Application deadline is 18th August. Please note that places may be offered on a rolling basis, so early application is still advised.

For further information and to apply online go to www.creativityandchange.ie/accredited-award/

!!!! Certificate in Arts in Group Facilitation 

Crawford College of Art & Design (CIT) 

Course Starts Early October 2020

The Arts in Group Facilitation Certificate (level 8, 10 credits) focuses on the practical skills of planning and running creative workshops with groups in a range of non-formal contexts. Participants learn these skills through experiential learning processes, taking part in visual arts, drama, dance and music workshops and reflecting on the experience. The focus is on acknowledging the individual within learning, recognizing the importance of play and the need for learning to be engaging. There is a strong emphasis on engaging with diversity and learning to adapt a range of arts approaches to meet the varying needs within a group. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online.

What will you be doing?
Exploring ways of working with the Arts through experiential workshops where you will experience firsthand approaches and techniques. Peer working will enhance your learning – exploring planning, design and evaluating working with groups. We are adapting to Covid-19 restriction and see the potential of learning in outdoor environments for participants in the programme and for those participants may work with in the future.

We are inviting participants to join us with a bicycle to access outdoor learning environments. The course will provide skills face to face in working in physical workshops, classes, centres as well as facilitation creative engagement online. The programme will be delivered through blended learning, involving face to face experiential learning and online learning. The face to face learning is being designed to maximise the potential of creative learning in outdoor environments.

Why do this course?

Who is it for?

Of particular interest to those interested in;

Applications are recorded on a rolling basis and will close once the course is full so early applications are advised. The course will start in early October 2020.

For further information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/group-facilitation/

Or contact Jessica Carson at jessica.carson@cit.ie or +353 21 433 5256

 

!!!! Early Years Arts & Play Education CPD Masterclass for Early Childhood Educators

CIT Crawford College of Art & Design

Dates: 29 February, 28 March, 9 May 2020

Early Years Arts & Play Education workshops, delivered by Artists/Educators, Rachel Doolin and George Hannover. CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Grand Parade Campus, Cork.

This series of CPD Masterclasses at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design will focus on early years experiential and creative play methodologies, with each workshop exploring a different material theme such as: LIGHT Play, PAPER Play, CARDBOARD Play and POP UP Play. ‘Simplicity’ and ‘wonder in the ordinary’ are at the very core of this holistic series of workshops. Artists will guide, offer ideas and materials to inspire and ignite curiosity in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Participants will be encouraged to activate their imaginations and to explore ‘ways to play’ that encourage and embrace spontaneity, open-ended exploration and unpredictable impulses!

Dates & Times

For more information go to crawford.cit.ie/courses/masterclasses-for-early-childhood-educators-and-childcare-professionals/

!!!! Schools & Early Years Groups are invited to ‘Art in Action’ at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: 11 – 20 February 

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre invites toddler groups, playschools, junior and senior infants to a guided experience of Art in Action. An interactive exhibition where artists have used images, objects, actions to communicate with their surrounding world.

An interactive, multimedia exhibition for children with work by Basia Bańda + Tomasz Relewicz, Ewa Bone + Ewa Kozubal, Tomasz Madajczak, Krzysztof Matuszak, Aleksandra Ska and Hubert Wińczyk. Curated by Bartosz Nowak in collaboration with MOS: Municipal Art Centre, Gorzów Wielkopolsk, Poland. http://www.mosart.pl/ wystawy-2019/detail,nID,6164

This exhibition is a meeting of children and artists. The eight visual artists included in the exhibition have created interactive artworks that involve children in the co-creation of the works presented in the gallery. Encouraging children to participate in their construction and reconstruction allows them to experience artistic processes in action.

The exhibition and accompanying events are focused on enabling children to develop creativity, self-confidence and curiosity, explore the world, to communicate and to think critically, demonstrating that art is primarily a way of experiencing and building mutual relations with the environment, other people and oneself

Your group can book a guided experience led by one of the exhibiting artists Tomasz Madajczak. Group bookings are free of charge and can be made by telephone on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

 

!!!! Invitation to The Classroom Museum Exhibition at The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Dates: 14-26 January 2020

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to the ‘The Classroom Museum’ exhibition.

The Classroom Museum enables schoolchildren in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. In Autumn 2019, with the support of Kerry County Council and Creative Ireland, the Glucksman brought the Classroom Museum initiative to Caherdaniel NS and Portmagee NS in South West Kerry.

Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers had the opportunity to interact with artworks by Irish contemporary artists Dara McGrath and Fiona Kelly.

The Classroom Museum is built around the value of providing children with an opportunity to engage with works of art in a personal and continuous way. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and includes a visit by the artist to the school, a collaborative art project by the children and an exhibition of this work in the Glucksman.

The students from Caherdaniel and Portmagee will visit the Glucksman in January 2020 to see their artworks on display. The exhibition is open to the public and runs until January 26th.

For further information go to www.glucksman.org/projects/the-classroom-museum

 

!!!! Primary Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Date: 19 October 2019

Join curators, academics and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our responsibility towards the environment.

Current issues of education and communication of climate change and sustainability are complex, multi-faceted and potentially overwhelming unless the problems can be scaled down and re-framed. This masterclass focuses on peatlands, an important part of our biodiversity and an example of ways that individual and collective effort can be valuable for climate action.

Date & Time: Saturday 19 October 2019, 10am -1pm

Places are Free but booking is required.

For further information and booking go to www.glucksman.org/events/art-teachers-masterclass

!!!! Guest Blogger: Ciara Gallagher Creativity & Change programme participant – Blog No. 4

Ciara Gallagher Profile Pic

Ciara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as Administrative and Development Officer.

Blog 4 – On Practising Creativity and Change

The second half of the Creativity and Change course focused on “application to practice” – on applying the forms and modes of creative engagement we had experienced and worked with in the first half of the course. Over numerous weekends, we practiced creativity across a variety of forms. In small teams, we co-facilitated creative workshops to critically focus on important local and global justice issues with our peers. We created a 60 foot piece of street art – participating in the entire process from beginning to end.  We planned and designed a number of creative street actions to engage the public in Cork city in support of Climate Case Ireland.

A core part of the Creativity and Change course is its focus on connecting learning that occurs through the head, hand, and heart – through reflection and critical thinking, through doing, making and taking action, and through affective learning and creating connections. Each weekend, each activity, actively engaged all three modes of learning. Not only did we practice the application of creativity and creative processes to encourage a critical reflection and action to change on global justice issues, we also built a community, a collective, however temporary, within which these experiences became all the more meaningful.

This head, hand, and heart model is not just something to apply to just certain learning experiences, but something that can inform so many areas of our lives, our learning, our teaching, our living. This too, like creativity, is something to practice each day and to continually build on.

Now, perhaps more than ever, it seems like the time to take action in our world, to resist retreating into apathy. The scale and persistence of the global justice issues that we face can make taking action seem like an impossible task. What the Creativity and Change course encourages is a sense that this continually coming back to these issues need not feel futile, or as evidence that things do not change despite our best efforts. That instead, circling back to social justice issues in new, creative, and diverse ways, is also something to live, and to make part of our lives.

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Fiona Lawton Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher – Blog No. 4

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Celebration Time – Blog 4

As the end of the school year approaches we have been looking forward to celebrating all our creative work that we have engaged in throughout the year.
On the 31st May all students in Scoil Bernadette participated in our Creative Schools Celebration Day. All students arrived in the hall to participate in eight different creative stations in small groups. There was a doodle corner, a lego station, a dance station, jenga, hook a duck, incredibox and a card making station. Everyone got a chance to try out each station to create, dance and play! A lot of fun was had and we all enjoyed ourselves.

In the afternoon, we all assembled in the hall to see some creative performances. In our school this year, our first years participated in the Music Mash Up programme where they learned to play different instruments and sing in a band. Music Mash up provides access for young people of all abilities to music in a fun, relaxed and inclusive way. This project was facilitated by Eamonn Nash.  For more information see musicmashup.ie/about. We were lucky to see two performances by this group.

Our next performance we saw a dance piece that a selection of students from throughout the school were involved in. These students have been attending dance workshops every Thursday in the school with dance artist Lisa Cahill. The dance piece was part of the international movement of Global Water Dances. More information can be found on the website globalwaterdances.org/It was clear that the students had put in a lot of work and practice into their performance and it was a pleasure to see them express themselves so creatively.

We then saw a dramatic re-enactment of Johnny Cash’s song ‘A Boy Named Sue’ by the LCA 2 class. The group devised and performed the piece themselves. The play was entertaining and funny and the audience really enjoyed it.

Our main focus this year as a Creative School was to offer students additional Visual Arts Workshops for students across the school. These workshops culminated in a friendship tree which is proudly displayed outside our school. Each student coloured and drew on a series of discs which formed part of this collaborative picture. To conclude our Celebration Day we watched a photo story which documented these workshops. We saw the process of the work which involved a lot of teamwork and collaboration. These workshops were facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, and led by Mairead O’Callaghan of Crawford Supported Studios. For more information see crawford.cit.ie/supported-studio-project-with-gasp-and-c_ig-artists/.

All of the participating students received a certificate from the principal for their role in the Creative Schools project this year.

This year we have developed existing relationships and also we have made new links and friendships with a lot of artists and organisations outside of our school. We were privileged to have all the artists who have worked with our school this year as guests on our Celebration Day.

The Creative Schools Project has ended for this year but creativity continues in Scoil Bernadette. Towards the end of the June we will be running an X Factor Competition where all students will again be taking to the stage to sing and dance. We are looking forward already to next year when we can get planning for our next Creative School project. Students already have an abundance of ideas of what they would like to do. We are delighted that we took part in the Creative Schools project this year and are proud of our participation and achievements.

!!!! Invitation to Celebrate The Classroom Museum Project at The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Date: Friday 29th March 2019

The Glucksman is delighted to invite you to join them to mark the culmination of ‘The Classroom Museum’ a project with rural schools in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford on Friday 29th March at 11am. The celebration will be marked by Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President and Registrar at University College Cork and will be followed by a meet and greet with the participating school students, teachers and with artists Billy Foley, Fiona Kelly and Dara McGrath.

The Classroom Museum initiative enables school children in rural Ireland to participate in an imaginative programme of creative learning based around contemporary artworks from the UCC art collection. Through the short-term loan of artworks and collaborative activities, the children and their teachers have the opportunity to interact with art in their own surroundings and to develop the skills and confidence to express themselves in educational and public contexts. The initiative facilitates the loan of artworks into the classroom space, and develops the presence of this original work through a structured programme of activities with the schoolchildren overseen by the Glucksman’s Senior Curator of Education + Community.  The programme includes a visit by the artist to the school, a collaborative art project by the children and an exhibition of this work in the Glucksman.

This event is an opportunity to recognise the creativity of the young participants and to hear about their journey of creative learning.

For further information go to www.glucksman.org/projects/the-classroom-museum

!!!! Guest Blogger: Fiona Lawton Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher – Blog No. 3

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Working Together – Blog 3

As Spring slowly emerges with its brighter days and new beginnings, we too are delighted to get started with our new creative project in Scoil Bernadette.

After lots of planning and negotiating with calendars, our first visual arts workshop started on the 8th March with ten enthusiastic students, one from each class group, ready to pick up their pencils and get drawing.

During our first workshop we were introduced to our facilitators, Ailbhe Barrett and Rosaleen Moore who showed us some of their work and told us about their professional careers as artists. Ailbhe and Rosaleen are two artists who work in a supported studio as part of the Gasp programme. Gasp artists meet on Tuesdays in the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork and are facilitated by Mairead O’Callaghan (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists) We were certainly impressed to see their beautiful paintings and to hear of their celebrity appearances on the Late Late show.

We played a few icebreaker games to settle the nerves and to get to know each other a little better. Soon we were ready to get down to the busy work of creating. We each chose a word that represented the feeling of being at the workshop. Some of the words chosen were ‘happy’,’ listening’,’ together’, and ‘Cork’. It was the first step in expressing ourselves within the group. We then drew our words on paper, decorating them to our liking.

We finished the workshop with another fun game where in a circle we threw a ball of string from one person to another. We ended up with a visual representation of a very connected group. As one student remarked, it was all about ‘teamwork’.

The following workshop re-enforced this theme of working together. We were divided into two groups. Each group had to build a structure as high as they could. It was challenging, stressful, but lots of fun!

On the 22nd March the group set off for the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City to get some inspiration. Here we met with Julie who gave us an extensive tour of the gallery where we viewed and interacted with the current exhibitions. We met with Ailbhe and Rosaleen there and got to visit the studio space where they work. We were lucky enough to have time to do some drawing in the Art Gallery at the end of our tour, taking inspiration from the paintings and installations we had seen.

So far the project is going well. The students look forward each week to having extra time in the school timetable to draw, build and create, taking inspiration from each other and the work of professional artists. After three weeks of working together, I feel that the group has bonded well and there is a collegial and supportive atmosphere which adds to the enjoyment of the workshops.

We have three weeks left to continue this work of creative collaboration. We are eager to continue to develop our skills and to discover our talents.  We hope to have a day of celebration in the coming months to display the finished and unfinished work to parents, friends and the rest of the school community. We are proud to be a creative school.

!!!! Guest Blogger: Ciara Gallagher Creativity and Change programme participant – Blog No. 3

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

Beginnings – Blog 3

The Creativity and Change course continually pushes its participants, encouraging us to engage, act, and reflect in new and different ways. One of the most fundamental ways it stretches its participants is simply through giving students the opportunities to start something new – to begin new actions, challenges and experiences, and in the process, to unearth new confidence for future beginnings.

At each of the course weekends, we participate in intensive workshops on different creative forms. For example, one weekend focused on poetry and theatre. We moved from creating poetry as a collective to individual creative writing and finally into spoken word performances and a poetry slam. The following day, performance and action were channelled into theatre as we engaged with some of the techniques of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Throughout the course of the weekend we moved through reflection and action; from our own words to shared action and performance through poetry, and from the action and movement of the Theatre of the Oppressed to reflection again. Not only did we experience this as participants, we considered this process as facilitators – thinking through ways we could engage people through these creative forms in a manner that encourages interaction with beginning to write and enact change.

Our next task on this weekend was putting this cycle of reflection and action to use in a new context as we moved from the safe space of the Creativity and Change workshops to the public space of the city. Part of our challenge for the afternoon was to engage the public in some way, encouraging people to contribute to creating something as a group. My group set about getting people to contribute to a line poem, written in chalk on the street, beginning with the line “I know I am home when…” I was surprised at how readily and generously people got involved, moved by their openness and warmth. Individuals and small groups contributed their lines, writing on the pavement, marking the city space out as theirs a little bit more.  Groups of people contributing collectively take away some of the pressure and open up new possibilities. The same was true for our groups, as our styles of interaction with the public crossed and intersected, and we reflected on and learned from each other’s actions. Even though our engagement with the public was small and transient, we learned it is possible to bring people together to create something worthwhile, that people care and will get involved.

The willingness and want to be part of a collective is encouraging in these times when we need it most. Now to find all our different ways of starting.

!!!! Guest Blogger: Naomi Cahill Creative Associate for Creative Schools & Director of Bespoke Productions – Blog No.4

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

 

Creative Schools: An Insight into the Creative Schools Project: Barryoe National School – Blog 4

My schools are at a very exciting stage of the Creative Schools Project. Plans are being brought to life in all schools. At this stage, I thought it would be interesting to give you an insight into the project so far in one of my schools: Barryroe National School. The school is located on the Ibane peninsula and is surrounded by beautiful beaches and countryside. It has 176 pupils enrolled and a speech and language unit. The school is very lucky to have a wealth of creative local people and staff who are open to new ideas and projects. Parents strive to give and provide the best all round education possible for their children and encourage involvement in the arts. The school was delighted to receive entry to the Creative Schools Project this year and are thrilled to be accepted again next year. Their enthusiasm for the project is evident and they are very much making the most of this fantastic opportunity. They have dedicated a lot of time to the project and I have had the opportunity to engage in meetings with all staff and students. There is a core team of staff within the school working on the project including: the Creative Schools Coordinator, two teaching members of staff and local artist: Eilbhe Donovan.

Puppetry:

All students in the school were lucky enough to attend ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ performance of ‘Listen Janey Mac’ in the school. They were given this opportunity to inspire them to create their own work.‘Dowtcha Puppets’ are a renowned puppet specialist company based in Cork. They came to the school and did three separate performances of their show for different class groups. It tells the tale of a character called ‘Janey Mac’ and her puppy ‘Pepper’. They make a wish in a magical stone circle in their aunty Megan’s back garden and find themselves transported back in time, trying to find each other and their way home. One aspect of the Creative Schools project is the importance of finding ways in which the arts/creativity can be linked with and used to enhance the teaching of other subjects. Along with giving the students an appreciation for puppetry, the show produced by ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ also provided students with a history of Cork and Ireland. All students really enjoyed the experience:

“It was great to see the puppet show before we did our own one”. (Student)

“The setting and the props were great and how they showed the puppets when they were far away –it was a very funny story”. (Student)

“It was strange working behind the puppet stage. The lighting made it exciting. The show was great the way the characters were going to another dimension”. (Student)

Voice of Young People:

As I mentioned previously there is an importance emphasis on ‘The Voice of Young People’ in the Creative Schools Project. At the beginning of the year, I was given the opportunity to do a workshop with a group of students (with representatives from each class). I also met with all class groups and teachers to gain a further understanding of student’s artistic/creative interests. We regularly consult with the ‘Creative Schools Student Advisory Group’ when making plans. Having gained inspiration from watching ‘Dowtcha Puppets’ performance, a group of students (from all classes) worked with their drama teacher Annemarie to write their own devised puppet show piece. Other classes had the opportunity to make stick puppets and perform in puppet shows linked to fairy tales for their fellow students. Students are also very lucky to have the opportunity to work with renowned artist: Eilbhe Donovan to create their own air dough puppets. It is evident from their feedback that the process is very much child led:

“It was great fun – we were in charge of what we wanted to do. It took a long time but it was worth it when you saw how it played out in the end. We would love more time to work on it!” (5th Class Student)

“We did all the work”. (3rd Class Student).

“We could make up our own story, make up our own characters”. (3rd Class Student)

“Our characters could talk or not e.g. our castle was the narrator. We used objects that don’t normally speak and gave them voices”. (3rd Class Student).

“We added jingles. We were free to decide everything ourselves e.g. I had a potion and it didn’t have to be a certain colour – I could choose”. (3rd Class Student)

“We could move around and work in small groups. There was no right or wrong information and it was exciting that we could add props”. (3rd Class Student)

“We were working together and we weren’t fighting – we were laughing”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could act out the characters – perform and add music”. (2nd Class Student)

“While making the puppets it was difficult to get everyone working together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We made puppets in afterschool together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could make up our own story, make up our own characters”. (3rd Class Student)

“Our characters could talk or not e.g. our castle was the narrator. We used objects that don’t normally speak and gave them voices”. (3rd Class Student).

“We added jingles. We were free to decide everything ourselves e.g. I had a potion and it didn’t have to be a certain colour – I could choose”. (3rd Class Student)

“We could move around and work in small groups. There was no right or wrong information and it was exciting that we could add props”. (3rd Class Student)

“We were working together and we weren’t fighting – we were laughing”. (2nd Class Student)

“We could act out the characters – perform and add music”. (2nd Class Student)

“While making the puppets it was difficult to get everyone working together”. (2nd Class Student)

“We made puppets in afterschool together”. (2nd Class Student)

Sustainable Creative Teaching:

It is important for all arts and creative activities undertaken by the school to be as sustainable as possible. Teachers in Barryroe National School are learning about puppetry as a new art form which they can incorporate into their teaching into the future. Teachers have been enabled to develop experience and expertise in this new creative area and implement their acquired skills across the curriculum with confidence. Here is some feedback from teachers about the puppetry workshops.

“It really encouraged turn-taking and team work. Children had to change their voices to suit the characters”. (Teacher)

“We had less control over the output. Junior Classes needed more scaffolding to bring the story to life using the puppets. Senior pupils lead the classes”. (Teacher)

“One class was completely child lead – teacher only had to facilitate. Children took on the responsibility and worked on their stories at home”. (Teacher)

“Without a lot of effort, I worked on puppetry, which I was not comfortable with, and found once the idea was suggested to the pupils, they took ownership of it and followed through”. (Teacher)

Stop Motion Animation:

The sixth-class students are also learning about how to create their own stop motion animations. They created a fantastic animation piece called ‘Jack and Jill Cycled Down the Hill’ which was very exciting to see.

“We were so excited. We were looking forward to the lesson as it was so different to anything we had done before. I had never done anything like animation before”. (6th Class Student)

“Taking the pictures and when they were all moving having put it all together was so cool”. (6th Class Student)

“It wasn’t like being told what to do and how to do it. You could make up your own story and put it together whatever way you liked. Our stories were brought to life through animation”. (6th Class Student)

Creative Schools Continues:

I was delighted to hear a recent announcement from Creative Schools which indicated that the schools currently involved in the project will have the opportunity to continue next year. Furthermore, there will be a further one hundred and fifty schools added to the project. Things really are going from strength to strength for the Creative Schools Project. The project is having a ripple effect across Ireland as there is an increased recognition of the importance of the arts and creativity in the lives of young people.

!!!! Guest Blogger: Fiona Lawton Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher – Blog No. 2

Fiona Lawton TeacherFiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Making Connections – Blog 2

Since our return to school in the New Year, we have begun the next stage of our Creative Schools journey, which is developing our school plan. In mid-January, I met with Naomi Cahill (Creative Schools Associate) to discuss our aims and objectives for the near future as a creative school. Using the framework provided, we were enabled to assess our current strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: Teaching and Learning; Leadership and Management; Children and Young People and Opportunities and Networks.

The process of writing the school plan has renewed our school’s commitment to the creative arts and also has highlighted the areas we would like to develop in the near future. We have committed to providing CPD (Continued Professional Development) for teachers in the next academic year. We will receive training on how best to use drama as a teaching methodology which can be integrated with all subjects across the curriculum.

Scoil Bernadette has a strong focus on the arts already and is involved in a number of extra-curricular creative projects including, dance, music, and theatre. In keeping with our overall objective, which is to enable all students to access a broad range of creative activities whilst in school, we have decided to organize additional visual arts workshops this year.

As Scoil Bernadette is a special school it is vital that all activities are accessible and inclusive for all students. Naomi has been invaluable in providing the school with links with a variety of organisations and practitioners that have experience in working with students with disabilities. It is important for us a school to expand our community network and provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to participate in activities that will aid their journey as lifelong learners.

We have made links with Mairead O’Callaghan in Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. Mairead facilitates visual arts workshops with a number of supported artists each week. (More information on supported artists and this project can be found here (www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Learn-and-Explore-Crawford-Supported-studio-Artists.html)

On 14th February 2019 Naomi, Mairead and I met to develop a plan where a series of six art workshops could be run in Scoil Bernadette during March and April. The workshops will be led by Mairead and co-facilitated by Rosaleen Moore and Ailbhe Barrett, two supported artists that attend the Crawford each week.

It is envisaged that this project will be collaborative and student-led. A group of ten to twelve students from Scoil Bernadette, one from each class, will attend each Friday in the school. The workshops will also involve a visit to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City. Together the students will decide on how the project will take shape. We hope to document the process with photographs which can be used to form part of an exhibition to be held in the school.

The workshops will begin on 8th March. We are looking forward to welcoming Mairead, Ailbhe, and Rosaleen to our school and beginning this new adventure.

We are excited to make new links with our local community which hopefully will expand both current and future possibilities for students in Scoil Bernadette.

 

!!!! School Opportunity: Uillinn invites Schools to engage with ‘Mapping the Divide’

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Deadline for bookings: Friday 29th March 2019

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is delighted to offer West Cork Primary Schools an opportunity to engage with our Dance Artist in Residence, Mairéad Vaughan in a short summer project – Mapping the Divide.

Mapping the Divide is a creative exploration into the effects of technology on our body, mind and environment.

Uillinn invites three primary school groups to take part in a short series of workshops at school and at Uillinn. Two will take place in the school and one at Uillinn and will creatively investigate the impact that technology, and in particular the use of mobile phones, can have on us.

Students will be invited to journey into the body and out to the landscape, to bring awareness of the direct sensory and kinaesthetic relationship we have with our environment. Using gathered materials chosen from the landscape, they will explore textures, patterns, smells, sights and sounds. Then movements will be choreographed from this investigation to create a site-specific, pop-up performance.

About Mairéad Vaughan

As an artist, I am passionate about the transformational power of dance and creativity. My teaching practice highlights the need to reconnect with body-mind, specifically through cultivating sensory awareness (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste). I teach a practice called ‘Attuning’ which develops all of these aspects. This practice is the result of my PhD research and highlights the need for inclusive arts education.

Project Details:

Ages:  The workshops are suitable for 5th and 6th class groups, aged 10 to 13 years. Limited to 22 children.

Venue: Your school for two workshops and Performance Space at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre,  Skibbereen for one workshop.

Dates / Times:  Workshops will take place on Wednesday afternoons during May / June, duration 60 to 90 minutes. Dates and times to be arranged to suit the schools involved.

Clothing: Children should wear loose clothing like tracksuit bottoms, rather than school uniform when taking part in the workshops.

Booking Details:

Fee for series of three workshops is €2 per person

Closing date for bookings is Friday 29 March 2019

To find out more or to book your class please contact Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre on 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

!!!! Guest Blogger: Naomi Cahill Creative Associate for Creative Schools & Director of Bespoke Productions – Blog No.3

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

 

Creative Schools: New Beginnings in 2019 – Blog 3

Step Two: ‘Develop’

2019 has been great so far with the continuation of the Creative Schools Project. Having completed the ‘Understand’ stage, I have moved onto the next stage: ‘Develop’. Using the planning framework, I work with schools to firstly develop a ‘Creative Schools Vision’. This is a long-term vision for placing the arts and creativity at the heart of the school. It should be aspirational but realistic. It is used to enable the school to develop aims, success criteria and activity plans. The aims state what the school ideally hopes to achieve by introducing the plan. As I previously mentioned, the voice of young people is of key importance to all stages of the project. The school must outline the role of young people in the development of their plan. The success criteria must then be detailed which states how the school will know if their plan is having the desired impact on the school and wider community.

The next step I take is to work with schools to develop a ‘Creative School Plan’. This plan is used to support the ‘Creative Schools Vision’. It includes key areas for development which should be implemented over a number of years. It is used to support the following areas for development: children and young people, teaching and learning, leadership and management & school environment, opportunities and networks. The work completed to date in the ‘Understand’ stage is used directly to the benefit of the ‘Develop’ stage.

I also work with the school to develop an activity plan. The school uses this plan to detail the exact arts and creative activities they wish to undertake this year. A series of questions must be answered which ensure schools think thoroughly about the long-term benefit of chosen activities for example: Which areas of the curriculum are involved (including the potential for collaboration/integration across subject areas)?

Linking Schools to Opportunities:
Every school is unique and they each have particular strengths and arts/creative areas which they wish to develop. I am now working to link schools to relevant opportunities according to their plans. Some activities which have come up so far include: staff undergoing CPD training in drama education to learn how process drama can be used in a cross-curricular fashion as a means to enhance learning in a practical, engaging way. Another includes: students working with a street artist over a series of weeks to create their own work. There has been a fantastic response from arts/creative organisations and artists to the project. Some of the links I have made so far include: artists (in a variety of disciplines), Arts Officers, Creative Ireland Officers, Education Officers (from arts organisations), art galleries, university drama department, music organisations and dance companies.

Student Advisory Group:
To ensure students play an active role in the implementation and evaluation of the project I work with schools to set up a ‘Student Advisory Group’. This is a cross-section of students from different class groups that I engage with on a regular basis. These students give us a valuable insight into their own artistic & creative interests. Their views must be taken on board in the development, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Arts in Education:
This project is raising the level of importance of the arts and creativity in education across the board. It is not only creating opportunities for schools but also for artists that are highly skilled and trained with vast experience. Personally speaking, my career to date has revolved around creativity. On a regular basis, I hear about the benefits creativity has to mental health and well-being. Exposure to the arts and creativity is something which needs to be made possible through the education system in order to ensure equal opportunity to young people. In a world that is constantly changing, creativity is needed more than ever.

!!!! Guest Blogger: Fiona Lawton Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher – Blog No. 1

Fiona Lawton Profile Image Fiona Lawton has been teaching secondary students in Scoil Bernadette Special School for the last ten years. She graduated with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC in 1999. During that period Fiona has been involved in writing, directing, acting and producing plays around Cork. In 2005 she played the part of the Magistrate in the award winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. In 2008 Fiona returned to UCC to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling and subsequently in 2013 completed the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. In school Fiona teaches a variety of subjects but has a passion for drama. Each year she works with a group of LCA students to devise, produce and perform a play. Fiona strongly believes in the importance of educating through the arts where creativity and collaboration are central to the learning process.

 

Creative Schools: Creative Coordinator – Blog 1

My Name is Fiona Lawton and I have been teaching in Scoil Bernadette for the last ten years. Scoil Bernadette is a special school in Cork that caters for students with mild general learning disabilities. The school aims to make each student be as independent as they can be.

We do this by providing a secure, caring and supportive environment through the provision of a broad curriculum of social, personal, academic, sporting, vocational and relevant life-skills programmes.

I teach a range of subjects in Scoil Bernadette and have a keen interest in drama, I am a graduate of the Masters in Drama and Theatre at UCC. My learning there has taught me the value of creativity in an educational setting. As teachers in Scoil Bernadette we are consistently looking for new ways to engage our students and make learning fun.

We have a strong focus on the arts in Scoil Bernadette. We have a choir that performs in school, at fundraising events and in an annual Christmas Concert each year. Our students are involved in a Samba drumming group and they participate in the Music Mash Up community arts programme where they learn instruments and singing. We have an annual visit from GMC rapper who works with our final year students in creating their own rap. We are also very involved in the dramatic arts. We are good friends with the Everyman Theatre in Cork and attend their musical theatre productions each year. We also regularly attend workshops and performances with Graffiti Theatre and Cyclone Productions. Our Fifth years create their own drama production where they devise, produce and perform their own show over a period of four months.

This is just a small selection of the creative activities that we are involved with. As you can imagine we were delighted to be chosen to participate in the Creative Schools programme. For us, it provides us with a forum to celebrate and consolidate the work we have been doing and it also gives us an opportunity to take stock, evaluate and plan how we can develop our school as a creative learning community.

Attending the in service for the Creative Schools Coordinators was an exciting and encouraging start to the year. It was great to meet all the other teachers and youth workers who are involved in the programme. The day was informative, hands on and great fun. The enthusiasm showed by the facilitators and participants was infectious. It was a great reminder of how we learn best when we are active and collaborating. This belief is one of the core teaching methodologies that we would like to promote in Scoil Bernadette as a creative school.

I did my best to recreate the days learning (albeit a condensed version) at our own staff planning day. We all did the envelope activity which required us to think ‘outside the box’ and engage with our creative sides. We don’t always have the opportunity to consider these things together so it was nice to discuss and share ideas about what creativity means to us as a staff. We also did an inventory of the creative activities that we are currently doing. It was great to acknowledge the many creative activities we are involved with already.

It was a pleasure to finally meet our Creative Schools Associate, Naomi. Naomi came up to meet with a group of our students and did a fantastic workshop with them where they were given an opportunity to consider what creative activities they are currently involved with and what they would like to do in the future. Naomi also distributed surveys to the staff so that we could give our thoughts on our current strengths, challenges and hopes for Scoil Bernadette as a creative school. Naomi’s enthusiasm for the project is evident and we are delighted we have her expertise to guide us through the planning process.

I feel that the wheels have been set in motion and we are off to a good start. I am looking forward to the next stage of the process where we can start planning and making decisions about where to go next.

It will be exciting to make links with other schools and expand our thinking and share experiences. We are delighted to be involved with this project and are looking forward to the rest of the year.

Read Naomi Cahill, Creative Schools Associate blog series at the links below:

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 1

Naomi Cahill – Guest Blog 2

!!!! Uillinn invites schools to ‘Elemental’ – an exhibition where children are the primary audience

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Date: Until 2nd March 2019

Elemental an exhibition with interactivity, tactility and spacial enquiry, where children are the primary audience.

School Group bookings available. 

Aimed especially at children aged 4-12, Elemental is an exhibition that invites children and people of all ages to encounter contemporary art through touch and movement, as well as sight. Leading artists Caoimhe Kilfeather and Karl Burke are transforming the galleries with their interactive, tactile sculptures and installations that explore scale, texture, space and light.

Primary school groups of all levels are encouraged to come and experience this artwork throughout the exhibition.  A tour of the work is not necessary, teachers can bring along their school group to spend time in the galleries interacting and investigating the artwork and then take time to The Make Space – by practising primary school teacher and trained artist Anne Bradley – a calm room where children can take time to creatively respond to the themes and materials of the works on exhibition; using materials such as sand, small objects, pieces of wood and fabric to explore pattern, visual order, touch and more.

Charlotte Donovan, Uillinn’s Artists in Residence for Learning and Engagement will be available for schools on Friday’s to facilitate a workshop where the children can respond to their experience in the gallery and make their own work to take away.

Elemental contains a major commission from Caoimhe Kilfeather, with artworks that suggest an imagined forest of both indoor and outdoor elements. One element, created from hundreds of metres of green Indian silk, hanging 3 metres high, will offer pockets of space for children to inhabit. A tree house will perch 5 metres high overlooking the exhibition space, and the floor will be covered with cushions and ‘leaves’ fashioned from organdie, with brooms and sweeping brushes to tidy up. In the upstairs gallery, children will be able to walk around and through a steel sculpture by artist Karl Burke (entitled ‘Taking a Line’), which stands 2.5 metres high, and creates a very subtle optical illusion that implies density in empty space. Both Caoimhe and Karl have also each made interactive works that speak to children’s oft held desire to creatively arrange objects found in nature.

During the final weeks of the exhibition, a number of additional artworks will be exhibited throughout the gallery. These commissioned works will be made collaboratively by local primary school children from Dromore National School Bantry and artist Siobhán McGibbon, who will be working together over eight sessions in Uillinn to research, experiment and create their own artworks, responding to the exhibition themes.

Curated by Superprojects

To book your free visit, just call 028 22090 or email info@westcorkartscentre.com

To find out more about the artists go to www.westcorkartscentre.com/Elemental

Further images of work available on Superprojects website at www.superprojects.org/projects/#/elemental/

!!!! Guest Blogger: Ciara Gallagher Creativity and Change programme participant – Blog No. 2

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

Making Connections – Blog 2

The Creativity and Change programme meets once a month for one full weekend, each weekend bringing new experiences, challenges, and connections. These full weekends allow participants a depth of experience in learning, critical thinking, and creativity. There are also spaces for pause, reflection, and making connections woven into the structure of the course, and I begin to appreciate the space for reflection that the weeks between each course weekend allow too.

The idea that creative engagement is key in facilitating transformative learning experiences that might effect change in the way we see, exist, and act in the world is at the core of the Creativity and Change programme. With this focus, new possibility is discovered within seemingly simple, everyday acts. Listening, speaking, and observing, core components of many adult education courses, are first given renewed attention. For example, as part of our learning in a day dedicated to transformative learning and the creative process, participants pair up and take turns speaking and listening without interruption. The experience of listening intently and actively, and that of speaking uninterrupted demonstrates perhaps how often we take these acts of speaking and listening for granted in teaching, in facilitation, and in learning, and in simply communicating with others.

Consideration of communication and creativity is furthered in a weekend dedicated to the exploration of visual facilitation, which broadly refers to a process of facilitating meetings, seminars and other exchanges in visual form using images, words and symbols. As someone used to working only in the written word, this was a challenge for me. We began by visually representing sounds and playfully making marks on the page in groups. Once those daunting first marks were made on our paper canvases, the temptation to overthink into inaction was removed, at least temporarily. As we gradually built toward the challenge of visually documenting the conversations of other participants, the merit of incorporating creatively challenging work into my own facilitation and my learning became clear. A completely different part of my thinking and concentration was engaged. I gained new insight into the process of how I listen as well as how I order and create meaning. Just as the exercise on speaking and listening drew attention to the dynamics of dialogue, this act of visually representing the groups’ words brought a new attention to how I interpret and document, as well as a feeling of responsibility to accurately reflect and honour the group’s conversation.

Developing new ways of seeing and interpreting continued throughout the weekend on visual facilitation, which concluded with the class working in small groups, each tasked with creatively representing different sets of data. Groups worked on visualising data relating to the deficiencies of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, the difficulties people with disabilities face when trying to access social housing, and on numbers of people on housing lists against the units of social housing available – important data that can become meaningless in spite of its devastating reality. From an assortment of seemingly random materials, groups created stop-motion animations, made clay models, assembled sets, and designed performances incorporating material to represent this data. What emerged from the varieties of modes and forms through which this data was visually represented was perhaps the force of that which could not be measured or visualised, the shock of what this data represented that could not be contained or incorporated numerically. Through this creative process, the groups began to find new ways to see and explore some of the most pressing justice issues in our contemporary moment.

!!!! Opportunity: Creativity & Change Masterclass Programme 2019

Creativity & Change, CIT

If you are hoping to inject some creative change into your 2019 then look no further than the Creativity & Change Masterclass programme. They start off next month, Feb 9th and 10th with a weekend of creative writing.

Creativity and Change masterclasses are an opportunity for inspirational, intensive and in depth engagement over one or two days. Delivered by facilitators with specific expertise and experience, the programme is designed around the identified gaps and expressed interests of practitioners. Each masterclass is a deep dive into a specific method that can be used to explore change-making, global citizenship and social justice. Fees are subsidised by our partner Irish Aid in order to make these courses affordable and accessible to all. They will all take place in inspiring locations around Cork City.

Explore all the masterclasses and register online here: https://www.creativityandchange.ie/master-classes/2019-masterclass-programme/

 

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Ciara Gallagher Creativity and Change programme participant – Blog No. 1

Ciara Gallagher Profile PicCiara has a PhD in English from Maynooth University. She has worked as researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books (TCD) and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, DCU. She has taught English in various universities and currently works at Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership as office administrator.

 

First impressions of the Creativity and Change programme, (CIT) Cork – Blog 1

I’ve always had a keen interest in the creative arts and concepts of creativity. Issues of social justice have also always been to the forefront of my concerns, very much connected with my interest in creativity and literary forms, and informing much of my research. It’s not surprising then that the Creativity and Change course, a programme aimed at “anyone who is interested how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes”, piqued my interest. However, having spent most of my career to date firmly on the analytical and critical side of creativity, and perhaps on issues of social justice too, it took some courage and the making of some pros and cons lists before I applied. Though I’ve invested much time in thinking about how literature can help us think about, see, and shape the world in different ways — in other words, how engaging with a form of creative expression might form new pathways of understanding — I haven’t spent much time on what is perhaps the more uncomfortable side of creativity.

From the very beginning of the course, I was struck by the emphasis on doing, on movement, on activity. Introductory ice-breakers were conducted by participants physically orienting ourselves at different points in the room according to different prompts. Each new topic was prefaced by games involving movement and reflection. Instead of beginning by talking about our interests and experiences related to global justice, we explored these ideas through working with watercolours, pencils, markers — objects unfamiliar to the adult me. We worked silently in groups on numerous activities. In one instance, groups of participants were given a block of clay, to shape and mould any way the group saw fit, without speaking or communicating. Working with paint and clay in silence allowed me to experience quiet contentment in the process, with “doing” for its own sake, rather than focusing on my lack of competence or confidence in these activities. I think I also reflected more deeply on ideas of teamwork and leadership as a result of these experiences than through many of the designated courses on these topics that I’d attended as part of training for previous jobs.

One full day of our first weekend was spent at the “creative fair”. Course participants were let loose in a room with numerous stalls with various familiar and unfamiliar art materials, books, newspapers, magazines and much more. For the first part of the day, we were given no instruction — only to enjoy, play, or create something from the materials at hand. After a couple of hours of being absorbed in activity, we were tasked with making something that somehow engaged with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and were given some instruction on how to use the material at each stall. This, for me, and I think for many other participants, completely and perhaps deliberately changed the earlier atmosphere of experimentation and engagement. I attempted to make a postcard based on the fourth SDG, quality education. Though it’s an issue that I feel strongly about and have given thought to, attaching the logo for the SDG of quality education made the postcard feel like a flimsy exploration, expressing an easy platitude without depth or engagement. And so, the first weekend of the course ended with numerous reflections and realisations about the relationship between creativity and issues of global justice.

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Naomi Cahill Creative Associate for Creative Schools & Director of Bespoke Productions – Blog No. 2

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

Creative Schools: The Journey Continues – Blog 2

Creative Schools Coordinators:

In every Creative School there is a Creative Schools Coordinator. The coordinator is my first point of contact with each school and I liaise with them in regular meetings. I have now met all coordinators in my corresponding schools. In some schools the coordinator is a member of the teaching staff and in others it is the school principal. There has been a great response and enthusiasm from all coordinators and schools as a whole to the project and a strong belief in the positive impact it can make on putting the arts and creativity at the heart of young people’s lives.

Completion of Step One: ‘Understand’:

I am continuing to work with schools on the process of gaining an understanding of the school’sengagement with the arts and creativity. Having completed workshops and meetings with relevant parties and staff, I am liaising with Creative Schools Coordinators to complete the documentation for this section. All schools are provided with a document called ‘Understand’ complete with four sections: 1) Children & Young People 2) Teaching & Learning 3) Leadership & Management & 4) School Environment, Opportunities & Networks. In each section there are a series of statements which are rated on a scale of: 0-5 (0 means: the statement is ‘Not at all true’, 5 means: the statement is ‘Very true’). For example: “Pupils/students are involved in decision-making on existing arts opportunities and are able to shape their learning experiences in school” (Section 1: Children & Young People). Using age specific surveys designed for appropriate parties and information gathered from staff discussions I work with coordinators to rate all statements (using an average from the individual ratings). The following individuals are consulted with in this process: the school principal, deputy principal, coordinator, teachers (including resource staff & S.N.A.s), staff with a responsibility for the arts, parent’s association and board of management. These findings will support the development of the Creative Schools Plan which will be carried out in step two: ‘Develop’.

What is Creativity?

As I mentioned in my previous post the voice, opinions and views of young people is of key importance to this pilot project. Through ‘The Voice of Young People’ workshop I collected lots of useful information which I use as data for the ‘Children & Young People’ section and to influence my work with schools going forward. I go through this information, document and analyse it. I found it inspiring to read young people’s understanding of the word ‘Creativity’. From my experience, all young people have their own individual understanding of creativity. It is very interesting and uplifting read their definitions:

“I think it is about showing who you are and what you like to do”. “I think if you’re creative, you have a big imagination”.

“It’s about expressing yourself”.

“Imagination”.

“Like your dreams are what you feel & draw & do”.

“Do what your mind tells you”.

“Creativity is free! When you break rules, you are being creative”.

I believe it is important to let young people come up with their own understanding of creativity rather than provide them with a set definition. This is similar to the constructivist approach I often use in my own teaching. Using constructivism, students are actively involved in constructing their own meaning and knowledge as opposed to passively receiving information.

Through the workshop, I also gathered information on student’s individual artistic and creative interests. Students listed: the creative activities they are currently engaged with inside and outside school. They also listed the creative things they would like to do if they had the opportunity. It is very interesting to hear their responses. The answers vary greatly from school to school. The school’slocation and the cultural and artistic opportunities in close proximity of the school also have an influence on the responses given.

Meeting Teachers:

I have commenced meeting all teaching staff in my corresponding schools. It is very important that staff are fully aware of what is involved in Creative Schools and are able to contribute their ideas in order for the project to be of benefit. The staff are of key importance to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the project. In these meetings I initially provide staff with a thorough understanding of Creative Schools. I then explain the different components of the programme including the first step: ‘Understand’. I design posters listing the following questions as headings:

What are the creative strengths of the school?
What creative areas can the school develop?
What creative activities can the school implement to develop these areas?

I then facilitate a discussion with staff where they are given the opportunity to provide answers/ideas to questions listed. We pass around the posters and everyone makes a written note of their contributions. I also ask staff about their own individual areas of expertise for example: Is there a staff member that is a particularly skilled/trained musician/dancer? etc. This is very beneficial for all staff to be aware of going forward. I have found that a lot of schools are interested in working collaboratively together to share their creative skills and knowledge.

New Beginnings in 2019:

I am looking forward to a new year of opportunities for Creative Schools and excited to move on to the next stage of the project.

!!!! Guest Blogger: Naomi Cahill Creative Associate for Creative Schools & Director of Bespoke Productions – Blog No. 1

Naomi Cahill works as a Creative Associate for Creative Schools and is founder and director of Bespoke Productions. She is an experienced and qualified drama teacher of primary, second level and adult education as well as children with special needs and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Naomi graduated with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She further completed the Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education and was awarded‘Highest Academic Achievement’ from the Leinster School of Music & Drama. Through Bespoke Productions, Naomi leads drama courses in Ireland and abroad which are aimed at building confidence, self-esteem and developing communication skills. She most recently directed a modern version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at Teatro Re Grillo, Licata, Sicily. Having performed both on stage and in film, she enjoys sharing her experience with her students. She is delighted to be working as a Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme.

Creative Schools: The Start of the Journey – Blog 1

Creative Schools is a pilot initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme. It is led by the Arts Council in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The aim of this initiative is to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. My job as a Creative Associate is to enhance and shape the place of creativity in schools. I work to inspire, energise and drive schools forward in developing creative opportunities in the school and wider community. I enable schools to understand, develop and celebrate young people’s engagement with the arts and creativity.

Getting to Know Schools:

I work with a number of schools throughout Cork and Kerry. At the beginning of November, I began engaging in meetings with the Creative Schools Coordinators from my designated schools. There are a series of objectives I aim to achieve in these meetings. Initially, we go through the Creative Schools Planning Framework. We then begin to discuss the first step of the programme: ‘Understand’. This allows schools to understand their current engagement with the arts and creativity. It also enables them to assess the creative interests of students and the resources which are available in the school and wider community. We talk about the school’s current involvement with the arts and artistic areas which they wish to enhance. Through this meeting I develop a better, more thorough understanding of the school as a whole.

In each school I run a workshop with students on ‘The Voice of Young People’. All creative associates were lucky enough to have the opportunity to undergo training in Hub na nÓg. This is a national centre of excellence which supports us to give children and young people a voice in decision making. I use the Lundy Model to ensure the voice of young people is a priority. This model indicates that young people should be provided with a safe space and appropriate information to enable them to express their views. It is also important to make sure that their views are communicated with someone with the responsibility to listen, taken seriously and acted on where appropriate.

Workshop:

Giving young people the opportunity to actively participate in a workshop is a great way to hear their views. Let me give you a brief insight into ‘The Voice of Young People’ workshop. I use two different methods in this workshop called: ‘Open Space Method’ and ‘World Café Method’. The‘Open Space Method’ involves me asking student three questions as follows: 1) What is creativity? 2) What kind of creative things do you currently do? 3) What kind of creative things would you like to do? Students write their answers on post-its and stick them on three different parts of the wall. Students then divide these answers into sections according to what kind of arts activity they are e.g. music, dance etc. This leads to a very effective visual portrayal of student’s artistic interests. We then move on to ‘World Café Method’. Students are provided with a poster on which they are asked a series of questions containing blanks: 1) What is …..? 2) What kind of …… activities have you done/do you do? 3) What kind of ….. activities would you like to do? The young people use the arts activities they came up with in the previous exercise to fill in the blanks in these questions. Students then design the poster using a series of words and illustrations in order to answer these questions. I like using these methods as students take ownership of the kinds of arts activities they would like to explore and they are decision makers from the offset. I also give students surveys which are specific to their age and ability which allow them to express their opinion on their experience of the arts. These are important to give me concrete data to work from. If you want to know what young people want the best thing is to ask them. This workshop enables me to do that.

Further action I have taken in my role as Creative Associate is to create links between the school and local arts opportunities. So far, I have met people such as the local arts officer, programme manager from arts centre etc. These links are important to make to ensure the sustainability of the Creative Schools Programme.

The next step for my work as Creative Associate is to develop a Creative Schools Plan schools. Finally, schools will celebrate their experience with the arts and creativity by sharing their experience as a school, community and beyond.

Onwards & Upwards:

I firmly believe that providing young people with improved, sustainable arts opportunities will benefit them now and into the future. I am delighted to be working as part of this exciting new programme which allows us to make a positive difference in the lives of young people through the arts & creativity.

 

!!!! Teachers Masterclass – Art + Mental Health at The Glucksman

The Glucksman 

Date: 12th January 2019, 10am – 1pm

Artists have long used visual methods of expression to consider and interrogate personal experiences and challenge mental health stigma.

Join curators and artists as we explore the new Glucksman digital toolkit for educators – Art and Mental Health. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively encounter, explore and understand our mental health using artworks from the University College Cork art collection.

The new toolkits are designed for educators from Primary to Third level and uses the artworks of The Project Twins to look at projects about art and mental health that can be re-imagined in the classroom.

The Art Teachers Masterclass is run as part of the First Fortnight 2019 programme. First Fortnight utilises arts and culture to challenge mental health stigma while supporting some of Ireland’s most vulnerable people through creative therapies.
Cost €25 – Booking required. For online booking go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-art-mental-health-tickets-52432269329

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers or www.firstfortnight.ie/

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

!!!! Guest Blogger: Róisin O’Donnell Young Playwrights’ Programme – Blog No. 4

Róisin O’Donnell is a 19 year old leaving cert survivor and writer. She was a participant in the first ever Young Playwrights’ Programme. Her play ‘Bernie’ premiered through the programme. She lives in Cork, where she spends her time writing fiction and plays, obsessing over books and her dog.

College has changed the way I write… – Blog 2

I write this blog like a stereotypical college student, with a deadline looming, on a tiny computer, in a big academic library. Eight months ago I was accepted into the Young Playwrights Programme and four months ago my first play took to life on the stage. Do I miss the programme? Short answer: Yeah.

In college, I am constantly reminded of the time I spent at Graffiti – not to jinx it. Just like then I am surrounded by people I like with my trusty keyboard only a stretch of my arm away.

A lot of things that I did not expect happened when I became a first-year student at UCC.

I can stare/glare/laugh at the ‘world’ now. And feel comfortable enough in it. John and Katie always encouraged us to say what we are- writers. An obvious title. But up until this new chapter of my life, I was waiting. Waiting for proof that I could post on Instagram and make everyone stop scrolling for a second and think- wow, Róisin… she’s not average… every negative thought gone…

I am not going to type bullshit if my time with the journalism society has taught me anything. The doors did not open present my ambitions to me.

My personal life turned into the Titanic on speed when the Leaving Cert came around. And the neat blue lines of the exam booklets had no sympathy marks to give. I didn’t get the results I wanted. The State Examinations Commission said you’re not good enough, the days, the months, the YEAR you spent was as worthless as the paper the results are printed on.

I got my dream course because I got lucky. Any other year… let’s not think of that.

My Leaving Cert is worthless now. Lecturers don’t mention it and us students squint and cringe about it, rarely.

I have learned to stop wishing and writing sloppy coming of age stories that made me sick with boredom. I write about my life now and the world around me. I send my drafts to the UCC Express or the Motley to connect with other students. So far I haven’t got a no, just edits. and ‘you can do it.’ And I am happy. The tiny achievements college has offered me have given me more than six years and two exams ever could.

!!!! Primary Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Saturday 20 October 2018, 10am – 1pm

Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Fiona Kelly for a masterclass that explores our new Digital Toolkit (www.glucksman.org/discover/digital/toolkits) for teachers. The session will focus on the environment and how online resources can enable creative activities for your classroom.

Cost €25. Booking required

For more information go to http://www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org to book a place.

Online Ticket Bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/primary-teachers-masterclass-tickets-48732211356

!!!! Art Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Dates: Saturday 13 October 2018, 10am -1pm

Join artist Clare McLaughlin for a non-visual exploration of art at The Glucksman, University College Cork. This masterclass for educators of all backgrounds will provide entry points to the understanding of artwork for students who are visually impaired or blind.

Cost €25. Booking required.

For further details go to www.glucksman.org/discover/education/teachers 

Or contact + 353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org.

Online ticket bookings at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-teachers-masterclass-tickets-49381187461

 

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Róisin O’Donnell Young Playwright Programme – Blog No. 2

Róisin O’Donnell is a 19 year old leaving cert survivor and writer. She was a participant in the first ever Young Playwrights Programme. Her play ‘Bernie’ premiered through the programme. She lives in Cork, where she spends her time writing fiction and plays, obsessing over books and her dog.

Youth, the Internet and Fiction – Blog 2

There are millions of stories on Fanfiction.net. 791K of those stories alone are listed under Harry Potter.

Meaning: Thousands of mostly young people around the world using their keyboards to enter the writing world. All because of words someone else has written.

I think that sounds amazing.

But attach the label ‘fanfiction’ and people start cringing.
Why?

Using the incorrect form of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ shouldn’t automatically make you a joke. Writing isn’t easy. And I can relate.

On my way to becoming a writer, I went through the terrible years of primary and early secondary school feeling average. I had nothing in front of me, so much energy and nowhere to put it.

According to school there are only three categories to slot into. Athletic, brainy or social butterfly and if you aren’t a superstar at one of those things – tough shit. To the end of the pecking order, please!

One day, out of boredom, I typed 500 words on my phone and called it a first (bad) chapter. I wanted nineteen years later to be more than a just happy ending at a train station. Those 500 words turned into 230,000 words and counting. And that, I can safely say, drew me to more books, made me see things from multiple perspectives and start to question things. English class didn’t improve my editing skills, get me into the Young Playwrights Programme or give me the opportunity to write this blog. Writing something I loved did.

Yes, there are the scandalous stories but isn’t there Mills and Boons lining the shelves of every library? You just need to know where to look. The most followed stories on the site are under the genre adventure and are longer than any of the books I have on my shelf.

The readers and writers work together. They learn to improve their writing technique by editing and even beta-ing. People constructively break down each other’s work and work together to build each other up. Even the reviews are kind and supportive for the most part.

You wouldn’t believe the number of teen writers testing the waters and spreading their wings. They are trying to teach themselves. They want guidance and acknowledgement.

If you type fanfiction into any search engine late-night talk show segments will show up trying to get a cheap laugh and articles trying to teach parents what it is like in the depths of the community will appear. No one on the sites cares. That’s the outside world. The writers and readers do what they do with confidence. Confidence that would be benefitable to schools and societies in this cynical world.

And I’ll end this first blog with the lessons online writing has taught me. Lessons I should’ve learned in school:

Ability, even a magical ability like creativity takes works.
And
The only way to really succeed is to push forwards through the shitty phase every writer goes through and post that next update.

!!!! Documentation Award Update – Playwright & Actor John McCarthy & The Young Playwrights Programme

The Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award recipient project, the Young Playwright’s Programme, culminated on Friday, June 22nd in a presentation of staged readings involving professional actors and directors at the Everyman as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and in association with Landmark Productions and The Everyman’s staging of Louise O’Neill’s award winning novel Asking For It.

Between January and June 2018, the nine young playwrights selected over a series of Saturday workshops, had the the opportunity to work with  professional playwright mentors John McCarthy and Katie Holly at Graffiti Theatre Company as part of Fighting Words Cork to help them create the short dramatic pieces that were staged last week.  In addition, the young playwrights were invited by The Everyman to attend selected performances throughout the programme, to inspire and inform their work.

Award-winning Cork author Louise O’Neill is a patron of Fighting Words Cork, and Asking For It has been described as “one of the most important books for young people ever written. Deeply moving, incredibly written.”

The Fighting Words programme was developed by Roddy Doyle and Séan Love in 2009 in Dublin to provide a space to support creative writing among children and young adults. In January 2017 the programme was launched at Graffiti Theatre Company.

!!!! Documentation Award Update – Young Playwrights’ Programme Showcase at the Cork Midsummer Festival

The Young Playwright’s Programme

Date: 2pm 22nd June, 2018

The Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award recipient project the Young Playwright’s Programme to showcase at The Everyman as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

The Young Playwrights’ Programme brought together nine aspiring young writers to develop and hone scriptwriting skills, supported by professional playwright mentors John McCarthy and Katie Holly at Graffiti Theatre Company as part of Fighting Words Cork.

The project culminates in a presentation of their work as staged readings at the Everyman for Cork Midsummer Festival. The process which these young people have engaged with was truly transformative, far more powerful than the simple assembly of words on pages. This enriching collaborative environment has acted as a catalyst for the unique voices of the Young Playwrights and led to the creation of these nine compelling pieces.

Graffiti/Fighting Words Cork are really proud to be working with these wonderful young people in collaboration with The Everyman, Landmark Productions and The Cork Midsummer Festival as part of a programme of events in connection with Asking For It funded through the Arts Councils Open Call Awards.

This event is free but ticketed.

To RSVP you can just call the Everyman box office at 021 450 1673 or emailing info@everymancork.com

!!!! Graffiti Theatre Company & The Cork Midsummer Festival Present Seoid: An Opera for Babies

Graffiti Theatre Company & The Cork Midsummer Festival

Dates: 15th-17th June & 22nd-24th June at 11am & 2pm

Seoid/Jewel will be Graffiti’s first Opera for Babies devised by the team who brought you Blátha Bána/ White Blossoms and Gile na Gealaí/ Melody of the Moon. Seoid promises a musical and visual treat for an important audience.

Seoid will have its world premiere at the Cork Midsummer Festival and will be the first baby opera commissioned and performed in the Republic of Ireland. Performed in Irish and English it is a treasure not to be missed.

Seoid is a gentle musical journey though the seasons and through love.

Seoidín is looking through a box of memories (her baby clothes, a much loved toy), when she comes across her own childhood drawing of her Mother and Father. Memories stir and she sings. As she sings, she recalls her parents’ voices. They join her on an adventure through the seasons as Seoidín searches for the bright jewels of memories.

Starring: Linda Kenny (Soprano), Chloe Kiely (Soprano), Damian Smith (Baritone) and Chris Schmidt Martin (Cellist)
Composer: Fiona Kelleher
Director: Emelie FitzGibbon

Assistant Director: Síle Ní Bhroin
Set Designer: Deirdre Dwyer
Lighting Designer: Aoife Cahill
Production Manager/Set Construction: Olan Wrynn

Venue: Graffiti Theatre, Blackpool, Cork
Tickets: €8 per baby/child/adult
From:15th-17th June and 22nd-24th June at 11am & 2pm

To book go to: www.corkmidsummerfestival.com

!!!! Invitation to teachers & practitioners to attend the Theatre Connects Symposium

University College Cork

Date: 25th May, 2018

Performative Pathways between Schools, Universities and the Wider Community

The invited speakers will offer their perspectives on why theatre should be introduced and established as a subject in primary and secondary schools, why universities should embrace performativity within and across academic disciplines, and why leading theatres should continue to embrace and increase their outreach activities and aspire to employ theatre education specialists. The symposium should be of special interest to those who aim to form stronger links between theatre and education, including teachers, lecturers, theatre students, directors of theatres and theatre companies, applied theatre practitioners and policy makers.

Symposium organisation: Manfred Schewe and Fionn Woodhouse, Department of Theatre, School of Music & Theatre, UCC

Venue: Creative Zone, Boole Library, Main Campus, University College Cork

Date & Time: 25th May 2018 (12 a.m. to 4.30 pm.) – attendance free of charge, please confirm by May 24th

For more information go to www.ucc.ie/en/music-theatre/drama/news/theatre-connects-symposium.html

 

!!!! Learning through Creativity – Summer Course for Primary Teachers at The Glucksman

The Glucksman, University College Cork

Date: 10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. The course offers a blend of art appreciation, art interaction and art making exercises and participants will have the opportunity to work with professional artists and curators throughout the week.

10am – 2:30pm, Monday 2 – Friday 6 July 2018

€75. Booking essential. To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/learning-through-creativity-summer-course-for-primary-teachers-tickets

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

 

!!!! Art Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

The Glucksman

Date: 10am – 1pm, Saturday 12th May 2018

Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Inma Pavon to look at projects that can be re-imagined in your classroom. This season’s masterclass will look at learning beyond the classroom and how educators can capitalize on this when designing their own lesson plans. Inma Pavon will introduce participants to movement, dance and performance exercises that can be developed for students of all ages and abilities.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance from the Centre of Continued Professional Development at University College Cork.

10am – 1pm, Saturday 12th May 2018

€25. Booking required. To book go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/art-teachers-masterclass-tickets

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

!!!! The Arts in Education Portal is touring to Cork!

Arts in Education Portal

Date: 10th March 2018

The Arts in Education Portal is going on tour!

In 2018, we invite regional audiences to connect with us during a series of regional events, where practitioners can learn more about the Portal and what it offers, tell us about their work, connect with the community at regional level, share practice and find out what opportunities or events are available in their local area.

The first of these distinct events will be held in The Glucksman, Cork on Saturday 10th March, 2018. We welcome teachers, artists, arts managers and anyone with an interest in arts in education to join us for this free event.

Places are limited – booking is essential 

Schedule

 

To book your tickets for the Cork event go to
artsineducationportal-regional-day-cork.eventbrite.ie

The second regional event will take place at The Garage Theatre, Monaghan on Saturday 24th March, 2018.

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Julie Forrester, Artist Blog 4

blue_mug2016Julie Forrester is a visual artist based in Cork City. She has been working with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings since her return to Ireland in the 1990s. Her work celebrates process and open ended enquiry into materials and context. Julie Forrester is currently in residence with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership at Killard School, Co Down.

Blog 4

In my final blog I would like to describe my response to an invitation to lead a workshop.

I have been asked to focus on the interaction between the identities of maker and educator…

exciting!

and to begin by submitting a 50 word blurb for the workshop

– challenging! 

Settling in to task I find that I am a little ill at ease with the label, educator. Learning in arts practice comes about from the creative encounter, and the excitement of discovery, we all know that even when a ‘discovery’ has been made a thousand times before by others our own personal experience is the vital thing. So, by setting a path and then looking for traces, following these and generating some excitement about where they might lead, I feel more like a Companion tracker than ‘educator’: we find our own routes of discovery in the world about us.

The richness of arts practice means that discoveries may be found in just about anything: the way a particular material behaves, or by becoming aware of a new sensitivity to sound or colour, or in the places a mind might wander while creating a rhythm with a lump of charcoal. And in the education setting, where there is a wealth and breadth of experience, sharing these discoveries with others is a particular pleasure which doesn’t happen in the studio.

Often in the education setting a theme is superimposed onto the art process, this theme might be drawn from with the school curriculum. So for example one might begin with a broad parameter called “Ecology.” We look for a jumping off point and so we may begin by a brainstorming activity – perhaps the naming of all of the plants we know, then perhaps by making a collection of indigenous species of plants – the way one might approach the creation of this collection is diverse and this approach will often set the methodology for the project.

MAKER

When I am alone, in studio I have my radio tuned, usually to Lyric FM, it may be day or night, music and light discretely setting mood and contributing to context. The starting point for work is incidental to me, and the farther it is from any kind of reasoning, or logic, the better. The first mark in the void, needs to be unattached, innocent. Throw up a coin and watch it land. After that there is something to respond to. This initial mark is like a lodestone attracting whatever is buzzing in the air, it expands the possibilities of the moment.

Work becomes a series of acts, of making and responding of adjusting and reinterpreting, slipped in with memory and carried out with a heightened sensitivity to coincidence and connection. The work evolves, parts are discarded, parts are advanced, the whole becoming gradually orchestrated into some edited, arrived at, Thing/Series of Things. If this all sounds rather vague perhaps it is in this part, a conjuring; a cloud of energy seeking form. A theme will arise midway through a project, the beginnings are tentative, arbitrary and blind. The way is felt.

(EDUCATOR)//TRACKER

One of the  privileges of working in education settings is to be working with the curiosity of young collaborators. Collaborators, in addition to being creators in their own right, contribute much to my practice, becoming part mirror, part joker and part external eye on process. It is this working in tandem that allows flow and mutual enrichment between my practice and the project’s unfolding. Feeling my own way in the dark I am able to see more clearly what others do with the same criteria, what gets thrown up: Whatever the seekers find, and how they communicate their findings will lead us deeper into the project, and into the next phase. It is in the observation of this process that reflection becomes a driving force.

I try to encourage a commentary from participants. The voicing of observations aired during the making process are witness to a wider sensibility. When a maker becomes commentator on the work both commentator and audience are led into an observational position that opens up a reflective dimension. Process becomes foregrounded, motivations become more clear, particular sensitivities and attractions are voiced and often more subtle and unusual connections are made between image, outcome and intention.

A drawing of a dandelion might lead to a conversation about yellow, or sunshine, first experiences of the bitter sap staining hands, folkloric warnings about bed wetting or other knowledge latent within the imaginations of a group of participants. A conversation about a dandelion may begin with its name – what a strange name this flower has! We might research and find that the name is middle English and comes from French dent-de-lion, meaning ‘lion’s tooth’ that’s another image straight away. Discussions might find other routes, the gardener’s phrase that “a weed is a plant out of place” may throw up extended conversations about migration and belonging. We could think of dandelion seasons, perhaps about how a dandelion might support an ecology.  An observational drawing of a dandelion before such a discursive process will be very different from a drawing from the imagination, made after these wanderings (and this is just me thinking aloud).

By recording this commentary we deepen and extend the reflective process. The recording of those observations involves an echoing and a a translation, from an initial drawing, to spoken word to written report, photograph or other kind of document. The choice of media for documentation influences this enquiry. It’s fun to play with different recording methods. …the pressing of the flower, the crushing and collection of sap, the particular material properties and behaviours of dandelion seed heads, stories about dandelion experiences, the folklore of a dandelion, actions with a dandelion.

Translation from one media to another will involve further images, references, words, actions or sounds, and will also throw up different kinds of problems, seeking creative solutions, all of which will augment and colour the work leading it on to new places. Curiosity will drive this process along. I try to remember the voice, I scribble things down on scraps of paper, transferring them later to a notebook. I find that multiple translations help my process, a hasty scribble is wildly different from a concentrated drawing out of an idea, but each has their own qualities.  I use notebooks for ideas that I might try out in studio and I use blogging as a kind of scrapbook for documentation and references to other realms, a blog post might include a bit of research arising from the work in progress, it may be a fragment of video, a link to another artist’s work, something I am reading about, a piece of music, or a random image or connection found online.

Blogging is a perfect space for holding these observations and documenting the process. It is a shared space. Maker, student and teacher can refer to the observations held in the blog, an audio visual record of the territory, a map.

I arrive at my wording for the blurb:

WORKSHOP

The idea is a spark – the spark can be as volatile or as contained as you decide. There will be some parameters which will guide the explorations. Shared knowledge is rich, we will tap into this. The imagination is wild and we will allow this to roam. Other peoples’ ideas are always interesting. Roaming between our own perception, responses to peer work and free expression we will explore the territory together. (71 words)

!!!! ‘Monsters in the Museum’ at The Glucksman

The Glucksman, UCC

Date: January to March 2018

From Frankenstein to the Hulk, Shrek to Beauty and the Beast, monsters who seem to be really frightening often turn out to be misunderstood. This Spring, the Glucksman presents a monster project that invites schools, community groups and children living in Direct Provision to take over the museum with fabulous creatures of their own making. In Monsters in the Museum workshops, participating children will explore ideas of difference and respect, working collaboratively to create artworks for an exhibition that will take over all of Gallery 1. The renowned illustrator Chris Judge will visit the Glucksman to see all the monster artworks on display and to launch the exhibition with a special event for participating children.

If your school or community group would like to get involved in Monsters in the Museum, please email education@glucksman.org.

For more information go to www.glucksman.org

!!!! Art Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman, UCC

The Glucksman, UCC

Date: 10am -1pm, Saturday 24th February, 2018

Art can help us understand and address difficult issues. Artists have long used visual methods of expression to consider and interrogate societal problems such as homelessness and discrimination. In this masterclass, teachers will investigate ways to engage their students in artistic processes that creatively explore global and local challenges. Join curator Tadhg Crowley and artist Cassandra Eustace to look at projects about art and social change that can be re-imagined in your classroom.

€25. Booking required.

For more information go to www.glucksman.org.

To book go to Eventbrite

!!!! Creativity & Change Masterclasses for educators & artists

Creativity and Change programme

2018

For 2018 the Creativity & Change programme have an exciting line up of masterclasses for educators and artists including:

Street Art – March 24th -25th

Street Art-Using creative expression in the street to communicate justice messages and to practice active citizenship with artists Claire Coughlan and Helen O’Keeffere from ‘Splattervan’.

Theatre  – April 21st and 22nd

Theatre workshop, from the Personal to the Public: using theatre to explore understand issues of power from the micro to the macro, local to global with Peter Hussey, Artistic Director of Crooked House and Kildare Youth theatre.

The Creatively & Change training opportunities bring creative methodologies and energy to Global Citizenship/ Development Education. The programme is based in CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, in the Department of Arts in Health and Community Practices and is supported by Irish Aid.

For the full programme, profiles of the facilitators and registration links go to www.creativityandchange.ie/masterclass-programme-2018/

!!!! ‘Mind the Gap’ Project opportunity for schools in Cork

Mind the Gap

Workshops to take place between January – March 2018

Mind the Gap‘ is a development education arts project based in Cork offering fully funded arts based workshops for post-primary schools and Youthreach programmes exploring global justice issues such as Human Rights, refugees, interdependence and Intercultural understanding. Offering performances, workshops and residencies in schools.

‘Mind the Gap’ is funded by Worldwise Global Schools, a sector of Irish Aid and is managed by ‘Head, heart & hands Ltd’.

Interested teachers please email us at gapmindthe@gmail.com.

 

!!!! Graffiti Theatre present ‘Walking Man’ by Jody O’Neill

Graffiti Theatre Company

Touring: November – December 2017

‘The world may be in miniature but the story is universal …’

Walking Man tells the tale of a man who has spent his whole life in pursuit of success.  He has always rushed headlong through life, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps to the best job on the top floor of the tallest building in the whole city. And when he has done all that, with Walking Woman and little Walking Baby at his side, something doesn’t feel quite right …

So, Walking Man must go on an entirely new journey, which takes him far from home.

Walking Man is a charming allegory, which will captivate its audience. With the help of an original live music score, the actor brings us into the miniature world of the Walking Man, a tiny wooden figure.

Walking Man is designed for 1st, 2nd & 3rd classes and performs to one class at a time (up to a maximum of 35 students). The accompanying Teacher Resource Book (available online) links carefully with the curriculum across a range of subject areas.

Please note: Graffiti Theatre can give your school the exciting opportunity to attend a performance in their fully equipped Theatre on Assumption Road. If the performance is booked to take place in your school please contact Graffiti for space requirements.

Cost: Thanks to their funders, Graffiti Theatre Company can offer this production for just €150 per performance (and €100 for a second performance on the same day).

For more information & booking: tel. 021 4397111,  email:bookings@graffiti.ie

www.graffiti.ie

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tom Dalton, Artist & Arts Worker – Blog 3

Tom Dalton headshotTom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities.

A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country.

Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture.

Collaborative Mural Project at Terrence McSwiney Community School, Cork

The Kabin Studio at Knocknaheeny is a much loved and utilized building. Tucked inside the grounds of Terrence McSwiney Community School, this little hut is home to GMC Beats, the creative initiative of Garry McCarthy. GMC Beats deliver workshops in creative songwriting, rapping, singing and music production. Working mostly with schools and youth groups, these workshops give people the confidence and skills in putting their own thoughts, words and voices into action through performing and recording their own songs. Over 600 tracks produced by various community groups have come out of this space over the last 5 years, often garnering local and national radio and media attention.

Although a hive of activity on the inside, the exterior of the building had begun to look a bit tired and was in dire need of some sprucing up. Norrie Louise Ross, Art Teacher at Terrence McSwiney Community School Art got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts Centre with the idea of working with her students to breathe new life into the building. The school was looking for a mural, created by the students and staff, that would reflect the energy and output coming from this small cabin.

Walking through the hallways of Terrence McSwiney Community School, its clear that staff and management there understand the value an engagement with art has on the life and learning of their students. Perched on an elevated site overlooking the city, light fills the building, illuminating walls filled with student work. A spirit of collaboration and partnership between the school community and various local artists and groups has produced much of these works.

The school was approaching the end of the academic year and Ms Ross was keen to introduce an element of teamwork and fun into the school’s activity in order to maintain student engagement at a time when attendance can wain. A group of seventeen 2nd year students were selected to be part of the project, many of whom Mayfield Arts Centre had gotten to know over the years through other projects. Mayfield Arts staff Wayne Ford and I were joined by Ms Ross, JCSP Librarian Anne Masterson, Garry McCarthy and SNA staff in carrying out the mural alongside the students.

Every Wednesday for three weeks our team of staff and students gathered at the cabin, donned our white painting jumpsuits and got to work. Given the short time frame for the project we devised a framework whereby the mural would be designed ‘on the go’ and carried out by our team from the moment we stepped onsite.

The first part of this plan involved geometric ‘drawing’ on the wall surfaces using masking tape. Each team member was handed a roll of masking tape and a single line of tape was ran diagonally across the cabin wall. From here the group used their rolls of tape to divide up the space into intersecting shapes of triangles, lozenges, diamonds and rectangles. Members spread out over three of the sides of the building, their design growing and changing as more tape was added.

Now and again we would all stand back and as a group, discuss how things were going; how was our design looking? Did it have balance? Did we need to add more lines? Or take some away?

Once a consensus was reached each person was handed gloves, a small tub of paint and a brush. We selected chalky greys, dusty whites and charcoal blacks to give it a graphic aesthetic, but this palette also acted as a neutral ground for other graffiti works to join the wall into the future.

The group moved around the building painting in the shapes made by the tape, swapping colours between themselves. Once all the spaces were filled and the paint had time to dry the tape was peeled back revealing the patterned surface. Over the course of the few days this processes was repeated, adding shapes over shapes, and carving the space up in different ways.

G-MC Mural 0517 (16)_edit

It was wonderful to see both students and staff at the school working shoulder to shoulder. Kitted out in our painting jumpsuits we were all equal members of the same team. The Kabin now stands out in all the right ways, and there is a renewed sense of ownership of the space among the students at the school.

To find out more about the work that goes on at The Kabin visit gmcbeats.com

Mayfield Arts Centre would like to thank Norrie Louise Ross, Anne Masterson, Principal Phil O’Flynn, Gary McCarthy and all the students for their support and commitment to the project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie

 

 

!!!! Teachers Preview Evening at The Glucksman, University College Cork

We welcome educators from all backgrounds to join us for a curatorial tour of our exhibitions Now Wakes the Sea and Deep Maps. The evening will include light refreshments and an opportunity to discuss upcoming Glucksman projects and events.

Wednesday 11th October 2017, 4pm

Free. Booking required.

Please contact education@glucksman.org to register.

!!!! Art Teachers Masterclass at The Glucksman

Join Curator of Education Tadhg Crowley and artist Carol-Anne Connolly for a morning masterclass that looks at art projects ready to be re-imagined in your classroom. This season the masterclass will look at techniques and approaches to helping students develop personal projects and establish individual ideas through sketchbooks and drawing exercises.

10am – 1pm, Saturday 21 October 2017 – €25.

Booking required.

Please contact education@glucksman.org for booking or for further information

!!!! Guest Blogger: Julie Forrester, Artist Blog 3

blue_mug2016 Julie Forrester is a visual artist based in Cork City. She has been working with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings since her return to Ireland in the 1990s. Her work celebrates process and open ended enquiry into materials and context. Julie Forrester is currently in residence with Kidsown Publishing Partnership at Killard School, Co Down.

Blog 3 –

As the new year unfolds into Autumn I would like to reflect on that heady time, a few short months ago, when the holidays stretched ahead and routine was being dissolved into the long days of summer.

My summer usually begins with a week of creative activity with teachers, as part of their Continuing Professional Development. This CDP Programme run by CRAFTed and the West Cork Education Centre takes place in different host primary school each year and the number of participants is 25. So teachers find themselves in a familiar setting where their roles are reversed, the tables are turned, teacher becomes pupil, and, I have found, they make this switch naturally and with gusto!

Teachers are on a giddy high at this busy time, there is a sense of release as they wind down into the summer and also sense of self evaluation and reflection as they are packing up after a year in the classroom. The CPD programme must address this ‘end of year’ dynamic and the structure and content of the programme allows for this valuable teacher time together, peer to peer, sharing ideas, catching up, meeting new friends and enjoying each other’s company. After a year of routine and responsibility, it is time to be on ‘the other side’ and a chance to allow for loosening up, and a complete freedom to adopt a “what happens?” approach. Our CPD programme allows plenty of time for interactive play while opening up opportunities for sharing, testing and evaluating individual classroom procedures and preferences. It is a place where a process of ‘discovery towards’ something is the modus operandi for all activities, where there is no such thing as a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ format to fall back on/aspire to/comply with/copy. For many teachers, who have a profound sense of responsibility, and who are expected to be in control at all times, and must who achieve measurable results across a classroom of pupils, this artist’s approach can present a daunting task and a leap into the unknown. The discovery approach involves great faith in process and requires some practice, it can meet with both enthusiasm and resistance in a classroom full of disparate personalities and performance pressures. The reward for this open ended practice is a confidence in the ability of the child to meet the challenge of the task at her own level.

So in the spirit of a new term I would like to share here one of my favourite loosening up activities for drawing. This activity comes from copying, or, more grandly put, from observation, and celebrates the capacity for invention. It is a drawing game in the spirit of an old party favourite, Chinese Whispers. In my example the source material came in the form of photographs I had collected of extinct and endangered Irish wild flowers (but the source could easily be from any other kind of ‘category’  and is ideal for focussing closely on any area of research). Each individual is invited to fold their A2 sheet into 8 sections and numbered 1 to 8 (in a room of lively teacher/pupils it quickly became evident that this was a task in itself!)

In the first section, numbered “1” they must make a drawing from their photograph. I set a time limit of 5 minutes for each drawing. Each artist then passes the sheet to the person on their right who must copy their predecessors drawing in the next section. Participants may only look at the previous drawing and must work from the information contained in that section. The drawing goes around the table and comes back to the original draughts-person.

Results are always interesting, we can see the corruption from one drawing to the next we can note changes, omissions and exaggerations and we can think about evolution, design, glitches, copying, originality, perception, imagination, preference and progression that affirm each artist’s hand in the final work. It can be the beginning for al kinds of enquiry and further artwork. This activity touches on the relationship between perfection and invention, itself a profound enquiry. There is no right or wrong and its impossible to dictate a ‘correct’ outcome. Many rules are broken. I love this activity especially because it celebrates copying – one of the cardinal sins of the child’s universe and often the bane of the teacher’s classroom! What’s more, it celebrates copying badly, turning a vice into a virtue. It celebrates collaboration and corruption and all that deviates from the original. It celebrates the original.

After this exercise drawing becomes a whole lot easier for everyone.

!!!! Guest Blogger, Leanne Troy, Primary School Teacher

Leanne Troy is a primary school teacher based in the Midlands. She told us that she has a great passion for art both inside and outside the classroom. ShLeanne Headshote attended Learning through Creativity educational course at the Glucksman Art Gallery this summer

I am very enthusiastic about visual art and its impact on education. I challenge myself to try and be as creative as possible in all my approaches to teaching each subject area. Thematic teaching allows me to integrate subjects more freely and use more hands on visual methods. An example of this is the Craft Ed project I recently undertook through my local education centre (a fantastic scheme that unfortunately very few teachers know about). For this project I was paired with a local artist who came to my school to complete a six week project. The wood carving artist and I team taught my class in 2 hour blocks. The children from my 1st class were delighted to be handed chisels and pieces of wood! We based the project on a trip to Lough Boora Sculpture park in Co.Offaly, where the children learned all about the local wildlife and the history of the bog . Each child chose an animal to write a report on and also drew an accompanying image. This image was then transferred onto the wood and carved out. The results were amazing. We created our very own ‘Sky Train’ which is proudly on show at the front of our school.

My experiences with Craft Ed have even further heightened my interest in art education and so I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas and ways to upskill and develop my artistic abilities. I try to attend as many local art workshops as I can in areas such as ceramics, mosaics as well as art education classes in the Glucksman Art Gallery in University College Cork. A particularly strong influence is the art classes I attend with Hazel Greene in Shinrone Co.Offaly, where we paint mostly landscapes using acrylics. We also complete silk paintings and palate knife paintings. I also gain a lot of experience and inspiration from the childrens’ summer camp I run each year.  I am the co-founder of an art and alternative sports camp, named Da Vinci’s Frisbees, with my partner Liam. Our camp is in its fourth successful summer and it is based in Offaly and Cork. The art activities focus on the process of art making and creativity.

So this week I was delighted to get the opportunity to attend my own summer camp, in the form of the Learning through Creativity educational course run by Tadhg Crowley at the Glucksman Art Gallery. The bright, airy spacious gallery is the perfect space to facilitate our week long voyage of discovery.  Even with the end of the summer holidays looming, I was very excited. Throughout the week we have looked at art and the possibilities for integration with other subject areas on the primary curriculum.  We have explored various examples of artists that could be used to facilitate the creative combination of Art with Maths, English, History, Science and SPHE. Each afternoon we were also lucky enough to work with different artists to put into practice the theory from the morning session.

Initially we started off our discussion on the impact of art on education. Just like when you read a good book, art education allows you to develop empathy, different points of view and it awakens your senses.  Tadhg introduced the concept of creativity to us as an essential part to education and a unique human factor which allows us to show case our individuality. Everybody is creative in some shape or form whether it’s through your sense of fashion or how you hang the clothes on the washing line! Creativity is even fast becoming one of the most desired characteristics for employers who are seeking to employ innovative problem solving employees. Children are the future so let us prepare them as best we can!

I particularly enjoyed the caricature depicted by Ann Bamford, the art educator, which really highlighted the importance of teachers developing creative teaching methodologies in order to differentiate for the children in their class. There is a line of zoo animals in front of a tree.  Maybe there was an elephant, a lion, a monkey, a seal and a zebra. The teacher tells the class, ‘Now climb the tree’.  We discussed how as educators, we sometimes ask all of our class to do the same thing, using the same method, when there are many different capabilities and skills present in every classroom. By making the effort to offer a variety of imaginative approaches we will have a much more beneficial impact on the education of our students. We were also told about the impressive project in Harvard Medical school, ‘Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis’. In this project a group of doctors were split into two groups. Group A received an art education course and group B didn’t.  Both groups were observed during their medical careers and it was found that group A had a much higher diagnosis rate with their patients. We discussed how art education can make you become more aware of your surroundings and awaken your senses and this was clearly evident for the doctors in group A who were demonstrating these skills.

I also thoroughly enjoyed working with Cork based artist, Cassandra Eustace, who outlined numerous invaluable creative activities linking art and language. These simple tasks included drawing simple still life objects using a blinder on the pencil. This took all of the stress out of drawing and some of the control. It really made you focus your attention and become aware of the lines and what you were looking at.  We also used a view finder and an acetate sheet to draw our hands. Both of these tasks took a lot of concentration but they were fun and you did not have to be ‘good’ at drawing. Everyone can find their artist!  Following this we then had to pick an object in the room and write a description about it without giving the name of the object away. For example, I chose a fire extinguisher and described it as a hard, cold, bright metal object with a beak that made me feel safe. These descriptions were then swapped with a partner. Based on the descriptive piece of writing that you received, you then had to create a collage of words and images, which made for some very interesting results! Another appealing activity was highlighting the use of drawing as a way of communicating and expressing ourselves. Using simple notebooks we had to respond to words that Cassandra said, firstly through non representative lines and then using symbols or images.  A series of words were used like, bored, angry, peaceful etc. All of the activities used very little materials and took very little organisation or tidying up, which will make them attractive to a lot of teachers. But also they provided a chance for children to express themselves in very creative ways.

Artists such as, Josef Albers, Sol Lewitt and Bridget Riley provided inspiration for our maths based art activities with artist, Dominic Fee. Dominic has an excellent website which links numerous artists to the world of maths and he outlined links to various strands in the curriculum, especially around the area of shapes, spatial awareness and tessellations. I enjoyed layering 2d shapes using textured wallpaper and ink. This was then passed through a printing press. For most schools, there is not the luxury of a printing press, so Dominic showed us how the taped down acetate sheet and paper can be covered in paper and a poly pocket and then a wooden/metal spoon can be rubbed vigorously on top to create the print.

We then examined the links between art and history. Tadhg outlined how art works can tell us about the clothes, politics, social situations and living conditions at different periods of time. As a cross curricular activity we had to arrange a number of paintings into a time line (which I found very challenging!)  Tadhg went on to highlight William Kentridge, Rita Duffy and Kerry James Marshall as artists who could be used to discuss themes such as conflict and human rights. This approach would be an imaginative visual way of tackling history in a classroom.

Later in the week with the guidance of artist Kevin Mooney, we studied some pictures of ancient artefacts and responded to the various images through painting. It was interesting to mix the various patterns seen in the images and collaborate African statues, the Book of Kells and New Grange into the one piece. One of my favourite activities that Kevin outlined was painting in response to a text. This simple idea could be used with any age group. We underlined the adjectives in a descriptive section about Cuchulainn and then depicted the words through painting and mark making.

As we were in the renowned architecturally designed gallery, it was only fitting that we also had a tour of the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea. I really feel that the pieces of art would mean little to me if I did not get the history and background of them and begin to fully appreciate the process that went in to making the piece of art. I was very impressed by the stories that went with each piece. This led to some interesting discussions for the group, for example, we discussed who decides what art is worthy of hanging in a gallery. I think that an established artist can justify his/her pieces through outlining the process of the production and the idea behind it’s creation which in most cases turns out to be fascinating, even if the end piece sometimes does not seem impressive. Without the tour and information I feel that I could have been staring mindlessly at the art wondering what I was supposed to be looking at! This experience made me become more aware of my surroundings, engaging all of my senses in the process of looking at the art. Perhaps most importantly as a teacher it further developed my sense of empathy for the art making process, as opposed to just the final piece of art. This outlook allows me to appreciate art, (and life more generally) from different viewpoints and perspectives, a skill which I feel would be hugely beneficial for the children in my classroom.

The gallery tour also made me question what is it that can be described as art, the possibilities are endless. I am starting to develop a broader concept of more non-traditional examples of art work. As a very interesting activity we had to choose a piece of art from the current exhibition, Now Wakes the Sea, and develop a set of questions that could be used with children. This process of really looking at the art, identifying how it was made, the materials used, the colours, shapes and lines present in the piece as well as the whole thought process behind the piece, made me become much more aware of what I was looking at. My list of questions for my class became longer as I thought about what the children might see and how I could broaden their perspectives when studying a piece of art. For example, what is your first impression when you look at this art, how does it make you feel, what is the mood/tone, does it remind you of anything, what is the focal point, what title would you give this piece etc.

Tadhg went on to discuss the benefits of using a 3d object like a sculpture or an artefact to initiate a lesson. An object would make for an interesting starting point for engaging the children in a lesson. A visual stimulus like this could be multi-sensory and accommodate various learning needs in the class. It would also help to develop visual literacy in children as well as their capacity for careful critical observation of their world. I think that I would have to practice this approach myself to build up my confidence before introducing it to my classroom. However, I can see how it would create a buzz of excitement in the classroom to place some strange sculpture on the table and start the journey of exploration through the senses.

A highlight of the course was working with Killian, when we were integrating Art with Science. We developed photograms! In the dark room, I arranged my jewellery on a special sheet of light treated paper and placed a lamp directly above it for about five seconds. The piece of paper was then put in a tray of water with the chemical developer until the image appeared. The paper was then lifted into the water mixed with the chemical fixer for thirty seconds, before being rinsed off. I was both shocked and amazed at how simple the process was to create such a cool piece of art. I was so delighted to realise how cheap and easy it would be to set up a dark room in a school store room.  My third class are in for a treat this year! Bring on September, I can’t wait to try out some of my new ideas!

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tom Dalton, Artist & Arts Worker – Blog 2

Tom Dalton is an artist and former arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participTom Dalton headshotants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities. A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre was to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country. Tom was also involved in coordinating and facilitating outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city. Tom is currently retraining in furniture design and manufacture

‘Parting Memories’: St. Patrick’s Girls National School Mural

Making the move from Primary to Secondary School can be a big deal. In 6th class you’re the big fish in the pond – you know the school like the back of your hand, younger kids look up to you and you have mastery of your environment.  When I meet the 6th Class year group of at St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiners Hill, the countdown to the end of the school year is underway. There is a buzz in the air – mostly of excitement, but with a little trepidation stirred in also. As eager the girls are to be approaching summer holidays there is an understanding that this is the last few weeks of their time within the walls of the school. The girls will surely miss this place – the colourful hallways, the sounds of the playground, the generosity of their teachers, the friendships they’ve formed. While many of the girls will continue on with their education just a short hop across the yard at St Patrick’s College, others are enrolled in other schools across the city – It’s the last few weeks they will all be together as a group.

Principal of St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Mrs Eileen Kelly, got in touch with us at Mayfield Arts to help devise an art project that would engage the 6th class girls creatively in this time of transition in their lives. There is a strong ethos of the holistic development of all children in St. Patrick’s Girls National School; ‘Our school is a happy, active, safe environment where we include, encourage and respect each other.’

Mrs Kelly wished to involve her students in something that would pay tribute to those ‘pupils and staff who have passed through our school, each making a difference.’ Mrs Kelly led me to a light filled corridor in the school and proposed it as the site of our project.

‘Parting Memories’ is a three dimensional wall mural composed of hundreds of origami butterflies individually created by the girls. A key motivation in designing the project was to provide an opportunity for reflection on time spent in the school; to recall, recount and visualize shared memories. It was hoped that this process of shared reflection on time spent together could make this time of change smoother for the girls; the process of remembering acting like a talisman for the crossing into the next phase of their lives.

Arts workers Wayne Ford and I, with support from Cuig artists Ailbhe Barrett and Bríd Heffernan made four trips to the school over the month of May, conducting workshops with Ms Dunne and Ms Conran’s classes of twenty five students.  Each student was asked to design and make two little paper butterflies. Each butterfly contains a memory between its folds – this could be a story, a memory or a wish for the future.

Origami can take a bit of time to get the hang of. Some of the girls mastered the butterfly shapes quickly, while others took more time. Once one or two had gotten the hang of things it was lovely to see the girls offer help to others in the group. The learning of this new skill spread and soon the tables and floor were scattered with little paper butterflies.

Once the technique was learned, each person was handed two squares of thick paper – one lined in either blue or red, reminiscent of copy book paper, the other blank. Instructions were simple; on the lined paper the girls were asked to recount a story or memory from school. Students were encouraged to ‘write outside the lines’, incorporating the lines of the page into their designs. Some stories spiralled through the lines, others fanned out in multiple directions. Once folded into shape the lines of the paper form geometric patterns, with the stories and memories tucked up inside.

On the second sheet the girls had free reign in visualising a memory from the past six years. Some of the work represented their involvement in school activities such as sport, drama and science, others depicted the forming of friendships, the natural surrounding the school or patterned abstraction. Once completed each butterfly was coated in a hardening medium and affixed to the wall. The installation resembles butterflies taking flight, symbolising the girl’s departure from the school – flocking together, yet moving on their own path through life.

The mural was kindly opened by Micheál Martin TD during a visit to the school in June. He told the girls that the mural reminded him that art is for everybody and is a reminder that it is the individuality of each of the girls that makes the school so special.

The real magic in this project for me is in witnessing what emerges when people are provided with time and space for reflection and exploration. There was a hum of conversation throughout the workshops as the girls drew out stories from one another. The success of the mural lies in the collective; the coming together of individual parts to make a whole. Mrs Kelly tells me that ‘every time I look at the mural a new butterfly stands out’. I think that’s lovely.

This project was generously funded by St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Gardiner’s Hill.

Mayfield Arts would like to thank principal Mrs Kelly, and teachers Ms Conran and Ms Dunne for their support during this project.

For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie or stpatricksgirls.net

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tom Dalton, Artist & Arts Worker – Blog 1

Tom Dalton

Tom Dalton is an artist and arts worker at Mayfield Arts Centre, Cork. The arts centre is a unique, dedicated arts space based in the heart of Mayfield in Cork city, at Newbury House Family Centre. Mayfield Arts provides opportunities for participants to connect, learn, reflect and act through creative processes. It is an example of best practice in the fields of community arts, social inclusion, non-formal and community education. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes, training and education in consultation with the local community and provides access to art activities and processes that facilitate personal and community development to people of all abilities.  A graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Tom’s role in the arts centre is to support the artistic and creative development of the Cúig studio artists through individual and group mentoring. Cúig artists are five artists in supported studios in Mayfield Arts Centre. The Cúig project, supported by POBAL, has been running at Mayfield Arts Centre since 2008, and is the only supported studio of its kind in the country. Tom also coordinates and facilitates outreach projects to school and community groups throughout the city.

“What I Do When I Feel Blue”

The teenage years and early adulthood can be particularly tricky times to navigate in life. According to the ‘My World’ National Survey of Youth Mental Health one in three young people have experienced mental health difficulties at some point (Headstrong and UCD School of Psychology, 2012).

Developing coping strategies and building self-esteem can offer a strong protection as young people move into adulthood. A secondary school setting offers an opportunity to reach young people in their formative years and provide tools for mental and emotional resilience, equipping them with skills to cope with the bumps in the road into adulthood and beyond. Funded through Creative Engagement (NAPD) and St. Patrick’s College, “What I Do When I Feel Blue” is a collaborative animation project between Mayfield Arts Centre and St. Patrick’s College in Cork.

June McCarthy, Transition Year coordinator, identified a desire on behalf of the school to engage students in areas of mental health, wellbeing, peer support, community and belonging. St. Patrick’s College has a strong history with Mayfield Arts, having engaged in many Creative Engagement Projects over the years. An introductory meeting with June allowed us to get a sense of the student group as a whole, learn about their previous experiences with art and to get an idea of what they and the school hoped to achieve through this project. Film was something previously unexplored in St. Patrick’s College and seemed particularly appropriate for a project of this kind. Video and stop-motion are communicative, accessible and fun mediums to work within. The potential to share their film through social media and Youtube also gives potency to the work of the students.

Every Friday for six weeks, a group of twelve transition year girls made the short journey up the road to Mayfield Arts. For most of the girls it was their first time inside the building. On day one students were introduced to basic principles of filming and stop-motion using slideshows, demonstrations, examples and warm-up exercises. Once the group was familiar with the process, we all sat together, drank tea and chatted about their ideas for the project. Students were invited to name and respond to important issues that impact their lives and that of their peers. I was taken by the openness of the girls in sharing their stories. Through facilitated discussions, it became clear that the group wanted to create something positive that could help their friends and others experiencing difficulties.

We went about compiling a list of things they do when they are feeling down; things that can help lift them out of difficult times. We quickly filled an entire blackboard with suggested actions; ‘go outside!’, ‘eat chocolate!’, ‘Ring your friends!‘ Through a voting system the group arrived on the six top things they do to make themselves feel better when feeling down. We then brainstormed how we might illustrate these suggestions through animation. Roles within the group formed naturally; some were eager to be in front of the camera, while others prefered ‘out of frame’ activities like setting up cameras, framing shots, controlling light and directing actors. The girls worked great as a team, generating ideas, sharing equipment, helping each other and discussing their outcomes. Footage was collected and reviewed in groups with editing carried out with support from facilitators. Regular feedback was sought from groups to access progress and offer support where needed.

The final film, a three-minute animation that acts as a ‘tool-kit’ for resilience, was launched and screened during the school’s Transition Year closing ceremony. A couple of the girls introduced the project, sharing their ideas, methods and processes with their peers, teachers and parents. Once uploaded to Youtube, the film and its message began to spread beyond the school grounds.

Feedback from the group was really positive and there was a tangible sense of pride in what had been achieved.

“I liked everything about this project but especially that we could do it all by ourselves with just a little bit of help.”

 “I wouldn’t change anything, it was very interesting and fun.”

 Take a look at the girls’ film here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cku_n_IJ4w

This project was funded by Creative Engagement (NAPD) and St. Patrick’s College, Gardiner’s Hill. For more information visit mayfieldarts.ie

 

 

 

!!!! Learning Through Creativity: Summer Course for Primary Teachers, Glucksman, UCC

Learning through Creativity is a 5-day course accredited by Drumcondra Education Centre that enables primary teachers to consider how an engagement with visual art can enhance learning in other strands of the curriculum. Working with the Glucksman Curatorial Team and professional artists, participants will learn practical art making skills across a range of mediums and develop their own art integration lesson plans for use in the classroom.

This course is designed around the 5th/6th class Primary School Curriculum.

Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2017, 10am -2:30pm

€75. Booking essential.

+353 21 4901844 / education@glucksman.org

 www.eventbrite.ie/e/teachers-masterclass-tickets-33520592996?aff=es2

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tadhg Crowley – Projects Adviser – Blog 4

Tadhg Crowley the Curator of Education at the Glucksman

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses,Preview Evenings and Summer Course. Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog 4

The Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL) is a two-year education programme for people with intellectual disabilities designed for delivery in a third level education setting. It focuses on helping students develop strategic skills to promote self-reliance and independence and increased participation in society. The CCL course provides structured opportunities for interaction between students with intellectual disabilities and non-disabled students. As such it is about inclusion and not just about access.

Until 2015, the Expressive Arts module on the certificate in contemporary living course at University College Cork consisted solely of a semester devoted to music. Throughout the semester the group made outings to different cultural centres and galleries and the reaction of students to visual art exhibitions prompted the course coordinators to review ways that they could offer students a more rounded experience of the arts. In late 2014 the course coordinators approached the Glucksman with a view to working together on a visual arts module. The goal was to break the arts module into three strands – Visual Arts, Music and Drama.

The visual art module was designed around three key points that we returned to again and again over the 5 sessions. They were Individualism: how we all see things differently and therefore we all create differently. Capacity to be creative: everyone has the ability to be creative, we can be creative in many different ways and different mediums allow different people to be creative. Finding your voice: through experimentation, practice and choosing methods/approaches that are rewarding.

The days were divided into three pedagogical streams – art appreciation; art interaction; and art making. These three approaches are widely used in art education with the appreciation and interaction exercises informing the art making session and an understanding of the art making process informing the art appreciation and interaction. Each week we looked at different artists and artworks and the group engaged in practical projects with artist Paul McKenna.

A common link among the artists we studied in the appreciation sessions was that as well as pointing to the three key elements of Individualism, Capacity and Finding a Voice; they all had overcome major difficulties/obstacles to pursue a life of creativity.

Two of the artists we studied were Henri Matisse and Anni Albers. Henri Matisse was a renowned painter before he fell ill in later life and was confined to his bed for long periods. His movement now restricted he had to find new ways to continue his artistic career and so he began to work with scissors and paper. The work completed during this period of his life (cut-outs) is now regarded as some of his most important. Matisse found a way to continue his creativity and these new methods led to a rebirth in his artistic career.

Anni Albers encountered many obstacles throughout her extraordinarily creative life. Despite the challenges of a prejudiced college system, the peril of Nazi Germany and the difficulties of being an immigrant arriving in the USA without the language, she established an artistic practice and legacy befitting of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.

The art interaction sessions led students on drawing and photography walks on route to viewing artworks in the exhibition ‘Gut Instinct: Art, food and feeling’ at the Glucksman and a selection of significant works in the University College Cork Art Collection www.glucksman.org/collections.html

Under the guidance of Paul McKenna the group had the opportunity to bring the ideas and methods discussed earlier in the day to the practical projects. Working both individually and collectively, the students were presented with a diverse selection of materials and techniques in the quest to find their creative voice.

The three strands of this year’s CCL Expressive Arts module will conclude with an exhibition of the artworks created, along with sound recordings, video and live performance at the Glucksman in early May.

For more information please contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tadhg Crowley – Curator of Education – Blog 3

Tadhg Crowley

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses, Preview Evenings and Summer Courses.

Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog 3

At the time when the Glucksman first began to incorporate projects and events for Primary School Teachers into its programme, there were a number of concepts that we sought to explore and that the teachers we engaged with challenged us to address. These ideas came to form the basis of the programmes that were designed and delivered in the subsequent months and years.

It is widely accepted that the visual arts can play a significant role in creating an innovative learning environment, but a pivotal question for the Glucksman team was, what can be done to improve the quality of arts learning opportunities for children in Ireland today and what is the role of the art museum in any initiative? Art museums provide exceptional art educational mechanisms and opportunities that include access to professional artists, introductions to various art making techniques, and the experience of seeing and understanding significant works of art but how could these resources best be utilized to improve art opportunities for children? At the Glucksman, we consistently see the positive impact that visual art has on young people, the opportunity to view an artwork up close without distraction and to begin to grasp an artist’s motivations can have a significant impression on a child’s mind. However, when children visit museums with their school or with their family it is not always on a frequent basis and this irregular exposure to art can mean that their appreciation and understanding is less than would be achieved through consistent interaction or through an enduring learning curve as can be achieved in a school environment.

The feedback we were getting from Primary School teachers was that increased pressure to allocate more time to the curriculum and in particular to the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy, meant it was becoming increasingly difficult to dedicate time in the classroom to art making activities and art appreciation. Understanding the limited time available for arts in the classroom, we began to look at how the Glucksman could enable teachers to develop projects that combined elements of visual art with other strands of the curriculum such as math, science, language, history or SPHE. By continuing to focus on intrinsic areas of the curriculum, classroom routine and structure would not be negatively affected. Instead students learning could be enhanced through exciting creative processes and exposure to important visual artists and art movements.

This idea for an art integration approach was influenced by the Glucksmans exhibitions model. Exhibitions at the Glucksman draw on the research of University College Cork academic departments and professionals from across the four colleges of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science; Business and Law; Medicine and Health; and Science, Engineering and Food Science. One of the primary goals of the exhibitions is to emphasis the unique role of visual media in communicating knowledge and central to this is the creation of discursive relationships between academic disciplines and art practice. The Glucksman finds itself in a favourable position where, right on its doorstep, it can create dialogues and exchanges with researchers who are leaders in diverse and interesting fields. The value of bringing an extensive and authentic knowledge to particular themes and ideas leads to both comprehensive and sensitive visual investigations.

Leading contemporary artists are constantly using aspects of curriculum strands such as history, science and language studies as the subject matter for their creative practices. Many art movements lend themselves to understanding subjects such as math or science while historical artworks can allow children to better understand the world at a specific period in time. We believed that learning from these artists, artworks and art movements, teachers could begin to develop creative projects that would augment a student’s experience and understanding.

In 2015, the Glucksman ran its first summer course for Primary School Teachers based on the art integration model to overwhelmingly positive feedback. The course followed the three pedagogical approaches of Art Appreciation; Art Interaction; and Art Making. The morning sessions led by the curatorial team investigated artists, their artworks and how their practices could relate to curriculum strands. These sessions took place in the exhibition spaces and included lectures, talks, tours and discussions. The afternoon sessions invited teachers to work with professional artists on practical projects for the classroom.

This coming August will see the third iteration of the art integration summer course at the Glucksman. For more information on the Glucksman Teachers Programme please contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tadhg Crowley – Curator of Education – Blog 2

 

Tadhg Crowley the Curator of Education at the Glucksman

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses,Preview Evenings and Summer Course. Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog no. 2

As we enter the teenage years we begin to gain a little more freedom. This new found autonomy provides us with the opportunity to explore our local area (city, town or village) through aimless wanderings and walks or by beginning the process of ownership of our locality in the corners or streets we lay claim to. This process is crucial in the development of civic pride but also in the establishment of a sense of belonging.

For teenagers living in Direct Provision — who live in isolated and restrictive settings — they are not afforded the opportunity to get to know their local area in the same way as other young people.

Navigating the Urban Landscape was an art project that invited teenagers living in direct provision centres in Cork City and County to work with the Glucksman and practicing artists over a six week period in Autumn 2016. Throughout the weekly sessions participants engaged in projects that investigated the idea of dérive (an unplanned journey through an urban landscape) working with different mediums and artists.

The project invited 14 teenagers (ages 12-17 years) from the DP centres in Kinsale Road, Glounthaune, Clonakilty and Drishane Castle to work with practicing artists to create artworks that explored the landscape of the city and offered the group a creative and positive experience. This was an opportunity for these teenagers to interact with artistic ideas and mediums and to discover their own creative and imaginative capabilities away from their prohibitive surroundings.

Young people living in direct provision do not have access to any extra-curricular activities; any encounters with art making they would have in school. The centers are noticeably devoid of facilities.

Teenage years can be difficult for all young people, but to be dealing with the challenges of being a teenager and to also be living in a restrictive and prohibitive situation is incredibly demanding. Any opportunity for this group to engage in positive and stimulating activities can only be beneficial to their development.

From the earliest discussions I had with the artists, we all agreed that one of the primary elements of these workshops should be in providing the teenagers with the skills to continue being creative after the project had concluded. From the photography with Roseanne Lynch to drawing with Cassandra Eustace and film-making with Dervla Baker, all the sessions with the teenagers would focus on enabling the group to develop a set of skills that would allow them to share their stories. We felt it was crucial that what was learnt in the workshops could be taken and used or shared with others back at the centres.

Working with the teenagers was a very different experience than our previous work with younger children living in DP. The younger children had very high energy/excitement levels and their attention would wane quickly and so we found that short activities with immediate results worked best in keeping their focus. On the other hand, the teenagers were very calm, focused and eager to try all the tasks put before them. There was never any sense of hesitation. For the teenagers this opportunity for extra curricular activities was incredibly precious and it was notable how determined they were to make the most of their time at the Glucksman. This level of ambition and focus across the group was not only striking in comparison to the younger children in DP but to other groups of teenagers we have worked with in the past.

The project culminated with an exhibition of the group’s artwork at the Glucksman in early 2017. On what was truly one of my most memorable days working here at the Glucksman, the teenagers returned with family and friends for the exhibition launch party with music, food and good vibes. The day concluded with the inaugural screening of the teenagers short film ‘Undead Revenge

Reading some of the moving feedback from the teenagers highlights how crucial it is that these young people are cherished and nurtured and that they are provided with the opportunities that we all deserve.

I was amazed by the architectural designs and the surroundings itself. We took lots of pictures and had to draw different things. It was quite the most wonderful thing I have done.

I was a bit shy at first, but I was told, ‘Everyone has a talent, we have to show it to make it better’ and since then I have never been more proud of my art works.’

Meet some of the group here

The Navigating the Urban Landscape project was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Young Ensemble Scheme.

For more information contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

 

!!!! Guest Blogger: Tadhg Crowley – Curator of Education – Blog 1

Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the Glucksman in University College Cork. The Glucksman presents a wide-ranging programme of Tadhg headshot 2temporary exhibitions accompanied by an extensive education programme to engage visitors of diverse interests and backgrounds. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design Tadhg’s role at the Glucksman is to help foster an appreciation of the visual arts among the wider public. In early 2015 Tadhg devised and delivered the first Visual Art module on the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course at UCC. Tadhg has expanded the Glucksman schools programme over the past 3 years and in 2015 over 2500 students attended workshops and tours at the gallery. Tadhg introduced the Glucksman Teachers programme in 2014 and it now includes seasonal Art Teachers Masterclasses,Preview Evenings and Summer Course. Tadhg has recently presented at the IMA Annual Education and Outreach Forum and at the inaugural Arts in Education Portal National Day at IMMA. He has lectured on the MA: Art and Process programme at Crawford College of Art & Design as well as the Futures PhD module at University College Cork.

Blog no. 1

When as an earnest 14-year-old, I stood with my family and friends in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Cork City and admired my artwork that was on exhibit, it mattered little that what we were looking at was an oversized postage stamp that crudely depicted my sense of the most important Irish people in history (with a disproportionate number of fellow Corkonians!!). What really mattered, was at that moment I knew that my hard work and talent was being recognised, admired and shared with the public. To experience that sense of pride around my art was pivotal in the way I approached and thought about my creativity for years to come.

In April 2016, Aislinn Spillane, art teacher at Christ King Girls’ Secondary School, contacted me about the possibility of working on a project together and what immediately became clear was that we both wanted her students to have the opportunity to experience a moment like this. Another key motivation for the project was to provide the students with the conditions where they could really investigate a subject, to explore ideas and find exciting methods to create their visual responses.

Gut Instinct: Art, food and feeling’ was an exhibition at the Glucksman that drew on the cutting-edge research of Professor John Cryan, and his colleagues at the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC. Using artworks that explored the materiality of foodstuffs and that tested the boundaries of good taste and revulsion, the exhibition explored how digestion relates to our mental and emotional states.

Gut Instinct presented the ideal starting point for the project and from where the students could begin their own creative journey through ideas of the way they used and thought about food.

In December 2016, the students were introduced to the exhibition, its central themes and we looked at a number of the artworks in detail. After the guided tour, the group had the opportunity to creatively record their initial responses in a printmaking workshop with artist Killian O’Dwyer.

Back in school, the students were provided with additional information on the artists/artworks and on the research of APC. I visited them in early January to discuss the plans for the next stages, principally the film they would make. What was striking about this visit and the discussions with the group was that they had highlighted an area around food and emotions that was not explored in Gut Instinct. The students were drawn to ideas of appearance and the pressures attached, what that means to the way we feel about food and how that could develop to eating disorders. The Gut Instinct curators consciously took the decision not to venture into this field of investigation when developing the exhibition as it strays from APC’s research aims and crucially they felt it was an area that deserves considered investigation and reflection in a separate moment.

Clearly this topic had significance to the group and it was impressive to see that in the prints they created for the exhibition in March 2017, they had looked closely at how they could create images that would articulate their thoughts and concerns.

The students were presented with the challenge of developing a film script that would reflect their thoughts on the exhibition, before returning to the Glucksman in early February for filming. On a Friday morning in February, the students worked together under the guidance of filmmaker Dervla Baker to produce the short film ‘The Power of Taste

The 5th year students at Christ King Girls’ School had their exhibition moment in early March when their artworks went on display at the Glucksman. I hope they too experienced that sense of pride that I felt way back at the beginning of my life in the arts.

Sincere thanks to the art teachers from Christ King Girls’ School – Niamh Rigby, Jodie Kerins and Aislinn Spillane.

For more information on The Power of Taste or the Glucksman Schools Programme please contact education@glucksman.org or visit glucksman.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

!!!! Our Place: An art project with children living in direct provision

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you get started?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Our Place was a project that sought to offer a marginalized section of our community a creative and positive experience within a museum environment. Over six weeks in early 2016 the Glucksman hosted art workshops for a group of children from two direct provision centres in Cork City. During the six sessions, the group were encouraged to create artworks that looked at ‘place’ both imaginative and real using a wide variety of materials from film, print, drawing, painting, animation and collage. The workshops were framed within a larger project ‘Once Upon a Place’ run with Laureate na nÓg and Children’s Books Ireland which brought together school and community groups to the Glucksman to create artworks that reflected on their sense of place. This project culminated in a public exhibition at the Glucksman in March 2016 and was launched with a storytelling session by Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer.

Central to the Glucksman’s Education Policy is a commitment to work with community groups, enabling people of all ages and abilities to access different aspects of visual art. We first met with Mike Fitzgibbon and Eileen Hogan at University College Cork to discuss the possibility of an art project with children living in Direct Provision back in the spring of 2015. Even at that early stage, without any funding, clear numbers or dates we were all determined that we would find a way to make this project work. Around the same time the Glucksman was named one of the host locations for a reading by Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer as part of the Once Upon a Place project. Once Upon a Place sought to bring storytelling to children all over Ireland focusing specifically on communities who may not have access to libraries, storytellers, writers in schools etc. These readings were to be held in extraordinary places that would help bring stories to life. The timing of the Once Upon a Place project and the proposed project with children in Direct Provision couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

The art project had its origins in discussions a group of University College Cork staff and students had with staff of the Glucksman. I had described in an earlier email some of the awful experiences of people, and in particular children, living in the Direct Provision system. Staff in the Glucksman responded to this, offering to work with us in putting a programme in place that would offer some relief from the system, some break from the mundanity, and might provide outlets for expression and enjoyment for these children. It took a number of months to organise, but the programme began at the end of 2015, with three workshops before the end of year, and three in early 2016.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

Working with partners who knew the residents, the needs of the children and the expectations of a project was crucial. The relationships that our colleagues in UCC have developed over 15 years with residents of direct provision centres meant that they had garnered a trust and understanding that we at the museum would have been unable to achieve in such a short period of time.

Children’s sense of place was the perfect theme for the group but also a delicate topic that needed to be navigated appropriately. Speaking with Mike he gave me an idea of the centres and the living conditions that children were exposed to. Understanding the places where these children lived meant that to ground our projects in real life place had the potential to unearth difficult and complex emotions for the children. The focus of the workshops was to be on joy and to offer a small moment to escape reality. And so we looked at the what if? What place you could be living/visiting? With no restrictions and no limits – where was your place?

We had wanted to ensure that the interests of the children were demonstrated in the projects and activities that we undertook. Alongside a number of shorter activities each week we had three core projects. In each session we completed between five and six activities. We looked to incorporate as many mediums as possible, particularly using materials and techniques that the children may not have been exposed to in school. And also crucially children had an opportunity to bring their colourful creations back to their centres.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

This was a new experience for all of us. Controlling and channeling the children’s dynamism was the most challenging aspect to the workshops. We found that the group’s attention would fall-off very quickly and so having multiple short activities worked best. It was easier to return to our core projects over a number of weeks rather than attempting to see a project through during a single session. Over the six sessions we saw the physical and mental impact that life in Direct Provision was having on these children. On certain days some of the children would be drowsy, despondent and unresponsive to projects. These same children the following week would be full of life and enthuased about everything we were doing. These shifts in mood and energy were apparent across a large number of children. We sought to stimulate the children by undertaking short exercises and involving them in tasks around filmmaking and documenting workshops.

We had two sessions prior to Christmas and during the second workshop we gave each child an art pack with sketchbook and materials. After Christmas when we met back up, one of the older boys showed me his sketchbook that he had been working on. Even in a few weeks there was a marked improvement in his drawing ability, he spoke about his delight at having these materials to create with and how he’d spend time every evening working on his sketches. For this boy and others in the group the opportunity to interact with extracurricular activities and to get creative was having a considerable impact.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

Their enjoyment of the workshops was reflected in their huge enthusiasm to return each week. The exhibition afterward was beautiful – and the pleasure that the children took in showing their work to their parents and others was wonderful. Challenges we experienced with this were quite different to other areas that I work or volunteer in. What seem like simple things, such as finding suitable dates for the workshops came with complications, such as needing to find times that didn’t intersect with other life activities, such as religious events. The flexibility shown by the Glucksman around this was emblematic of their commitment to it, as was the quality of their work and engagement with the children every week.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing? 

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

The Irish Refugee Council has reported that young people living in direct provision centres are more prone to depression and suicide due to their restrictive and ostracized living situation. Its report also states that Direct Provision is NOT a natural family environment. Our University colleagues have campaigned for the end to DP since its inception.

To have the opportunity to positively impact on these children’s lives was a wonderful opportunity for the Glucksman and one which aligned itself with our education policy and mission statement. Working with partners like Children’s Books Ireland and UCC Amnesty International Society allowed us to develop a project and exhibition that these children would value and remember. The experience of exhibiting their work alongside that of their peer group and for once in their lives to be the centre of attention under a positive gaze provided a special moment for the children living in DP.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Tadhg Crowley, Curator of Education, The Glucksman

When we first met I remember Mike speaking about that moment after a day’s activities with the children when you have to send them back to the centre and how difficult that can be. Over the weeks I began to realize what he meant, as I got to know the children and the reality of their home lives it became increasingly difficult.

Working with the children living in Direct Provision has been in equal measures some of the most rewarding and yet most heartbreaking work we’ve undertaken at the museum. These children are incredibly brave, generous and kindhearted. Their lives have been ones of struggle, distress and in some cases trauma yet their determination and positivity shines through. These children need some fragments of light in their lives, some moments to be creative, to feel optimistic and to feel good about themselves.

Mike FitzGibbon, Lecturer – International Development, Food Business and Development Department, UCC

All of our engagements with the asylum-seeking communities in Direct Provision have had terrific support from students, societies and all areas of staff in UCC, and this was no different. The programme and other events couldn’t and wouldn’t happen without that support. Many staff and students gave up most of their Saturdays for the programme’s duration. UCC Amnesty society sponsored transport, a significant cost each week.

It is worth mentioning that because of our involvement with this, other projects and engagements have come about: one project involved working with women in direct provision on ceramics projects; another is ongoing with women engaging in different activities such as yoga, knitting etc.; we have had another art-for-teenagers project; we will have another young children’s programme. All have happened as a result of the running of this first programme for children by Tadhg and his colleagues. Seeing its success motivates me, and others, to continue to advocate for and work with people condemned to live in Direct Provision. The really hard part each week was seeing these beautiful young people leave to return to their Direct Provision centres.

 

 

!!!! National Architects in Schools Initiative

National Architects in Schools Initiative

The project, part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s National Architects in School Initiative (NAISI), involved an Architect working with a Transition Year group of 25 mixed students and a Design and Technology teacher.

Students from Colaiste Cholim, undertook a wealth or tours and visits investigating many facets of architecture in their town of Ballincollig and the wider city of Cork. Starting from this perspective of how architecture relates to community, the students narrowed the focus for the design project, developing their own personal room for the garden of a semi detached house. As a fitting end to a project the students held an exhibition of their work in the local shopping centre of Ballincollig.

Engagement process:

The students began with a life drawing exercise to develop their observation skills. From here they were encouraged to develop their own opinions on architecture through research and discussion of the work of inspiring architects. There then followed a series of exploratory tours:

Development Process:

Having gleaned ideas, insights and an understanding of the diversity inherent in architecture, the student were set the task of designing a personal room in the back of a semi-detached sub-urban house. Designs based on a variety of personal interests emerged including an art studio, a cinema, a dance room and a chill out room. Using card, foam board and balsa wood the student made scale model of their designs for exhibition at the local shopping centre in Ballincollig, Cork.

Most useful activities:

Jerry Buttimer TD opened an Architecture Exhibition by students of Coláiste Choilm, of work produced during the IAF’s National Architects in Schools Initiative, at Ballincollig Shopping Centre. Each studetn presented their final project to a public audience and discussed individual projects with the TD and visitors including IAF Education Curator.

From the students:

I learned about design process + daily job and how jobs come about. I enjoyed making models and thinking of ideas for what to do for the project.
Student, 15
We’d done set projects before but this time we were able to use our own ideas and solve problems along the way. Felt more like a real designer!
Student, 16

From the Teacher:

Having taught a transition year construction module for a number of years, aspiring to develop an awareness and appreciation of the student’s environment, particularly their built environment, I heard of the Architecture in Schools initiative through the Cork Education Centre and decided to apply. My motivation initially was personal, as I have a great interest in architecture and was very interested in working with an architect. I also believed that if I could develop my own skills and knowledge it would ultimately benefit my students. I applied and was very fortunate to be paired with architect Seán Antóin Ó Muirí. We got on very well, both personally and professionally. This, in my opinion, was key to the success of the initiative. This is our second year working together and I have learned a great deal working with Seán.

Typically, we adopt a practical approach to student learning. The students learn through observation, sketching, discussion, research, presentation, and problem solving amongst other techniques. The students visit buildings of architectural significance locally, where they observe, record, present and discuss their experiences. They also watch videos, research architects and their work, and present their observations to their classmates. Another important part of their development is the visit to the Cork School of Architecture. This presents the students with a unique opportunity to view and discuss the work and course with college students and experience what life as a student of architecture is like. Also, the students are presented with a number of design challenges devised by Seán, from which they develop their own unique responses. These are varied in complexity, and time required for completion, and always have specific objectives.

I have learned significantly from my involvement in this initiative and particularly working with Seán. As a teacher with more than twenty years experience, I found I have become very focussed on “the end game”, which is the examination and marks in the Junior Cert and marks and points in the Leaving Cert for my students. I try to incorporate different teaching and learning experiences. However I am restricted in so far as the course must be covered, projects must be completed and time is limited.

Seán has an entirely different approach. He focuses very much on the process and allows the student the freedom to pursue their ideas. He guides, encourages and advises each student, and allows them to pursue their own ideas even if he disagrees with them. They are allowed the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. The students are also encouraged to find out things for themselves, for example, if they require the size for a door, they measure the door in the room. This leads to collaboration between students and an excellent learning environment.

The students are enthusiastic and have learned a great deal. Their increased awareness of architecture is great. However the skills and confidence they have developed as a consequence of participating in this course is the real benefit of incorporating this initiative in a transition year program.

Danny Moynihan, Teacher

From the Architect:

I was motivated to particpate in the architects in schools programe because I am simply interested in architecture so I am always interested in getting other people’s perspectives and thoughts on the subject.
I took a lot of heart from the conceptual thinking that some of the students displayed in realising their projects, this is always very encouraging. The project was the first time I had taught architecture at secondary school level this was a new and good experience. There is a lot of energy to be sourced from working with other people, as I work on my own this was good to tap into this energy twice a week. I was blown away by some of the designs produced by some of the students, because the class was so big (25 students) it was very hard to give much time to any one student, so to see some of the designs produced with very little direction was very inspiring.
The students’ work is of a standard you’d expect from third level student projects, they demonstrated exceptional ability and commitment to the project. Support from the teacher, Danny Moynihan who has an incredible passion and interest in architecture also made it this project a great experience.

Seán Antóin Ó Muirí, Architect.

!!!! Doctor Darkness

Briefly tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did it get started?

The story began with a play, After Dark, by Olivier Award-winning English playwright, Mike Kenny. It is about fear of the dark and plays to First and Second Class pupils in primary schools. Graffiti first produced the play in of Spring 2015 accompanied by a short workshop. The company has a long track record of developing workshops using educational drama methods linked to the curriculum and to supporting teacher and pupil practice. The second time we produced the play we decided to build a substantial workshop around the play that could also function as a stand-alone workshop related to science.

We thought it was interesting to relate Drama to Science. Doctor Darkness could help investigate things related to nighttime. It began with nocturnal animals. This is part of the ‘Living Things’ Strand of the curriculum for First and Second Class and the Strand Unit is ‘Plants and Animals’. It also allowed us to use the Curriculum Skills of Predicting, Hypothesising and Investigating – all key skills in Science.

For some reason we immediately came up with something which made us smile! Doctor Darkness immediately offered roles for the teacher (Chief Scientist), pupils (Investigators and Specialist Expert Groups of Scientists) and Doctor Darkness, who desperately needs their help to restore the world’s faith in the value of darkness!

We trialed Doctor Darkness with the help of six schools with whom we were about to begin another research project that involves teachers and pupils in active collaboration and research. We felt that this curriculum rich workshop helped establish confidence in the use of drama methods and developed good and sharing relationships with teachers and pupils. From our point of view, by building on the teacher’s own practice and by ensuring support in the teacher’s use of very light role, we are building confidence in the use of role in the classroom.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Educational Drama creates a world in a classroom where the exploration of a fictional hypothesis allows everyone to have a voice, to share authority and to explore ideas.

Each of the four groups of children in their classroom were experts in their fields, the teacher the instigator and monitor of the investigations and consultant authority on the dark, and the facilitator had a problem which could only be answered with the help of the experts.

Each class has its own atmosphere and dynamic and because there are no absolute answers authority is given to the children to decide and to follow up. All participants are explorers together.

What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

There was a lot to smile about for all participants and it was one of those special projects where there were few challenges. That’s not to be complacent – a lot of hard work and stepping out of comfort zones happened.

There really is very little training for teachers in the use of drama as a teaching method and teachers frequently fear that they will make fools of themselves, lose control, not have the confidence and so forth. It takes courage to take the first step into role.

By having a support adult in role and by taking on a role very similar to that of a teacher the pressure is eased and the teacher is more free to try things out. With this challenge came great positivity and a willingness to engage which made this a really enjoyable experience for all.

What insights from the project are worth sharing?

Creating an atmosphere of shared responsibility, mutual respect and mutual support, trust and daring is at the center of collaborative exploration and invention.

Ways in which this came about include:-
1. Being open to discussion – e.g., willing to be flexible with the workshop
2. Setting clear learning objectives and learning outcomes
3. Being passionate about the use of drama to support learning development
4. By building on the teacher’s own practice
5. By using clear curriculum links
6. By working in partnership with teachers, children and schools
7. By observing and sharing best practice
8. By giving the teacher and the children an active and exploratory role in the session, eliciting prior knowledge and extending learning/teaching

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

The relationship with teachers, pupils and management has been enhanced and that has given us and, we hope, them a firm ground to move into our collaborative research project, Raising My Voice, which we mentioned earlier.  Raising My Voice is based on the Young People’s Voices in Decision Making document from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Further Feedback from the Teachers.

Throughout the workshop, children took on new roles, explored their creativity and enjoyed the freedom to decide things for themselves. The inclusive and safe atmosphere that was created enabled quieter children to freely express themselves and contribute their own solutions to the problems that emerged.

The children benefited from engaging with a variety of drama methods at the hands of experts. The children gained confidence and competence from seeing a teacher being creative and ‘becoming’ a different character – just like themselves.

The classroom set-up is usually children and teacher. By crashing through the barrier, whereby children and teacher engage with a third entity (in this instance Graffiti Theatre Company), the usual boundaries were crossed creating a unique and powerful opportunity for growth and development. The teacher became one of the children in a sense, and this had a tangible effect on the quieter, less outgoing children who really relaxed and engaged.