“As part of a 2020 NCCA arts project, artist Kate McSharry worked with pupils in Scoil Chroí Íosa Galway to produce a piece of art that represents elements of curriculum learning experiences based around the agreed theme of Collaboration. Two interlinked pieces were produced, one for Scoil Chroí Íosa and one for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) offices in Galway.”
Reflections – Artist Kate McSharry
The opportunity to take over the Making Connections project and bring it to completion was a wonderful experience. From my very first workshop in Scoil Chroí Íosa, I could see how encouraging the school is of their students’ creativity, and how supportive the staff were towards me in facilitating this series of workshops. The third & fourth class students I worked with were so enthusiastic & full of ideas. Moving through a number of activities using multiple media, their intelligence and imaginative energy shone.
The project was structured around the title Living Things, Fragile Forms which focused on environment, time, collaboration, and exploration. Our final workshop was held in 126 Gallery & Studios, which also exhibited the final work for Scoil Chroí Íosa and the NCCA. An art book describes the project’s process and was written around statements shared by the students during the workshops & our visit to the Galway Arts Centre. Its zig-zag pages represent movement of caterpillars, worms, and other creatures you may find in the flower garden we planted during the first workshop. A brightly-coloured sculpture of tactile nature moves gently while it hangs from above. It was constructed using a similar process to paper flowers we made, offering the idea of a safe space – like a beehive or cocoon. Both of these works were led by collaborative thinking and developed through the conceptual lens of Living Things, Fragile Forms.
I’d like to thank all organisations and individuals who are mentioned above, artist Holly Ellis, and the lecturing staff in Cluain Mhuire/School of Design and Creative Arts, ATU for their ongoing support.
Living Things, Fragile Forms contained in an extendable art book, folding to A4 dimensions, printed on glossy photographic paper, 2022, for Scoil Chroí Íosa.
A Dream about Living Things, Fragile Forms, 50x50x40cm, tulle & wire, 2022, for the NCCA.
Reflections – Students
“We had so much fun and we got to experience so many different things from making bird feeders to clay models, planting seeds and visiting galleries. We even got to see our work displayed in 126 Galleries & Studios, Galway in our final session! We learned so much from Kate and we got to use lots of different materials like paint, clay, tissue paper, biodegradable cups and pipe cleaners. On our trip to Galway Arts Centre, we got a chance to draw some of the items in the exhibition. That was fun. Thank you Kate. We really enjoyed this experience.”
Reflections – Scoil Chroí Íosa
“This project was a wonderful and memorable experience for the children of 3rd and 4th class. Kate was an inspiration from the very beginning, engaging the children immediately and encouraging them to take their creative capabilities to new heights. The range of experiences were excellent and the children were very enthused by the cross curricular content each week. We would love to work on a similar project in the future.”
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is an organisation that works with early childhood practitioners, teachers, children, parents and representatives from the early childhood, primary and post-primary sector.