Monday 26 August 2019

Learning to create an 'artful classroom'

Balbriggan Beat

Primary school teachers from all over Fingal have come together to attend 'The Artful Classroom', a professional development opportunity in visual art.

Presented by Fingal County Council's Arts Office and Fingal Curator Cleo Fagan of 'Superprojects', 'The Artful Classroom' was hosted by Draíocht, Blanchardstown, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) Kilmainham earlier this month.

It aimed to enrich teachers' work in the classroom by exploring contemporary art and architecture as fascinating resources ripe for use as departure points and inspiration for creative enquiry.

The week began with trained architect and teacher Aoife Banim igniting an exploration of special awareness, scale and design using Draíocht's own building as a starting point.

Artist Beth O'Halloran followed this the following day by facilitating a workshop focused on colour, texture and composition, inviting the group to get inspired by the artwork of Felim Egan, transforming the real into the abstract.

At IMMA, artist Clare Breen led a workshop that responded to the early and current work of Janet Mullarney, which is currently on exhibition there. The dialogue centred on the Museum context as an educational resource for the primary school curriculum.

Trained artist and teacher Anne Bradley generated a drawing workshop in response to the artwork of Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama, thus transforming Draíocht's workshop space into a hive of activity and colour.

The week came to a grand finale with artist Catriona Leahy introducing various printmaking techniques and sharing her experience of adapting these techniques to create unique large scale works and installations.

Julie Clarke, Youth & Education Officer of Fingal Arts Office, said: 'The focus on process and creative thinking rather than producing fixed outcomes worked really well.'

Course participant Leon, a teacher from Balbriggan Educate Together National School, was suitably impressed, saying:

'The programme was brilliant, it has given me lots of ideas and an opportunity to learn new techniques and to explore familiar mediums in innovative ways.'

Fingal Independent