independent

Sunday 21 January 2018

Architecture of New Ross brought to life in drawings

Conor Geoghegan, Raminta Zurauskaite, artist Elida Maiques from Wicklow and Szymon Matenko
Conor Geoghegan, Raminta Zurauskaite, artist Elida Maiques from Wicklow and Szymon Matenko
Some of Rebecca Furlong's 5th class pupils in Bunscoil Rís with artist Elida Maiques from Wicklow
Some of Rebecca Furlong's 5th class pupils in Bunscoil Rís with artist Elida Maiques from Wicklow
Liz Burns, Wexford County Council's arts officer; Ruth Walsh, co-ordinator; Lisa Fortune, Wexford County Council and artist Bart Lodewijks from Belgium
Artist Bart Lodewijks working on Priory Street

Esther Hayden

Children from Bunscoil Ris in New Ross took an inspired look at New Ross architecture in the Can We Draw You Out project.

The project was part of the Visual Arts Programme from the town was designed to help the children focus on the town's rich history and architecture.

There was a great reaction from the children in Bunscoil Rís to artist Elida Maiques' wonderful inventive workshops.

With their drawing boards tucked under their arms the children saw delightful architectural details that they passed by every day but never really noticed. The children's reaction to the architecture and the drawings they produced amazed Elida and themselves.

Back in Bunscoil Rís under the guidance of Elida the children designed a letter of the alphabet. They drew the letter in 3D, then turned it into a house they would love to live in. These letter-houses included multiple trampolines, slides from a bedroom that twisted and swirled to land you in the street, aeroplane and racing-car beds and fantastic play areas in the most unusual of places.

The details of the drawings impressed Elida so much that she is scanning the letters into a computer to make a full alphabet and display it on a poster. Elida will return this alphabet to Bunscoil Rís where the children can be re-inspired by their earlier drawings and the architecture of New Ross.

Artist Bart Lodewijks came from Ghent and spent a week in New Ross town drawing in his signature style. Discrete white chalk lines and dot-like markings appeared on walls, lampposts and ancient gravestones.

His talk in New Ross Library was well attended and warmly received with a lively conversation afterwards. Using only white classroom chalk and a spirit level Bart has made drawings since 2001.

'I've been doing chalk drawing that cross the entire globe, in cities like Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, Ghent, Sligo, Glasgow, Seoul, Lisbon. The drawing has many stops and interruptions, because not everyone likes chalk lines on their property. Chalk is my medium of choice, but my work is mostly about resistance and trust. I write stories about everything that happens while I'm drawing. These are published in books by Roma Publications.'

Bart's aim is 'to bring to light the daily dynamic of places and situations as something many can recognise themselves in. My aim is not to improve a neighbourhood or to make connections between people, but in the end these things happen anyway'

Mary-Ruth Walsh, the curator of this project Can We Draw You Out! - Open Conversation on Drawing was inspired by New Ross' unique architecture when devising the programme. She wanted to find new ways of looking at that architecture with fresh eyes. These projects literally took drawing off-the-page and beyond into the very fabric of the town. The workshops have inspired a new generation of children in Bunscoil Rís to re-engage with their local architecture. Perhaps some of them may even become architects themselves!

New Ross Standard

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