Ballyowen Meadows/ St.Columbanus – Senior Group – Week 8 – Artist: Claire Halpin

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As this is a collaboration between two schools – Ballyowen Meadows and St.Columbanus I wanted to explore further creating a dialogue between the two schools and ways of creating an art project that we could communicate/ send messages between the two schools – they are only five minutes walk from each other. So we started with the group in Ballyowen today coming up with ways that we could send a message….without using phones, texts, google, facebook or twitter. We decided to use flags and balloons as a starting point. Tin cans and string and loud noises were suggested also so we will explore sending sound messages also. We needed to explore the grounds of both schools to get the best vantage point for sending messages – that is the part of each school where we can see each other.

We walked down to St.Columbanus and met the other half of our group and they gave us a guided tour of the school as most of us had never been there before. St.Columbanus suggested that kites might be a good idea as it needs to be something high in the sky to be visible from Ballyowen as their school is in the valley. From the school yard we could just about see Ballyowen Meadows up the hill but there seemed to be houses in the way that might block our visual messages being sent. So we split the group and with each group armed with balloons, bubbles and flags we found the vantage point in each school and at 12.10 hours on synchronised watches we waved our flags, released our balloons and blew our bubbles. There was great excitement when we spotted the troops of St.Columbanus through the houses and trees with their flags and balloons!

I had not noticed that the river that runs alongside both schools before so we talked about ways that we could use this to send messages using baskets that float or boats or bottles. We discussed using sound to communicate also as both schools have a strong musical programme. So over the coming weeks we also will work on developing these ideas.

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