Residency at St.Brigid’s GNS, Cabinteely, Artist: Tunde Toth; Teacher: Laragh McFeely; 3rd class – Session 3

Our third session took place on the 7th of December.

The children went for a walk with Ms McFeely to the school garden before our session, on one of those rare sunny and dry days  – and collected plenty of nature materials to fill a large table in the class room.

They worked in 4 groups (5/6 girls in a group) to create an indoor Land Art piece in the class room – inspired by ‘Winter’, using the collected material on large white sheets of paper. The collaborative process naturally presented challenges for the groups as agreement had to be reached about ideas, design, selection of materials and construction of the works. Some PVA glue was used to secure the position of some of the material but most pieces were loosely placed on the paper.

Ownership and the “life time” of the pieces were discussed and after the initial interest in taking the works home, everyone realized that these are one of those ephemeral pieces that will be photographed and documented throughout the process but they wont last and will be later discarded.

 

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Residency at St. Brigid`s GNS, Cabinteely, Artist: Tunde Toth Teacher: Laragh McFeely – Session 1 – 2

St Brigid`s GNS (Cabinteely) — 3rd class

SESSION 1 — 20 November 2018

SESSION 2 — 27 November 2018

We started our residency with two short and connecting sessions in November – so I decided to reflect on these two introductory and discussion based sessions in one post.

Laragh, the class teacher and I started to plan the beginning of our project at the planning evening (Blackrock Education Centre), trying to discuss aspects of our chosen theme PLACE, considering various approaches and creative processes we could bring to the class. We both are keen to create a residency that is collaborative, interactive and participatory as much as possible in a school environment. I`m interested in process led, experimental working methods where the children will be encouraged to develop and express individual ideas, opinions as well as working together with others.

No better way to start this than a session of brain storming and mind mapping! The children were very responsive and there was no shortage of ideas and connections when discussing PLACE. After the general brain storm we tried to break down the responses and associations into 4 groups: nature, buildings, imaginary places and places from memories. The children were asked to write further ideas and responses to these words and make little drawings for each.

 

Laragh was telling me about the school garden at our initial meeting. Considering the significance of the garden in the school`s life and the school`s location next to Cabinteely Park, we knew that nature-places and the natural environment will probably be important when discussing place and connections with places. we were planning a walk in the garden or the park as part of our session but weather conditions made this impossible. Laragh took out the class for a walk later, between two sessions. The children collected natural materials from the grounds – a large pile of leaves, barks, nuts, flowers, grasses etc.

I suggested a Looking and Responding session for the class, exploring exciting, fun and accessible examples of Land Art. We looked at contemporary works and classic Land Art examples, many from Andy Goldsworthy, and discussed ephemeral pieces that won`t last, the concept of site specific works and various materials that artists use.

Rathfarnham ETNS 2nd class – Artist: Tunde Toth, Teacher: Patricia McManus EXHIBITION at the school

The final exhibition took place on the 13th of March, just after the school hours. Patricia, the class teacher organized the whole event with invitations sent to parents and school community, which resulted in a great turn up! She also rearranged the class room to make as much space as possible for exhibits, visitors and the artists – who were prepared to talk about their works, making processes and experiences. I contributed to the installation of the show but the children were actively involved throughout the set up and Patricia made sure they created a very impressive installation! I stayed in the background, observing, listening to the little conversations detailing process and making and took photographs!