St. Brigid’s GNS, Cabinteely; Artist: Tunde Toth, Teacher: Laragh McFeely, 3rd class – Session 8

Our 8th session on the 15th of February started with a discussion, responding to what we have done so far and recalling all the different ways we created maps and pictures of spaces, imaginary and real. We also revisited our first mind map about place to see the connections between brainstorming ideas and art processes.

The children were asked to look at a selection of their drawings with the aim of creating a textured collage version of one previous work: choosing between the space/universe drawing, the imaginary place map or the journey map on the long scroll from last week. A full image or a smaller segment of the selected work was chosen to be an inspiration and a guide to the collages – made using a wide range of textured materials, pieces of fabrics, threads, strings, textured wall papers, tissue- and corrugated papers, cotton wool, soft foam shapes etc. These collages will be used as plates for a Collograph print making process at the following session.

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.

Ballinteer ETNS – Session 4 – Artist: Tunde Toth

30 January 2017

Assistant Artist: Kim Jenkinson

Our fourth session in the school was a bit more structured and focused than the previous ones – this was necessary for this part of the process: finishing the collagraph plates, checking every piece while completing the shapes/drawings and filling remaining spaces.

This was followed my mark making: adding extra texture, decorative markings to the soft foamy shapes with pencils. This will create additional detail in the final prints…

The plates are completed beautifully with plenty of patience from such young artists!!! Ready for a PRINTING SESSION!

Holy Family NS – Monkstown – Session 5 – Artist: Tunde Toth

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COLLOGRAPH Printing today!

29th April 2015

After having a good check on the collograph plates for loose bits and materials – and gluing them again if needed – we set up for the messy process of print making again.

As this type of collage building, the collograph creating process is also new to everyone, it is a rather experimental part of the project: not sure what to expect so we all need to be ready for surprises!! All textured surfaces look different when inked up and printed. I`m not surprised though that all prints turned out to be very interesting images and most of them are clear with many small details and a good variety of textures! Very happy of the outcome. Plenty of images and variations were printed – so documentation became very important and we do have a large number of photographs!

The most interesting part of the session must have been the collaborative, large scale work: the children worked in groups again, arranged their individual pieces to create a larger but coherent image, printing it onto large sheets of paper. These are good quality, clear prints, with a bit of a strange aerie feel to them – a result of plates arranged in different directions and ways. As we all had images of buildings, street-scapes, houses or ruins, the collaborative prints give the impressions of illustrations or graphic works with symbolic elements. I think it was also a good idea to move away a bit from the original themes of the groups as it could become restrictive.

We hung the large scale prints on the clothes line running across the class room to dry – very effective display. The smaller prints were stored on the drying rack again.

Holy Family NS, Monkstown – Session 4 – Artist: Tunde Toth

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Session 4 with 5th/6th class at Holy Family NS – 17th April

Refreshed, ready for a new start and new approach after a long Easter break!

Our next session moved away from the intaglio printing process and from the mono – prints.

The focus is on texture, surface and the sensory experience of it; followed by the selection of collected materials for planning and making collages and print their images: collographs

Having a good bit of sunshine on the day, after a short discussion on textures and surfaces we run outside to collect these textures in the form of oil pastel rubbings. Only in the schoolyard but you always find details never noticed before! Identifying and `naming` parts of the `collection` afterwards in the class room is also great fun.

The children collected a great amount of re-used, recycled materials for the collages: papers, strings, foamy packaging, fabric scraps – and as it turned out the school has bags and boxes of left over fabrics and materials… endless supplies and choices!

We started to build the collages on mounting boards – around the size of A5 or slightly larger. Images are based on prepared drawings and sketches from the diary. To make it easier to construct suitable images and combine them into collaborative works later we decided to work on ideas about buildings, houses, `street-scapes` – the urban built environment in a general sense, during the second world war.

The selected and `shaped` materials were glued strongly on the mounting boards and left dry until the next session – when we try to print it!

Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey – Second Dance Session – Meeting in Space and Rhythm!

Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey
Second Dance Session, 23 March – Meeting in Space and Rhythm!
Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Happy Monday!

This week is starting and ending with dance. For today’s session, we re-visited last week’s lesson with a quick recall of what the students remembered, what stood out for them. Then we did our “scales”, including a general warm-up to Moby “Honey” and a stretch to “Rushing” by the same artist. We also tackled “in and out” rotation of the legs, moving toes, heels, toes (both feet at the same time) from parallel to 2nd position. This wouldn’t sound like a tough one to get, but since humans normally move one leg after the other – as in walking or running – moving both feet at the same time symmetrically opposite, is a new coordination for most. Which brought up another new big word – neuromuscular pathways. Hmmm? Every new learned movement maps new pathways of the nervous system’s connection to our muscles, which is how we are able to move. We learn new co-ordinations slowly to map the right path and add speed once the path is mapped.

But hey lets dance! Next we played a “space game” based on the colours of the boys’ shoes – some students moving as quickly as possible in, around, through the spaces between other students who were standing still. Focus on the open spaces; avoid other movers; be ready for quick changes of direction; precision in your own pathway. As the number of those moving increased, (yellow and pink, not so many, blue, black and white quite a few) the more diligence to open spaces and reflexive changes of direction were required.

This led us to the next part of the “La Fiesta” dance. Skipping for 8 beats, (everyone at once going anywhere in the room) finding a partner and performing a series of hand contact and body movements in rhythm together – shake hands, bump hips, join elbow and skip round – then skip again for 8, find a new partner and perform a “hand jive” of claps, slaps, turns and a jump high 10. Can you get through the room where everyone is also moving without colliding; find the same partner in the same place at the right time? and all pairs do the shake shake, bump bump, clap, slap rhythm in time together? Yes! (with practice)

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Then there is listening and silence…sensing rhythm though there isn’t a beat to hear. Can you time a stunning jump in the silence to land in a dynamic shape exactly when the beat first hits? Yes! (with practice)

“La Fiesta” is a dance journey in space, rhythm and texture which these boys are embracing in full measure.  See for yourself! >>

Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey – First Dance Session – Great Start!

Harold Boys National School 5th Class , Dalkey
First Dance Session, 19 March – Great Start!
Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland

On this sunny (if foggy) March Friday, we started with the first of 12 dance sessions at Harold Boys National School, a new experience for the exuberant 5th class. On introduction, we discussed space, time (rhythm) and texture and how every movement can be described according to these three basic aspects of the language of dance. We also introduced several new words – “non-verbal” – referring to the aspects of communication that are other than the words we use; e.g. facial expression, gestures, body language and voice intonation. Dance, being largely a non-verbal activity draws on the human capacity to create and communicate non-verbally. Which led to the next new word, “kinaesthetic” – the way we perceive movement in ourselves and others.

And the dancing?…well these guys love to move! Following the warm-up, (which we did non-verbally and then with music), and a stretch, we did “travelling steps” across the room, in groups of four which also included improvisational elements. Starting with walking “on the beat”, in their own style, each student had the chance to do their own walk, resulting in great diversity and fun. We then skipped, and each improvised their own upper body gestures while keeping the beat and traveling across the room skipping. Spatial directions “high and low” and “changing facing” added to the menu of task ingredients that they could include in their skipping improv. Ultimately, they were asked to weave and interact in pairs, with skipping and improved gestures.

DSCF2389_lo res         SAM_0524_lo res

To introduce learning/building a dance, we started a short dance routine to Will Smith’s “La Fiesta”. This has elements that the group does in unison, moments that utilise voice and changes of rhythm and texture. The intro and bridge have improvised or “free-style” moments, both their own dance moves and making quick, sharp shapes. The short video clip speaks for itself for their enthusiasm for “La Fiesta!”

Watch the short video of the boys here >>