The Artful Classroom

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Draiocht Arts Centre & The Irish Museum of Modern Art

Blanchardstown, D15 & Kilmainham, D 8


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Event description


Fingal County Council & Superprojects present


A CPD programme for primary school teachers

July 1st – 5th 2019

Lunch will be provided.

Facilitated by Aoife Banim, Anne Bradley, Clare Breen, Beth O'Halloran and Catriona Leahy.

* Drumcondra Education Centre approved *


This CPD programme The Artful Classroom facilitates primary school teachers to enrich their work in the classroom by exploring contemporary art and architecture, as fascinating resources ripe for use as inspiration and departure points for creative enquiry. Together, the group will explore the national and international practices of artists and architects, through imagery and discussion, and playfully consider how they can be applied to the primary school classroom. Workshop sessions will take place in Draíocht Arts Centre Blanchardstown and The Irish Museum of Modern Art Kilmainham where participants will have an opportunity to explore the work of exciting contemporary artists.

The learning focus will be on process and creative thinking; rather than producing fixed outcomes. Facilitated by Clare Breen, Catriona Leahy, Beth O’Halloran, Anne Bradley and Aoife Banim, the course draws on the expertise of both teachers (with experience of art/architecture) and artists (with experience of education). Each day will be led by a different course facilitator who will share their experience of working creatively with children and demonstrate how they translate their own creative/artistic interests into classroom practice in visual art, and other areas across the curriculum. Participants will creatively explore these practices daily, through a diverse range of hands-on activities.


Dates: Monday 1st – Friday 5th of July 2019

Time: 10am - 3pm daily


Mon/Thur/Fri: Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Tues/Wed: The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

How to book?

On this Eventbrite page. See button to buy your ticket.

There are only 20 places so please book early to avoid disappointment!

Cost: €45 plus booking fee

This programme is financially supported by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office & Superprojects.


Monday: Aoife Banim, Construction; Draíocht
Participants will look at how children can learn about and enjoy architecture, focusing on spatial awareness and sense of place - highlighting an important link to the primary school curriculum including Maths, SPHE (citizenship), Geography, History and Visual Art. They will undertake a theme-based design project within a specific location in the gallery. This design project will encourage various creative aspects including modelling, sketching, writing, dramatic response and music.

Tuesday: Beth O’Halloran, Paint & Colour; IMMA
Participants will look at how Felim Egan’s abstract paintings, exhibited at IMMA, achieve abstraction through a detailed study of the representational. The session will open with a tour and group discussion of the works in IMMA. Participants will understand the basics of how to use acrylic paint – including ways to thin, thicken and varnish using the paint, how to prime any surface, use paper as surface, add textures in to paint – all contextualised in to the basic question of how does your choice of how you are making a work of art, reflect why you are making it – how the methodology mirrors/enhances the precepts. They will also do a series of painting exercises equipping them with basic painting principles of colour mixing (and tone), making variant surfaces and awareness of composition. Participants will understand how to create abstract painted images from representational elements in their immediate surroundings or from documentation.

Wednesday: Clare Breen, Clay (with ICT) and Fabric & Fibre; IMMA
Participants will investigate the contemporary Irish gallery context as a learning resource for the primary school curriculum. This is an opportunity to speak openly together about experiences (positive and negative) of contemporary art, to offer one another advice, support and to think creatively together. Clare will bring the group on a tour of a selected exhibition in IMMA and participants will work in teams to design a workshop responding to the exhibition themes. Participants will explore new and inventive ways to use fabric, fibre, andclay in the classroom alongside tosimple recording devices and free editing software which can be used in the classroom as a way to foreground the child's voice, to diversify documentation skills and to enhance reflective practice in the classroom.

Thursday: Anne Bradley, Drawing, Looking & Responding; Draíocht
Participants will experiment with the many exciting ways that drawing can be used within the classroom - as installation, as performance, and on the page. They will explore how children make maps from the experience of walking a journey, making footprints and following animal tracks to the abstract representation of these ideas on paper. They will experiment with using the device of framing as a way of creating infinitely varying compositions to draw. Anne will explore the Reggio Emilia approach to the teacher as ‘professional marveller’ and how looking and responding to contemporary artworks can improve the vocabulary, critical thinking and expressiveness of students.

Friday: Catriona Leahy, Print; Draíocht
Participants will be introduced to various printmaking techniques and gain confidence and competency in these skills. They will develop an understanding of how printmaking can be used as a creative collaborative tool in developing themed projects, and will experiment with and develop line, shape, pattern, texture and colour using various methods. They will be introduced to (and build) a new vocabulary, as a way of developing comprehension and understanding of the artform/medium/process. Participants will explore the importance of actively keeping a notebook and doing research. They will investigate how versatile printmaking can be and how it can be adapted and used in the creation of fabric based works, largescale works and installation.


Aoife Banim, teacher and trained architect.
Aoife Banim is a permanent teacher in Bracken Educate Together. She has a strong educational and design background. Aoife is a qualified Architect (UCD, 2004) and worked in the field of architecture for over ten years before completing a Graduate Diploma in Education (St.Patrick’s College) in 2012. Throughout her career in education, Aoife has designed and facilitated numerous workshops for various local authorities, art galleries and the Irish architecture Foundation. Her workshops are child centred and promote self-discovery. She has created and led a large community focused Public Realm Project which saw children respond to their local environs and develop their skills as active citizens in their diverse local community, a project that was invited to be part of Dublin’s bid for World Design Capital in 2014. She was invited to present her work at a symposium in NCAD titled ‘Architecture in Education’ that was attended by national and international specialists in design and education for young people.

Anne Bradley, teacher and trained artist.
Anne Bradley is a primary school teacher and has worked in Rathfarnham Educate Together National School for twelve years. She studied fine art sculpture at NCAD from 1997-2001 and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Education at Marino Institute of Education in 2003. Her thesis, The Classroom as Studio, written for her M.A. in Visual Arts Education NCAD in 2012, explores the many relationships between art practice and education. The Reggio Emilia approach to preschool education with its focus on the artist as a key educator influences her work. In 2015 Anne Bradley attended workshops in Reggio Emilia in Italy to further explore this unique approach to early years education. Anne is an experienced art educator and has designed and facilitated professional development courses for primary teachers to explore current art practice in the classroom. In conjunction with Temple Bar Galleries and Blackrock Education Centre, the course Contemporary Art in the Classroom enabled teachers to investigate all aspects of exhibition making from studio talks with artists, to observing the install process with artist and curator at The Project Arts Centre. A series of practical workshops, facilitated by Anne in Studio 6, TBG+S allowed the participants to respond to a wide range of contemporary artworks through various media including clay, textiles, drawing, print and assemblage.

Clare Breen, artist.
Clare Breen completed a BA in Fine Art in NCAD, and a Master in Education in the Arts in the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2016. Her master thesis was particularly focused on the gallery as a site for education. In 2017 she moved to Athens to work as part of the education team at Documenta 14, delivering the public engagement programme and developing workshops responding to the exhibitions for the public. Concurrently, she undertook a residency supported by the Irish Arts Council at Yellow Brick Project Space. Since then she worked in many contemporary visual arts spaces and other contexts; including the Venice Biennale, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, The RHA, Rua Red Arts Centre, the Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford County Council, Carlow County Council, EVA International and the VISUAL Arts Centre, Carlow, developing and facilitating workshops for all age groups. She has been artist-in-residence at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, since 2018. She received an artist-bursary from the Arts Council for 2019 to work as Artist in Residence with the THRIECE Partnership, an international Eramsus+ project focusing on relational practice in early childhood education. Her motivation to work with artists and children in arts institutions and schools is to democratize access to the arts. Essential to establishing the societal value of the arts, is fostering the creative habits of the mind: to be inquisitive, imaginative, collaborative, persistent and disciplined, from an early age. The flexibility and temporality of art practice offers a space for free thinking, dialogue and dissensus that is essential in an increasingly neo-liberalised education system. She believes that small, daily acts of resistance and care can effect changes on larger scales.

Catriona Leahy, artist and lecturer.
Catriona Leahy is an artist based in Dublin. Her practice variously encompasses print, sculpture, installation and moving image. She studied at Crawford College of Art & Design before gaining her Masters from the Royal College of Art, London in 2013. Catriona has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include “Unfolding Landscape” at De Cacaofabriek, Holland; Coup de Ville, the 3rd International Triennial Exhibition, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. She has been selected for numerous artist residencies including FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists, Genk, Belgium and Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium. She has been supported by Arts Council Ireland, Arts Council England and Culture Ireland, among others. Recently, she was selected for 3-year studio membership at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. Catriona currently lectures in print at NCAD.

Beth O’Halloran, artist.
Beth O’Halloran’s practice is multi-disciplinary combining painting and photography with site-specific installations. Her interests lie in questions about the natural world and our relationship to it, specifically transitional states and the blurred borders between changing conditions which can manifest physically or metaphysically. Her investigations can range from looking at atmospheric weather conditions to often studying objects at a microscopic level. Most recent work looks at ‘contained nature’ – the ways in which urban dwellers interact with their natural environment. Generally, in a city, we experience trees, flora and fauna in our parks or, for some, in a back garden. Beth is interested in how this structured interaction affects the experience. She has exhibited predominantly in Ireland and the U.S. but also Japan and the U.K. Recent exhibitions include her first museum based show at the Olin Museum of Art, USA. Highlights in Ireland include Douglas Hyde Gallery; Temple Bar Gallery: Fenderesky, Belfast. Her work is in Arts Council Ireland; OPW; Dundalk County Council Collections. Beth received her master’s degree at IADT, and her BA from NCAD and the Glasgow School of Art.

For further information please contact:

Julie Clarke of Fingal Arts Office: julie.clarke@fingal.ie
Cleo Fagan of Superprojects: cleofagan@gmail.com

This programme is financially supported by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office & Superprojects
www.fingalarts.ie | www.superprojects.org

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Draiocht Arts Centre & The Irish Museum of Modern Art

Blanchardstown, D15 & Kilmainham, D 8


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Refunds up to 30 days before event

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