The ARTEFACTS exhibition came about as a result of a TY “History Box Project”. The aim of this project was that students would engage with objects from the past, conducting interviews with older friends and/or relatives and by doing so that they would develop their oral literacy, language, numeracy and research skills. When approached about getting the art department involved, we embraced this as a wonderful opportunity for our TY art students to be inspired by the rich range of artifacts and sources available in the National Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park.
As research on the objects and themes had already been done with their history teachers, the girls were ready to get really creative, conceptual and were excited, however also a little apprehensive, to offer the public an opportunity to view our national treasures through their own eyes. Through this fun a memorable learning, our girls learned how to showcase their own observations and reflections through the use of both contemporary mixed media and traditional techniques, areas many of them had never approached before.
Focusing on their chosen artifact by re-evaluating and appreciating the visual traditions of the 1900s onwards, and comparing these observations with today’s ideas, designs and styles, each student recorded their personal emotional response which resulted in something unique, refreshing and modern. This was an incredible opportunity for cross curricular learning within our school and for our TY art students to connect with their heritage as well as exploring a wide range of exciting art disciplines and creating artwork to be proud of. It was a real thrill and honour for the girls when artist Joanna Hopkins, a past student of St. Joseph’s, opened their exhibition, which was on show for three weeks at Turlough Park, allowing time for them digest to appreciate all their hard work that they were a part of.
It’s been a real pleasure to collaborate with such a fine establishment as the National Museum of Country Life, bringing two community settings together and to inspire our girls with all the wonderful treasures on display there. Working with the girls was a delight as always, their enthusiasm and commitment to their chosen artefact, which was at times challenging, resulted in a beautiful collection of artworks.