Art History Trip to Newgrange

Caoimhe Cleary reports on a recent art history expedition:

“Recently Ms. Cullen took the Fifth Form Art History group to the famous sites of Newgrange, and Knowth situated in Brú Na Bóinne. The purposes of this was to better show and teach our class about Neolithic art, as currently in the syllabus we are covering the various carvings that are featured at this site. Everyone had packed their backpacks, and at 9 o’clock sharp we rushed off towards the school bus, snatching one of the school lunches along the way. Roughly an hour later we arrived, and our learning experience began.

We first got on one of the buses of the sites, and headed off to the main site of Newgrange. Here our textbooks came to life, as we saw that giant mound studded with white quartz that caught the sunlight surrounded by massive stones full of those inexplicable carvings, and, most beautifully of all, the ornately carved entrance stone which was draped in so much legend and soaked in the whispered rumours of magic. It was truly breathtaking, and the countless hours we had spent writing essays and beating our heads on our desks seemed a little less pointless. We then entered and got to experience a pale recreation of what would happen during the winter solstice, and we filled out about a hundred submissions to get to see it during the actual winter solstice. This time when Ms. Cullen babbled on about the actual mechanics of the Light box, we really listened.

We then raced off to Knowth, and got to see even more of these beautiful carvings that posed as a testament to the ingeniousness of our ancestors. We further learned about the various creations and art works of the Neolithic people, not to mention the history of the sites.

Finally we returned to the interpretive centre, where Ms. Cullen helped us fill out the worksheets we had created in preparation for the mock exam question we would later do.

All in all, his trip to Newgrange really served to show to our class the various art works that denoted an era, and truly brought to life what we had been studying all this time. This trip was truly memorable and even people like myself whom had already been,  got something new out of it.”