On Thursday 22nd April, pupils and staff shared photographs of what they were doing to celebrate Earth Day. Sharing photographs is a nice way to connect and check in with one another, especially during periods of distance learning. We celebrate Earth Day to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind us that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives. “At the heart of Earth Day 2021 is optimism, a critically needed sentiment in a world ravaged by both climate change and the pandemic,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org. We received wonderful entries from both pupils and staff including; small positive changes people made for Earth Day such as cycling, gardening, finding alternatives to single use plastics, and photographs capturing the beautiful landscapes, plants and animals of our Planet Earth. Thank you to all who entered. Entries can be seen in this album:
“Seachtain na Gaeilge” (“Irish Week”, in English) was actually celebrated over a two week period – that sounds mad but the country celebrates it for 17 days! Obviously, activities had to be carried out remotely and it was great to see so many pupils taking part in the various activities. We played “biongó foclóra” (vocabulary bingo) and had “tráthanna na gceist” (quizzes) during our Irish classes. Pupils, both those who study Irish and those who don’t, could enter a poster competition in which they were asked to illustrate one of three “seanfhocail” (proverbs). We received some wonderful entries; the winner was Isabella Treacy and Zofia Cannon-Brookes was awarded second prize. Pupils also entered a “tóraíocht taisce” (a treasure hunt) and answers had to be submitted by way of a collage. The winners were Cameron McKinley, Tabitha Larke and Rachel Shaw. Have a look at their amazing work below.
The Irish Department are also running a “Dialann Ghaeilge” (Irish Diary) competition, whereby pupils keep a record of the Irish they use and hear outside of the classroom for 14 days. The deadline for this has been extended until after the Easter holidays, so why not give it a go?! All prizes will be awarded to pupils after the Easter break.
Many words used in English in Ireland come from the Irish language and some of these were displayed on the College Twitter account and on the Irish Department’s new Instagram account @sccgaeilge. We would love it if you would follow us!
Bainigí go léir taitneamh as briseadh na Cásca agus táimid ag tnúth go mór leis na daltaí ar fad a fheiceáil ar ais ar scoil arís go luath! (Enjoy the Easter break and we are really looking forward to seeing all pupils back at school again soon!)
Form I pupils recently took part in a ‘Sensory Walk’ as part of their wellbeing programme. It was a fantastic opportunity to explore the College Deerpark and to get in touch with nature. The scheme involves the students creating an accordion book where they documented their findings. They collected samples and also and took ‘rubbings’ of a variety of surface textures along the walk. They had a handout to guide them along the walk and to use as a prompt for what they should be gathering. Many thanks to Ms. Byrne for the fantastic photos.
Throughout June, pupils have been challenged to recreate a famous work of art using the objects and people at home. It really captured the pupils’ imagination and the variety of submissions was amazing. The album below contains a large variety of the entries received. Well done to everyone involved!
During the June Programme, the Biology Department challenged the pupils to create a piece of artwork with a biological focus. Biology and art are cosy bed-fellows, and their evolution has intertwined throughout history. Art provides an opportunity to study living things, and their parts, in extraordinary detail thus improving our knowledge and understanding of the world around us. Pupils could use a variety of media to explore biological art in one of the following five themes: plants, animals, inside the cell, viruses or anatomy.
The entries have now all been received and our judge, Old Columban and botanical artist Holly Somerville, has decided on a winner. Many congratulations to Zofia Cannon-Brookes (Form III) for her piece ‘Inside we are all the same‘. Holly remarks: “It combines excellent illustrative qualities with painterly skills, while at the same time reminding us of such an important and timely issue. A superb design!” Zofia wins a signed print of Holly’s wonderful painting ‘Sanctuary’ (shown above).
The following pupils and their paintings were all ‘Highly Commended’: Kate Higgins (Lung Flowers), Elena O’Dowd (Vibrant Skull) and Isabel Warnock (Coffea arabica). Each will receive a copy of either Animalium, Botanicum or Anaticum – wonderful books celebrating the best of biological art.
The Form IV Art set had a busy Trinity term. Alice Letort explains the work they undertook over the past 6 weeks.
The Form IV distance learning project this term was to create a ‘Virtual Wall of Tools’. The project comprised a number of steps. We started by learning the shape of tools by doing some blind line drawings as well as positive and negative space drawing. Then we studied Jim Dine, and his tool drawings before moving to the experimental printing section of the project. Jim Dine is an American Pop Artist. We were able to take inspiration from his black and white tool drawings. We all had great fun composing and printing the tools with shoe polish, paint, and any other material we could find at home! Next, we started focusing on one tool by doing a detailed observational drawing.
Now we were ready to start the final part of the project which lasted 2 weeks. It consisted of creating 3D tools with cardboard. We first had to plan the construction and then build them. It was a challenge to make the mechanism of the tools function but many of us achieved it. I created pruning shears in which the hinge fully functions! When all of them were done, Ms Cullen created the ‘Virtual Tool Wall’.
I had a lot of fun this term trying all these new techniques, especially the experimental printing because I never practised it before. I also enjoyed building the 3D tool, it was fun and complex.
Form IV (Transition Year) Art pupils have been working on a portraiture-themed project throughout the Hilary Term. This began with a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland to see The Zurich Portrait Prize in late December. Pupils also researched a portrait artist of their choice and the range of artists chosen was wide and varied. This research, along with a number of drawing exercises, prompted and encouraged pupils through the concept and design phase of the creative process of portraiture. The pupils completed the final portrait in the medium of their choice. Enjoy the gallery below.
The recent naming of the Art Centre as the ‘Patrick Scott Art School’ has provided great inspiration for Arts Week 2020. Arts Week organiser Mrs Cathy Boobbyer has teamed up with visual artist Yvonne McGuinness to plan an exciting week of events. From March 18th to 22nd there will be a number of artists visiting the College to carry out workshops with various year groups. There will be drama and music and there are plans for a collective art piece involving everyone!
‘Community Matters‘ will be the theme of the week. The College’s strong connection to Patrick Scott will anchor a number of the activities but there will also be an emphasis on our current community. Community is also the theme for the 2020 Art Prize brief. The brief has now been published and can be found here on firefly. Pupils can also get details on entering for the prize from Ms Cullen or Miss Murphy.
Preparation for the Art prize can begin immediately and entries must be submitted by March 19th.
Julia Kaptein, Form V, reports on the recent art trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Newgrange.
On October 19th, Saturday morning we left the school on a bus filled with V and VI Form Art pupils to go to the Boyne Valley. We arrived to the Interpretive Centre (currently undergoing renovations) where we met a shuttle bus which would bring us to our destination. Our first stop was Newgrange. Our guide showed us around and explained everything to us about the Newgrange passage tomb, a UNESCO world heritage monument. Through the narrow passage, we entered the grave. It is astonishing to think about the craftsmanship that was needed to build this structure. Looking up inside the passage tomb, we could see the corbel vaulting technique that was used to keep the grave dry inside. We walked around the outside of Newgrange and took a second shuttle bus that took us to Knowth. We were shown a short video about Knowth before we went inside the passage tomb. The Knowth monument was more decorated on the outside and surrounded by smaller tombs. We walked on top of the tomb and although the weather was not as beautiful as we hoped, the view was stunning and overlooked the entire Boyne valley. I think it was very helpful for all pupils to see and walk around the tombs rather than just learning from of our books. Visiting the site brought to life all that we had learned in the classroom. Many thanks to Ms. Cullen and Miss Murphy for organising this memorable trip. The excursion was very successful and a chance for us to learn outside of our classroom.
To celebrate the opening of the College’s new social and cultural centre, Whispering House, an exhibition of Leaving Certificate artwork from 2019 has been displayed. The artwork on display in Whispering House comprises the coursework elements completed by the Leaving Certificate candidates of 2019. Pupils had to produce two works of art for the coursework element, one craft and one imaginative composition. These entirely original works of art were conceived through the development of specific themes; ‘Balance’, ‘Indentation’ and ‘Familiar’.
Eight pupils sat the Leaving Certificate Art in 2019 and all at Higher Level. Their results were excellent – collectively they scored 718 points out of a potential maximum of 800! Two of the pupils have since gone on to study Art at third level.
The artwork was erected yesterday – see photos here.
Antonia Bullrich, Lucas Cho, Emily Devereux, Clara Eck, Florentine Kolb, Josephine Krieger, Jeanne Levesque, Isabelle Townshend
Emma Hinde, Form III, reports on her experience of participating in this year’s Art Prize and on the prize giving evening, held last weekend. Emma won the Junior Art Prize this year with her painting above.
The Art Prize was different this year. It used to be just drawing or painting any picture or making something within any theme for the craft. But this year there were set themes: Journey and Identity. We also had to make a mind map relating our artwork to the chosen theme. This meant that fewer people entered fewer pieces of work, but also made it easier for our visiting artist, Conrad Frankel, to judge.
On Saturday evening, he came in to talk about his work and announce the prizes. The talk came along with a slideshow, which showed some of his paintings and how they had evolved over time. Inspirations change. He mainly paints landscapes now. We were given lots of useful tips for painting. I will tell you some of these now:
“The sky is light and the Earth is a shadow,” “Shadows are cold” and; “the best colour you can make is unnameable.”
He also told us how he started his paintings; beginning with the sky with a palette knife, looking at what he is painting with his peripheral vision to get the outline, and then blocking a silhouette of the land.
It was a very interesting talk, and then the prizes were announced. Jeanne Levesque won the Earl of Meath Senior Art Prize, Tania Stokes won the Senior Craft Prize, Verlaine Bolger won the Photography Prize, Isabel Warnock won the Junior Craft Prize, and I won the Junior Art Prize. When I heard my name and saw my paintings on the screen, I felt like I could almost have jumped up and down in joy. It was an amazing feeling.
Amelie Buzay , Form IV, reports on her experience of the recent print workshop with Debora Ando.
During Arts Week on Thursday, March 28th, Form IV and V had the opportunity to take part in a print workshop. Debora Ando, who is a specialist in printing visited St. Columba’s for this day to teach us how Intaglio Drypoint printing works.
Firstly, she showed us some examples of her work so we could see what this type of printing is about. There were many different kinds of prints in different colours and sizes. Secondly, she showed us how the actual printing works; firstly, you need to have an idea of what you want to print. If what you want to print is a photo you need to print it out first, on the other hand, if what you want to print is an idea you have in your mind you need to draw it with pencil on a sheet of paper. Once that is ready, you need a small plastic plate that is placed on the drawing. You need to use a tool called a drypoint (a wooden handle with a hard metal tip) and you scratch with it on the plastic as you were using a pencil. The lighter you scratch, the lighter the print. Once you are finished you put the chosen colour of ink on the plastic plate and spread it into the scratched image with a small piece of cardboard. After you finished that, you place the plastic plate in the printing machine. On top of this, you place a wet piece of printing cotton paper. Finally, you run your paper and plate through the print press. This called pulling a print.
We all tried doing our own piece and the results were wonderful prints. It was really interesting trying something new and we all had great fun with this workshop.
Sveva Ciofani (Form IV) describes her recent visit to KennardPhillipps exhibition ‘Finnegans Woke’ at Rua Red Arts Centre, Tallaght; this was an Arts Week event.
Unique, fun and interesting are the words that I would use to describe our Art trip. It was a sunny Wednesday and my art classmates and I took the bus with Ms Cullen to the Finnegans Woke exhibition in Tallaght. We arrived around 3pm we entered a small building I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of interesting pieces of art in such a small building! A really pleasant man explained in detail some of the pieces and all of them had a really deep meaning. My favourite piece was the first one that we saw: a skyscraper with a background of polluted soil that represented pollution spreading nowadays. The reason why I highly appreciated this piece is that lately, we heard a lot about global warming, pollution and strikes around the globe. Another reason why I like the piece is because it wasn’t actually a painting but a photoshop, a type of art that I find really interesting because it’s related to technology and not to the typical use of markers, paint and pencils. We also saw other pieces, for example, we saw a piece that played with the shadows and represented multiple things; in all pieces, there were various meanings. In general, I thought that all pieces were really controversial and unique, they all dealt with very important themes: racism, war, pollution. These are all issues of which we need to be aware. In fact, I strongly believe that this exhibition is made for opening people’s eyes, to make people aware and most importantly to actually do something about it, so I invite everyone to go visit it.
The exhibition does not just teach us, but also involves the viewer. In the middle of the room, there was an enormous raft made up of all the posters that were made by the visitors. I think that the raft brings to the world some hope. The posters represented a good vision and awareness of the issues, and all of us made some posters. The poster that Ana and I made was about the gap between rich and poor and how this expands every year. It was about over consuming items and about bad lifestyles. We decided the divide the paper into two different parts, a colourful one and a dark one, because we thought that gave a strong visual impact.
My other classmates made posters about other important issues: for example body shame, inequality, racism and the acceptance of the LGBT community. All of the pieces expressed creativity and a sense of awareness, that is a positive thing in my opinion, because our generation is going to be next one, and if all of us are tolerant, educated and aware it is going to be positive for our society.
We had a good time and I think it was worth the trip. Apart from learning a lot of things, it was also a way of changing our normal routine and try something new. We also had the opportunity of spending some time together, to work in pairs and to think about how privileged we are to have access to some things.
Below is a gallery of photos taken all the events during Arts Week, including the visit to Finnegan’s Woke.
The Art and Music Prize events took place over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday nights respectively. These events traditionally bring to a close our annual Arts Week.
On Saturday evening we welcomed artist and Old Columban Conrad Frankel to speak with the whole school on his journey as an artist and, of course, to judge the entries for the prize. After a fascinating and humorous talk, Conrad announced the winners in each category. The prizes went to Jeanne Levesque (Senior Art), Tania Stokes (Senior Craft), Verlaine Bolger (Photography, one of her photos featured above), Emma Hinde (Junior Art) and Isabel Warnock (Junior Craft).
The Music Prizes Concert was held on Sunday, March 30th; the adjudicator was Mr Jonathan Browner. He is currently headmaster in Educate Together School in Bray, but was previously Director of Music in Sandford Park School. It was a very entertaining evening with performers from 1st to 6th Form. He gave a very good adjudication and especially praised the high standard of singing in the College. Prizes were awarded to Harry Oke Osanyitolu, Toby Green, Alexandra Murray Donaldson, Alex Russell, Andre Stokes and Songyon Oh.
Well done to everyone involved in a hugely entertaining and engaging weekend, but especially to the prize winners!
Arts Week 2019 kicked off with a morning of fun and magic tricks for Form I pupils. Magician, Jack Wise, kept them highly entertained, but also taught them a thing or two about how some of the tricks work. In teaching them, however, it became clear just what skill is involved in being able to perform convincingly.
Tuesday switched up a gear with Eunan McDonald training about 150 primary school children, from seven different schools, to perform in fabulous concert in our chapel in the afternoon. Parents of many of the primary school children came to watch and were treated to our own choirs singing as well. It is a wonderful way of encouraging singing, but also of showcasing the wonderful choral tradition at St. Columba’s. It was great to hear both St. Columba’s and the visiting primary schools singing a song from New Zealand – a tribute after recent events there.
Depending on which pupils you spoke to, there would be all sorts of different highlights from the rest of the week.
Transition Year pupils art pupils had the opportunity of visiting the Finnegans Woke Exhibition which centred around artwork as a symbol of civil resistance and the struggle for a better future. Sveva Ciofana writes on her experience here.
A first for this year was the opportunity for Transition Years and Form VI to learn new dance moves as brother and sister, Luise and Ferdinand von Waitz from Germany, taught the pupils how to jive German style with Friesenrock! Thursday night the BSR was rocking as about 50 pupils crammed in to give it a go, finishing with an informal competition for best German couple, best mixed (German and non-German) couple and best complete beginners. Congratulations to all involved! Thursday also saw the art room being taken over by print making with a fabulous teacher Debora Ando. Again, a pupil report will follow shortly.
The Guest Artist Exhibition went ahead on a stunningly sunny evening this year. Those here last year will remember we had to cancel because of the snow. We were treated to a wonderful evening with work displayed by Sarah Langham (landscapes) and William Nathans (portraits). Sarah combines painting with amazing craft skills too and, as well as her landscapes, she displayed beautiful handbags made from old kilm rugs, tweed and recycled leather. Both artists inspired us all in completely different ways, Sarah as a self-taught painter and William describing his passion for passing on what he has learned by talking through each of the works exhibited. These events for parents and friends of the Columban community are great opportunities to meet and mingle as well as to learn something new.
What a treat we had on Friday night as nineteen juniors and seniors shared the poems they had written during the workshops on Thursday and Friday. Our thanks to poet Dave Lordan whose mission is to inspire young people in the art of story-telling and performance poetry. The starting point for them all was rooted in Ancient Greece and the work of Homer. The quality of the poems written and performed was outstanding. All work was completely original and as Dave impressed upon us, it had not existed the previous day. Another pupil report will follow shortly.
Form IV and V music pupils spent Friday making and recording music using iPads. “Simply Music” introduce students to the new and emerging software used in the music industry.
Old Columban, Conrad Frankel, a painter of national and international repute, arrived on Saturday and spent the afternoon taking in all the work that had been produced for the Art Prize Competition. This year saw a new format with students being given a brief and entering the prize competition; all pieces were exhibited in the BSR. On Saturday night Conrad addressed the whole school in BSR and all listened attentively as Conrad took us through the influences that inspired his own work and then a look at his own previous and current painting. We had a great back and forth with plenty of questions from pupils before the prizes were presented. The winners of this year’s Art Prizes were: Junior Art Prize – Emma Hinde, Junior Craft Prize – Isabel Warnock, Photography Prize – Verlaine Bolger, Senior Craft Prize – Tania Stokes and the Senior Art Prize – Jeanne Levesque (her winning painting featured above).
Jonathan Browner, principal of North Wicklow Educate Together School and previous Head of Music at Sandford Park School, had the daunting task of judging our Music Prize entrants. We had a fabulous line-up of singers and a wide range of instrumentalists, from the violin to trumpet to accordion and drums. Jonathan’s feedback was appreciated by us all as he described why he had chosen each of the six winners and those who also were also given a special mention. The winners of this year’s Music Prizes were Alexandra Murray-Donaldson, Alex Russell, André Stokes, Toby Green, Harry Oke-Osanyintolu and Songyon Oh.
A big thanks to all those involved in making Arts Week such a success. Below is an album of photographs from the various events that took place.
This year’s Guest Artist Exhibition will take place on Thursday 28th March 2019 @ 6:45pm in Whitehall (the main building). The exhibition features two completely different artists and is one of the main events of the College’s annual Arts Week.
William Nathans is a classically-trained portrait painter and will be exhibiting work ranging from portraits in oils to charcoal sketches. He will be available to take commissions on the evening. Sarah Langham is a current Columban parent and draws her inspiration from the Irish landscape. Her work will be for sale at the exhibition. We are fortunate to be able to showcase these artists and both of them will speak about their work on the evening.
Tickets for the exhibition are €20, including drinks and canapes, and can be paid by cheque – made out to St. Columba’s College – or, alternatively, the amount can be placed on your school account. To book your place please fill out this online form here.
All enquiries should be sent by email to Cathy Boobbyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Art Department has issued the themes for this year’s Art Craft & Photography Prizes, for both Junior and Senior pupils. The themes for this year’s prizes are JOURNEY and IDENTITY and a wide range of styles and techniques are welcome. This year’s competition will be judged by artist and Old Columban Conrad Frankel who will also speak on the night of the prize giving. One of his paintings is shown above.
Transition Year pupil Elise Williams writes about last year’s Junior Certificate Art Projects, which will be on display in the BSR this Sunday after the Christmas Carol Service.
Last year, Form III art pupils undertook the Junior Certificate Art Project. The projects were based on a theme of which there were five to choose from. The themes we were given were broad, but we could expand on them and each create our own version of the topic. The projects were very much centered around the preparatory sketches, the work that was put into planning them, and brief explanations for the thought processes.
The course required three art pieces, three preparation pieces to support each one, two supporting pieces, and two one-hour long drawing exams. There was a 3-D construction or sculpture, a 2-D painting or design, and an option to do a craft piece with choices to use calligraphy, puppetry, batique, a lino cut, woodwork, etc. My class seemed challenged not by the projects themselves, but the pressure to complete them in the frame of time given.
An important part of the course was to show how our work developed and how new ideas generated over time. In addition to our three projects, we completed an hour-long drawing exam of a still life and a second exam which required us to draw a model from life.
We all worked hard on our projects and as the due date came closer we became more satisfied with the results of our work. It was a good experience that taught me creating art takes time and a lot of work because it is not just the art, but the ideas behind it.
This Sunday December 9th, there will be an exhibition and opportunity to view our work displayed in the BSR after the evening of the Carol Service. We hope to see you there!