Well privileged once again to work with wonderful enthusiastic young people as part of the Creative School programme , this time I was a St Marys school in Edenderry, Co. Offaly. I met a very energetic art teaching team -Fiona Farrell and Niamh Casey and worked with their two first year groups....where we create headpieces whilst at the same time have really meaningful conversations about how to edge our way out of the current plastic crisis!
Well as the bank holiday draws to a close and I am packing my tools and getting ready to start another creative workshop at St Marys's secondary school in Edenderry in Offaly tomorrow.
No doubt we will be discussing the report released today by the UN's Global Assessment which has highlighted the distressing impact that humanity is having on the natural world - species are being lost at the fastest ever rate, mainly driven by the changing use of land.
As a society we are overwhelmed by media stories with their sad images of death and choked oceans and it’s easy to feel as if individual and local actions won’t matter. It’s sometimes hard to have these discussions with young people without upsetting them but I aim to offer hope through creativity and discussion. Without doubt rapid action is needed at a political level to avoid an ecological disaster however I firmly believe individual actions can still matter.
REDUCE, RE-USE and REFUSE TO USE Single Use Plastic.
Oops just realized that I never actually posted about this wonderful exposure for our recent snake project . Really relevant when we consider that Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe; generating an average of 61kgs per person every year - almost double what the UK produces. - We produce the equivalent of nearly 2,000 water bottles per person per year- these young people were particularly shocked and really want to do something about it! Great to be in a position to give them a voice and to have it heard!
Please check out the link below.
Half term........ loved it so nice to switch off the engine and just kick back in the garden .... but seeing as I am already sitting at a computer again preparing to start a new project next week here's a few pics from most recent creative residency at St Fintan's High School Sutton where I met a wonderful art teacher called Ruth Barry who was hosting a school arts week. I was invited to create some new single use plastic headdresses with the TY students and we even made it out for some fresh air and a short beach clean up too.
Thanks to everyone who came to St. Patricks cathedral last evening and despite the heavy rain we has a great evening! In addition to helping to create the "Single Use Plastic Snake" project, the young people at CMS Learning centre in D8 created a series of posters to advertise last nights performance at St Patrick's cathedral. These bright and colourful posters show headdresses made in workshops, over the past month by the teenagers involved, and offer bold visual alternatives to using so much plastic. They were all too shy, apart from one, to feature on the posters so teachers and myself took the glory. The posters will adorn the streets of Dublin for next 2 weeks, and will we hope, further drive home the message REDUCE, RE-USE AND REFUSE TO USE!
Listen to the kids folks- their words not mine!
Well another long day yesterday ...packed the van with 30ft snake in kit form and left home just before 6am to reach Dublin in time for an early visit from RTE news team at Francis St CBS. Kids were sooooo excited to showcase their work and spoke really well.. I got a few words in too so all good. Then a long afternoon spent in St Patrick's Cathedral majestic space assembling the single use plastic monster that we have been working on for the past 3 months. And it worked!!!! Thanks to the the children of D8 for their enthusiasm, Marc Rome (patience and amazing building skills), Kelley Bermingham and team at St Patricks's, Eoghan Desmond (plastic song composer ) and Eddie McGuinness ( talented choreographer) . Performance is tonight at 6.45 in the cathedral FREE tickets must be downloaded from their site in advance .... If yews in Dublin please do drop in and hear the voice of Dublin's youth screaming NO to having their (government provided) school luches food wrapped in single use plastic.
Well the final countdown.... last week of building scales with these talented young creative wonderful minds..
I also was invited to St. Canices BNS in Finglas.. where Miss Bolger's 1st class boys had saved 350 bottles in their class room from their government supplied school lunches. A great lesson on her part to show the boys how quickly it all piles up and doesn't just magically disappear!
Back in in D8 with Miss Whyte's class at Francis St CBS we also got to try to the carcass of the snake for size and I showed the children development pictures of the snakes head which is currently being sprayed by Marc in our polly-tunnel at home in Laois.
Kelly Bermingham from St Patrick's cathedral also came in to visit and we had a rehearsal of the song " Plastic" created by Eoghan Desmond. This song will be performed by the local schools ( St Brigid's, St. Enda's, Francis St CBS, Warrenmount and the D8 scouts) who have also participated , alongside with presentation of the snake in in the Cathedral next Thursday night at 6pm! FREE tickets shave to pre-booked on line just click here folks https://stpatrickscathedral.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/21373?branches.branchID=1045&_ga=2.14025591.1782793719.1554043697-1996397658.1554043697
PLEASE DO COME ALONG FOR WHAT PROMISES TO BE A GREAT EVENING!
Well another great week working with the young people of Dublin 8- CMS Learning centre, St Francis CBS and the YMCA after school group. While the snake's head has to be structurally built at home - due to its size ( I hope it will fit out the studio door), it was full steam ahead with sorting plastics and building scales in Dublin. Then later in the day we had some great drawings and quotes from the after school group. I feel very privileged to be working with such wonderful enthusiastic young people and also great to hear that thousands of school pupils worldwide have abandoned classrooms for another day of protest against climate change.
ONE day of school lunch wrappings from ONE school ...along with ONE weeks crisp packets collected outside school all go to make the scales of the first 10 ft of our Snake!
Taylo and King: Ditch the plastic
With 500 packs of Tayto are sold every minute this amounts to two hundred sixty-two million eight hundred thousand crisp packets every year. The composite material conventionally used to keep crisps fresh is not biodegradable and cannot be recycled so that's an awful lot of landfill and poison for the environment. Given the current single use plastic crisis we are asking Largo foods to address this issue IMMEDIATELY and come up with a solution to change the materials for their packets to one which is recyclable or even more preferably a non-plastic environmentally friendly material. www.peopleagainstplastic.ie
Annie Holland is an Irish artist and photographer currently engaged in artworks that tackle and highlight, the growing problems of plastic pollution.