First Years working in their environment, exploring their physical, historical and cultural surroundings through a experimental drawing and painting project. Pupils were learning about line, colour and space while exploring female artists such as Georgia O Keffee, Marlene Dumas and Sonia Delaunay. It was an enjoyable and rich scheme that allowed students to make art outside of their comfort zones.
Fifth Years working En Plein Air while studying the Impressionist period for their Art History curriculum. To gain a better understanding of the impasto and optical mixing technique they spent 2 single classes in the court yard recording everyday subject matter and focusing also on directional line, space and colour.
Drawing is the essence of my studio practice and therefore is a constant and exciting part of my classroom - whether recording our surroundings, experimenting with technique or using it to problem solve.
I ask that students appreciate their exploratory or 'unfinished' drawings while also looking for how they can push their work- to question, to experiment, to engage with our wider community.
In response to what is going on in the world right now this scheme aimed to explore texture, pattern and form through drawing, collage and construction tasks based on the theme ‘Urban Footprints’ which looks at plastic pollution. Students were drawing frozen fish with collected plastic tools, exploring the devastating cycle of plastic use, both for our local and global ecology and our own health. It was an effective project as students couldn't believe that the very plastic fork they eat their Friday night Fish'nChips could very end up in someone else's meal.
Visual aids are an important part of my teaching practice. I think clear, interesting posters in the art room make a big difference to the student's experience and learning. I use visual aids to explain a task, to set a success criteria, to re-enforce learning, to develop literacy and to assist in the assessment of work. I've found that when my resources are of a good quality then the student's work is of a good quality.
Gallery visits are an important part of students' art history and appreciation curriculum. During this placement students went to Roderic O'Conor's Impressionist and Post-Impressionist exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland and Leanne Mullen's 'Drawing Breath' exhibition in An Tain Gallery in Dundalk. There they experienced, recorded and reflected on the layout, lighting and resources as well as the techniques and themes explored by the great artists.