'Síolad', Gaelscoil Na Mi, Ashbourne. New Per Cent for Art Project

A new work installed in May 2017 at Gaelscoil Na Mi, Ashbourne. 

Artists Fiona Coffey / Liz McMahon of Glendarragh Studios

The process led practice of artists Fiona Coffey and Liz Mc Mahon engaged with the primary school students and staff in this school as well as researching the area in which their new school is located. Their research led them to the name ‘Ashbourne’ which was named by Frederick Bourne in 1820 – ‘Ashbourne’ being a combination of his name and that of his favourite tree, the Ash. 

In researching how the Ash tree came to Ireland, the artists found that shortly after the Ice Age when the weather warmed up, birds and animals carried ash seeds across land bridges from Britain and Europe, firmly rooting them in Irish soil. 

As birds are among the most effective seed dispensers of all animals, the artists proposed the making of a sculptural artwork that would capture the birds carrying seeds in their beaks. 

The children of Gaelscoil Na Mi, following this storytelling drew birds carrying seeds in their beaks and those drawings became the source of inspiration for the realisation of the visual element of this artwork. 

Wood from the Ash tree is versatile, flexible and strong, making it one of Ireland’s most popular woods to work with. Ash is used in the production of both hurling sticks for sport and musical instruments such as the harp, fiddle and bodhrán frame. As hurling (also referred to as 'the clash of the ash') and music are central to the rich Irish heritage which is very much part of of Gaelscoil na Mí, the artists used hurls and recycled musical instruments, as well as off cuts of ash from their manufacture. Other materials included metal banding (used in fixing hurls) and insulating tape (used in wrapping handles).

The Ash in the form of musical instruments and hurling sticks were combined as the materials to create the overall artwork. 

Commissioning body: Department of Education and Skills, Per Cent for Art Scheme.

Project Manager/ Curator: Rina Whyte



Commission Call Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

16 August 2017

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum, invite proposals for a commission focusing on the creation of new work through...More..

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Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.

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