‘Virtually There’ exhibition at The Dock

Dad by  Annie Rodney Morton, Donaghey Primary School, Co. Tyrone. From artist Ann Donnelly's Virtually There residency.
‘Virtually There’, a national exhibition and event tour of work made by artists, children and teachers launches in Co Leitrim on December 5 at The Dock Arts Centre in Carrick-on-Shannon.

‘Virtually There’, a national exhibition and event tour of work made by artists, children and teachers launches in Co Leitrim on December 5 at The Dock Arts Centre in Carrick-on-Shannon.

What happens when an artist in their studio collaborates online with children in the classroom?

Virtually There explores a unique model of arts in education, based on a project by national arts organisation Kids’ Own which has been running in Northern Irish schools since 2007 and is now piloting at Scoil Mhuire NS in Leitrim and primary schools in Tralee.

Demonstrating the use of virtual technology to connect studio and classroom, the exhibition showcases work created by children and teachers in collaboration with artists Ann Donnelly, Julie Forrester, Ann Henderson, Sharon Kelly and Andrew Livingstone.

Learn about the 50 ways to dismantle a cherry tomato, watch as a clay head dissolves in water, follow children’s drawing recipes to create your own artwork … the world of Virtually There will defy your expectations of what can be achieved when children and artists work virtually together.

Commenting on the exhibition, Laura Mahon, Visual Arts and Education Officer at The Dock, said: “The Dock is delighted to partner with Kids Own in exhibiting Virtually There’.

“We feel it is very important that the arts are made relevant to the communities in which they exist and this exhibition, in the way it examines artists, teachers and children engaging together through technology marks, we feel, just the beginning of a really exciting arts adventure,” she explained to our reporter.

“One of our studio artists, Naomi Draper, will be part of this adventure working with Scoile Mhuire during the exhibition both in her studio and virtually, using the available technology, and we are all looking forward to seeing the results.”

Orla Kenny, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, said: “Technology can provide a unique platform for connection between the classroom and the studio and gives children an opportunity to enter into an enquiring space with an artist. Far from drawing them away from their learning, it supports everything they are doing in the classroom and offers so much richness in terms of developing their creative and divergent thinking and supporting their learning and development through collaborative exploration,” she explained.

Virtually There will have a public launch at 6pm on Friday, December 5 as part of The Dock’s 2014 “Open Season” exhibition. The Exbibition will continue in The Dock until January 24, 2015. For further information on the exhibition visit www.thedock.ie

The Virtuatlly There exhibition and the event tour of 2014-2015, is funded by the Arts Council’s Touring and Dissemination of Work Award – in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.