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16/10/2021

Limerick students’ lockdown project turns into a work or art

Limerick students’ lockdown project turns into a work or art

Each year's 'We are the artists, our lives are the canvas' competition winners at Scoil Mhuire agus Ide picture with Ciaran O'Sullivan, art teacher and Mr Seán Lane, principal

STUDENTS at Scoil Mhuire agus Ide in Newcastle West have created a lasting memorial of lockdown with a stunning collage which will now remain as a permanent fixture in the school foyer.

The collage was created by incorporating paintings and photographs from scores and scores of students and even a few teachers and is an unique image of the school.

Art teacher Ciarán O’Sullivan explained how it came about. “We were in lockdown and we were trying to think of a way of engaging the whole school community with a simple art project. Then a past pupil, Kyla McGowan got in touch,” he said. “At the time, she was the Limerick Rose and she wanted to do something around mental health and make people aware that Art has multiple benefits.”

Kyla, Mr O’Sullivan continued, came up with the evocative title ‘We are the artists, our lives are the canvas’ And it sparked creativity as well as hope in hundreds of students in the school who responded to the realisation that you can make what you will of your life.

“Everyone was asking to do a little art work or photograph, something that was meaningful to them and the stuff started flowing back, from every year and even from teachers,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

There was also a competitive element to it and several students saw their work being recognised and awarded.

Mr O’Sullivan laughingly acknowledged there was a fair bit of work involved in making the collage but everyone now agrees it was worth it. It will stand as a legacy of a strange period in the life of the school and of the students and staff in the school, a kind of physical memento of Covid-19.

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