ELEMENTAL: ARTIST-RESIDENCY & COLLABORATIVE ARTWORK COMMISSION WITH SIOBHAN MCGIBBON AND STUDENTS FROM DROMORE NATIONAL SCHOOL, BANTRY
January - March 2019

Artist Siobhan McGibbon and students from Dromore National school in Bantry are working together to create artworks as part of the Elemental exhibition at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre. The residency is taking place both in the class-room and in Uillinn, where the brief for the students is to work with Siobhan to research, experiment and create their own artworks, responding to artworks by Caoimhe and Karl, and the exhibition themes. For the final 10 days of the exhibition, these collaborative artworks will join the work of artists Caoimhe Kilfeather and Karl Burke.

The exhibition of Siobhan and the students’ work opened on Saturday 16th February and features stop-motion animations and several sculptures of varying scales. During her residency, Siobhan’s exploration with the students has focused on scale, perspective, enclosure and responding to space or site. In their work, Siobhan and the students carefully considered their designated site within the gallery - the balcony area - and focused on the balcony ledge, and the space along the window. Through on-going conversation amongst the group, ideas around surveillance, spying and illusion emerged. The finished artworks includes a ‘fort’ for hiding and spying onto the courtyard, periscopes that act as a tool for smaller people to see over the balcony (and for spying), sculptural maquettes and a stop-motion animation that explored illusion…

EXHIBITION AT UILLINN: WEST CORK ARTS CENTRE: 16th February - 2nd March

6 in the fort Kevin O'Farrell - Elemental schools project opening ©Kevin O'Farrell 16-02-19_DSF5716.jpg
The fort is a place for hiding and spying.

The fort is a place for hiding and spying.

Inside the fort 1 - Kevin O'Farrell - Elemental schools project opening ©Kevin O'Farrell 16-02-19_DSF5590.jpg
10 Kevin O'Farrell - Elemental schools project opening ©Kevin O'Farrell 16-02-19_DSF6171.jpg
2 sculptures Kevin O'Farrell - Elemental schools project opening ©Kevin O'Farrell 16-02-19_DSF5637.jpg
Kevin O'Farrell - Elemental schools project opening ©Kevin O'Farrell 16-02-19_DSF5633.jpg
11 Kevin O'Farrell - Elemental schools project opening ©Kevin O'Farrell 16-02-19_DSF6234.jpg
The periscopes act as a tool for seeing over the side of the balcony, or for spying undercover.

The periscopes act as a tool for seeing over the side of the balcony, or for spying undercover.

Stop-motion animation. The images you see in this artwork include sculptural maquettes made in teams, and performances in response to Karl Burke's 'Taking a Line' sculpture; exploring scale, perspective and illusion.

Looking at stop-motion animation artwork, students and teacher Neasa.

Looking at stop-motion animation artwork, students and teacher Neasa.

All images above by Kevin O’Farrell

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DIARY OF ARTIST-RESIDENCY

TEAMWORK!
Workshop 5, Wednesday 6th February
Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre

This week Siobhan facilitated the students to work in teams to create both sculpture and stop-motion animations, in teams. Siobhan showed examples from YouTube of people’s self-made ‘flying’ animations, discussing the techniques involved in this production of seeming magic…Suitably inspired, Siobhan directed the students around the space, capturing still images of them, which she would later use to create the stop-motion piece. After this, they worked in teams to create small sculptures in a given space, using lengths of timber and cable ties, materials and methods taken from Karl’s work. Again focusing on scale, Siobhan asked the students to think of their sculpture as a maquette for a larger sculpture, such as the one by Karl Burke. At the end, each team presented their work to the other students. The students took a range of approaches – from the formal to the highly imaginative. The children displayed eager curiosity about each other’s work. This week they also tested out the periscope. Built by technician Stephen, Siobhan and the students conceived of the periscope as a way for smaller children to see over the balcony, and to enable spying on the gallery below…

#maquettes #illusion #stopmotionmagic

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ANIMATION, INSPIRED BY LINE, REPETITION AND FORM IN KARL BURKE’S WORK
Workshop 4, Thursday 31st January

Dromore National School, Bantry

In this session, Siobhan created a short animation with the students. Each student created 2 seconds of animation by re-arranging paper cut outs. The exercise expanded upon ideas that arose from discussing Karl’s work, such as serial forms and repetition. The students also designed flags for their fort, an idea which emerged from the previous fort-design pitching session. 

#repetition #line

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PITCHING IDEAS TO TECH TEAM!
Workshop 3, Wednesday 30th January

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre

In this session, Siobhan and the students thought about exhibition-making and how they would respond to the ideas in the exhibition. The workshop began in the space with Caoimhe Kilfeather’s work, where the class discussed what the artist might have considered when she designed the work for that particular space. The class talked about scale, interactive, robust, tactile and logistics such as fitting sculptures through doors, taking objects apart and putting them back together. The next exercise took place in their own exhibition space (the balcony), where Siobhan explained that artists must always consider the area they are exhibiting in. With this in mind, Siobhan explained that their fort must leave enough space for wheelchair access, must adhere to all health and safety regulation, and must be robust enough for audience interaction. Siobhan told the students how artists who make sculpture sometimes work with other people in order to get their work made - people such as engineers, carpenters and technicians. The students were then given the task of pitching their fort-building ideas to the Uillinn tech team. The tech team gave the students feedback on how they (the tech team) might assist in the construction of these structures, and how feasible the proposed ideas were. The students and Siobhan could then use their creativity and problem-solving skills to respond to this feedback, in the development of their designs.

#respondingtospace #workingwiththegalleryteam #forts #enclosures

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WORKING IN THE CLASSROOM, COMPOSITIONAL CHALLENGES AND BEGINNING FORT-BUILDING DESIGN PROCESS
Workshop 2, Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Dromore National School, Bantry

This session took place in the classroom and focused on Karl Burke’s work. Siobhan showed the students slides of Karl’s work, encouraging idea-sharing about perspective, repetition and responding to space. The group discussed why Karl might have chosen to create each work for each space or re-ordered a work for a specific space. The group talked about what each work may look like from different angles and thought about the experience of walking around and through each piece. Siobhan gave the students an exercise in repetition and form. Additional tasks required the students to work in teams to problem-solve spatial and compositional challenges; using both the materials Siobhan had provided and their own classroom furniture. Each task built upon the previous experience and developed the concepts and skills needed to create their own artworks for the exhibition. Inspired by Caoimhe’s structures, the class decided they wanted to create their own fort, for their exhibition, and began the design process. In the first exercise, the students designed forts without any limitations. Imagination ran wild; the students discussed desert forts, castles, slides, eye recognition gates, trap doors, flags, moats and fingerprint scanners.

#problemsolving #teamwork #drawingasdesigntool


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EXPERIENCING THE WORK OF CAOIMHE KILFEATHER AND KARL BURKE AT UILLINN: WEST CORK ARTS CENTRE
Workshop 1, Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre

This session took place in the gallery. For most students, it was their first experience of an art exhibition. Siobhan guided the students into each gallery space, where they had time to explore and interact with the artworks, before regrouping to discuss the work. In each space, Siobhan asked the students what they thought about the artwork and why. Caoimhe Kilfeather's work provoked conversations about space, scale, materials, nature, organising, alternative ways of drawing, fort-building and play. After the initial discussion in Caoimhe’s installation, the children worked in groups to create compositions from the mobile elements amongst Caoimhe’s artworks - elements such as organdie leaves, sweeping brushes, bamboo beaded ropes, cushions and squares of fabric. Karl’s work provoked conversations about scale, movement, space, minimalism, repetition, perspective, construction, materials and portals. After the initial discussion, Siobhan asked the students to draw the sculpture from various angles, initiating conversations about perspective, designing an artwork, exhibition-making and the viewers’ experience of a work.

#scaleandthebody #line #tactileartworks

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