The Thinking Hand, 
Whitecross National School, Julianstown, County Meath,
April – May 2014

This Mobile Art School* programme of ten workshops with artists Vanessa Donoso Lopez, Vera Klute, Stephen Brandes, Gabhann Dunne, Jane Fogarty and John Beattie worked with 5th class children and focused on the medium of drawing. In the choice of artists it was the simultaneous aim to not only reveal the practices of some of Ireland’s most exciting visual artists in relation to drawing, but also to take into consideration the multiple functions of drawing and the ways it can be utilised in the creation of an artwork. Through this programme the children explored techniques and concepts such as Stop Motion Animation, ‘cutting’ as drawing, drawing as visual communication, the art of looking closely, drawing from imagination and drawing from observation. 


Student feedback:

‘I use more detail. I enjoy it more. I think of art as more than just a subject. I wouldn’t just stick to drawing. I’ve been making short films, also painting, using ink, loads of new ideas!

‘My favourite part was when we drew on bananas by picking them with a needle and they went brown. I enjoyed Stephen’s workshop when we made up a story out of our head using drawing.’

‘Stop Motion with John! Amazing. Fantastic. We used chalk to draw pictures and sort of make short films. Thinking outside the box!’

‘Now I do more detail than I used to. I go so far in’

‘I loved the workshops because it was different to the way we normally do art in class. I liked the small groups and the way the artists encouraged us’

‘I learned that even if I can’t draw many things to use your imagination and to use different surfaces and mark-making tools’


* Mobile Art School (2011-2014) was an artists-schools initiative whose workshop and artist-residency programmes sought to simultaneously devise a path between contemporary artists and the educational system, and to support creative modes of learning. Mobile Art School was co-directed and curated with Jennie Guy.