Poster Heading Animal Architecture

 

Animal Architecture was a series of pop-up workshops at Stephenstown Pond (Knockbridge, County Louth) where children and their families made imaginary dwellings for animals using foraged natural materials. The artworks took the form of small site specific sculptures situated within the pond habitat inspired by nests, cocoons and animal shelters.

The project took its inspiration from animal homes showcased in the book Animal Architecture by Ingo Arndt, and involved families working together to create their own naturalistic dwelling spaces. The building of each nesting space involved communication and collaborative creativity.

This project was supported by Create Louth, The Arts Service of Louth Local Authorities

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Light the Summer Fire

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Age and Opportunity, Bealtaine Festival 2015

The Bealtaine Festival is a nationwide celebration of ‘creativity as we age’ organised by Age and Opportunity Ireland. One of the festival’s themes for 2015 is reflecting upon our relationship to landscape.

As part of this celebration, St. John of God North East Services in Drumcar, County Louth staged a May procession of song, art, poetry and movement, within a forest filled with wildflowers.

Seasonal celebrations at St. Jon of God North East Services are now regularly held as a collaboration between staff members involved in art therapy, spiritual care, art, music, and activation programmes. Each celebration incorporates folklore traditions, ritual, music, artworks, and environmental installations.

A Dance of Touch

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A series of creative movement workshops are exploring touch as a stimulus for dance for adults living with physical disability and limited mobility. Improvisation through finger and hand contact examines relationships with carers through non-verbal communication.

Gestures unfold into a series of evocative explorations of space, time and inter-subjectivity.

This project is supported by Saint John of God North East Services, County Louth

Dundalk Youth Centre Live Art

Groundswell worked with the Dundalk Youth Centre to develop a series of pop up performance art events. Performane art can be a way of making something happen on the streets, using art to get in contact with people and to make a difference in everyday life. Performance art is a live art form, and the Dundalk Youth Centre performance art group shared art remedies, positive pieces of advice, and site specific movement installations under the heading Art Cures.

ART CURES

 

Performance Art…

Physical and Spoken Graffiti

A Live Art

A Way of Getting Your Message Out in the Open

Creating a ‘Scene’ that Pops Up  in Everyday Places

Mixing Words, Art, and Physical Actions

A Way to Make an Impact

An Opportunity to Share Ideas and Experiences

A Chance to Make Something Unexpected Happen

This project was supported by Create Louth, The Arts Service of Louth County Council

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Botanical Expeditions

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Artist books displaying the discoveries of walking expeditions through floral gardens is the feature of a project for adults with special needs. Botanical drawing, in this instance, captures not the actual representation of a plant’s features, but rather how the viewer moves and responds to the plant itself. Walking and artistic gestures are combined, and movement accompanies observation and depiction. The goal of the project is to document botanical experiences that are full of colour, texture, and a feeling of abundance.

This project is supported by Saint John of God North East Services, County Louth

 

A Feast of Words

Feast of Words

Groundswell coordinated an arts and health celebration for Spring 2015 entitled A Feast of Words: Arts and Well Being. The celebration was an inaugural event launching an arts and health partnership composed of the following participants: The Arts Office of County Louth (Create Louth), Creative Spark, An Táin Arts Centre, The Dundalk Youth Centre, and Louth County Council Library Service.

Feast of Words Events

International Women’s Day Book Displays at Dundalk, Drogheda and Ardee Libraries

Remote: A Play about Protest, Power and Protecting Yourself, M.A.D. Youth Theatre, An Táin Arts Centre

Pulp and Print Exhibition of Handmade Paper Banners with Screen Printing at Creative Spark

Performance Art for the Dundalk Youth Centre’s Open House and St. Patrick’s Day

Writing History, A Workshop for Adults with author Nicola Pierce, Drogheda Library

A Life: A Play about Connections Between the Past and the Present, Dolmen Theatre Group, An Táin Arts Centre

Writing History, A Workshop for Adults with author Nicola Pierce, Dundalk Library

The aim of the Louth arts and health alliance of cultural programmes is to promote community based access to arts interventions that examine and enhance human experience. Of particular interest is the delivery of arts and health services that reflect the integrity of locality as a cultural orientation. Interaction, expression, and achievement are proposed outcomes of an arts and health agenda within this community context.

This project was supported by Create Louth, The Arts Service of Louth County Council

Physical Constructions

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Saint John of God North East Services in Drumcar, County Louth supported an art therapy residency featuring sculptural forms and movement studies, as a therapeutic practice for adults receiving disability services. The manipulation of materials resulted in three dimensional constructions that also explored collaborations between service users and their carers. These ‘duets’ were enacted within movement sessions aimed at unfolding new physical possibilities. Art and movement studies apply art therapy to interrogations of space, and examine how physical contact can create extensions into new dimensions of experience.

Awards

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Groundswell has worked in collaboration with Louth County Council Environment Section, Louth Tidy Towns Together and Blackrock Tidy Towns Together on two biodiversity projects which have received national recognition.

1. Pride of Place Awards in Association with Cooperation Ireland (2014)

An all-island competition that acknowledges the work of communities.

Eco Tribes, Eco Initiative Category, Runner Up

2. Local Authority Community and Council Awards (LAMA) 2014

Awards acknowledge County Council collaboration with community projects that enhance localities.

Blackrock Playground Park, Best Public Park

Visual Journals

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Visual Journals: Mixed Media Artist Books was the title of a month long course at Ardee Library combining journalling and creative writing. A visual journal combines words, photos, images and memorabilia. It is composed from a variety of materials, creating a series of reflective and personal compositions of ideas, experiences and daily activities. The course included outdoor printmaking, photography, environmental art, visual poetry, collage making, drawing and excursions to explore natural and architectural surroundings.

This project was supported by the Louth County Council Library Service

The Nature Studio

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The Nature Studio, 2014 Culture Night Ireland, An Táin Arts Centre,

The Nature Studio was composed of environmental artworks by residents of St. John of God North East Services, St. Mary’s Drumcar, County Louth.

The landscape of this residential health service is composed of gardens and forests that inspire artistic creation. Residents encounter the natural world through walking, observation and touch, providing the inspiration for art forms that reference the environment as a habitat for creativity.

The artworks were made in a forest studio using natural materials. The exhibition itself was also a studio and workshop space. Local primary school students were invited to co-create with service users of St. John of God Day Services as part of the exhibition’s community outreach ethos.

Biodiversity Training for Primary Schools Activists

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This project will highlight the European Year of Active Citizenship by implementing a series of training workshops for local communities and biodiversity Green Schools. Primary schools will participate in a challenge to improve their local environment, by ecologically transforming an area of neglected land within their communities.

Members of Tidy Towns Together, County Louth will learn how to develop biodiversity gardens through a series of training workshops, that will combine practical gardening skills with strategies for organising community celebrations. Ecologically friendly gardening, media promotion, event management, and social activism will be features of the training agenda for participating primary schools and Tidy Towns communities.

This project is supported by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

 

Young Guerrilla Gardeners

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Groundswell, in conjunction with Louth County Council Environment Section, works with groups of primary school children, training them to become guerrilla gardeners. Guerrilla gardeners transform neglected areas of community landscapes into productive or decorative gardens. Collaborating with local Tidy Towns groups the children act as gangs of environmental activists, cultivating nature within local towns and villages.

Each primary school’s group of guerrilla gardeners choose a tag name based on Irish tree or wild flower. From garden design and cultivation to pubic events and environmental education, these troops of young guerrilla gardeners act as leaders in a campaign to change the nature of local landscapes.

This project is supported by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Art Out Loud

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What Art Means to Children

Artwork: The Foot Series by Gemma Tipton

Art Out Loud offered primary school children the opportunity to interact with artworks from the County Louth Art Collection at the Basement Gallery, Dundalk. Children discussed the artworks in regards to their own life experiences and perspectives. The goal of the project was to offer children the opportunity to engage with contemporary art as a springboard for their own ideas and inspiration. The Basement Gallery become a space for children to reflect upon their own identities and life stories in relation to themes evoked within a selection of thought provoking images.

The children developed a large installation composed of personal objects that they brought from home, i.e. toys, hobby materials, sports gear, photos, souvenirs, games, memorabilia, etc. This collaborative installation was generated as a dialogue with the Art Out Loud exhibition.

This project was supported by Create Louth, The Arts Service of Louth County Council