In this project the Art & Design Idirbhliain class of Gaelcholaiste Cheitinn, began an action research study on the wild plants that grow along the riverside path of the Suir Blueway.
Click on the image to view the full completed sketchbook.
Alongside the benefits that these plants contribute to the biodiversity of the area students also considered the inspiration that the natural environment provides for artists and designers.The study was run over 6 months and included three visits to the Blueway and an investigation of Tidy Towns campaigns. A little patch of green and No Mow.
Their objectives were:
To facilitate record keeping the teachers at Gaelcholaiste Cheitinn produced a workbook, which could also be submitted for a QQI Level 4 Minor Design Award (Quality Qualifications Ireland). Into which the students recorded their findings and worked on their sketches and designs. Students also undertook three field trips to the blueway during class time to photograph and draw the plants. These took place, in September, February and lastly in April to observe the plants at different stages of growth.
The project has reached its final month and to date the students have each sketched, painted and produced a print of their chosen plant. It has increased their awareness of the habitat around their school and three of the students have gone on to join the Green Schools Committee. The natural benefit of creating artwork from their natural surroundings is finding a new respect and perspective for the green verges along the River Suir and the delicate but diverse life that exists along the pathways.
In the final part of the project students will collate the artwork, photographs and notes they have taken into a digital booklet that is intended to archive their time studying the plants of the Blueway and which can also be shared across social media platforms or simply used as lens with which to view our urban patches of green.