glór is delighted to reopen in September with a very special exhibition of artwork created by Primary school children from all over County Clare, curated by Ennis based Visual Artist, Rachel Macmanus.
The featured image is a detail from A Visit to Nana by Katelyn Cullinan – Knockanean NS Junior Infants: age 5
Curator’s Note by Rachel Macmanus:
How the competition came about:
In March 2020 when Ireland went into lockdown over Covid-19, we decided to run an art competition for primary school age children living in Co. Clare. Schools had closed and everyone was asked to stay home as much as possible. Children’s lives were impacted significantly and knowing how cathartic the act of drawing and painting can be, we thought an art competition might help. The theme of the competition was “My life at home” and the goal was for children to provide all the kids in Co. Clare another outlet to express themselves right now. We asked the children:
- How does it feel to be at home instead of school?
- What’s good/ bad about things right now?
- Show us how you are feeling in your picture!
Significance of the work
As the work accumulated we realised we had something very special on our hands. Here was a body of work with cultural significance, made by the young residents of County Clare about living in County Clare during a historical time, in unprecedented circumstances. The work has an archival quality about it already, and seems like it’s from a time long ago, although it is of course only from the first half of 2020. Through the work we could see the resilience, bravery, stoicism, humour and objective honesty of the children.
We were sent scenes of unbridled joy and energy from the younger children, out playing with their families and pets during the burst of glorious weather we received during those early weeks of the pandemic. We had more thoughtful, internalised pieces sent to us from older children who had a more comprehensive understanding of what was going on. From 6th class children we had poignant drawings and paintings indicating their anxieties over their situation, not yet knowing if they would get any closure to their primary school years. Overall the work was honest and unflinching, and as a body of work showed great creative and artistic talent as well as telling a unique story of this time.
We approached glór about showing the work when the competition was finished. At this time glór, similar to all of Ireland’s public buildings, had had no choice but to close and was navigating the prospect of a new and uncertain future. glór decided to reopen with this exhibition – the Children’s art competition, as it is a unique visual acknowledgment of the strange times we collectively experienced and as it showcases the wonderful artistic talent within the community of County Clare. We hope you enjoy this special and uplifting show as much as we do.
Welcome back to glór and please read this important information HERE before booking your tickets
Special thanks to:
- All the children in County Clare who entered the competition
- Primary school teachers and principals who promoted the competition
- All the parents and guardians who looked after the work and sent in the entries
- Clare Education Centre
The Ennis companies who kindly sponsored the competition:
- Arts & Craft Co, Ennis,
- O’ Mahony’s Booksellers Ennis
- CupPrint, Ennis
- Bank Of Ireland, Ennis.
- And a portrait for the winner of each category was donated by Rachel Macmanus
- The competition judges
- The team at glór for recognising and championing this unique body of work