Published 30.03.2015
by Kids’ Own

All the latest from the Virtually There Tour

The Virtually There exhibition tour, showcasing artwork created by artists, children and teachers through online residencies, is currently on display at  F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge.

Opening lecture

F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio hosted an opening lecture by Professor Declan McGonagle, Director of NCAD, on Thursday 12th March, entitled: How do we make space for children’s creative thinking in schools?

“The creativity takDeclan McGonagle lecturees place between the viewer and the artefact. The artefact becomes art when it is experienced. That’s the relationship that this project is about.”

“Art should be though of as a verb and not a noun. We should think not about what art ‘is’ but what it ‘does’.”

“The non-artist as a co-creator of the meaning, of the experience… that is one of the principles underpinning this exhibition. But there is another kind of facilitation between artist and non-artist in which you can no longer use the term ‘non-artist’ because everybody is involved in the experience.”


Symposium: Creativity in Primary Education

Over 40 delegates from across the arts and education sectors attended our symposium at FE McWilliam Gallery on Thursday 19th March. The event included a tour of the exhibition with presentations from artists Ann Henderson, Ann Donnelly and teacher Judith White. The event also included provocations from 5 panels speakers who then chaired break-out discussions among all participants in response to the question: “How can we impact on children’s learning experiences through the arts?”

FE McWilliam Symposium


“The difficulty with this work is a preoccupation with getting it right. You’ve got to break that and give children an opportunity to express themselves… it’s about how we express our world.” 
Peter Geoghegan, Education and Training Inspectorate, Northern Ireland.

“Do non-linear approaches to learning have a place in the curriculum? […] Problem solving is embedded in creativity and our practice. How do we make children aware of this?”
Artist Andrew Livingstone

“This project allows the children to make mistakes and pushes their learning forward.”
Teacher Vanessa Patton



Small Journey Residue - Journey no 1, Ann Henderson VT Year 8

“We need to continue to advocate for the benefits to young people, and the inherent value of the arts.”
Fionnuala Walsh, Arts Council of Northern Ireland

“We talk about art and design as a subject but it is more than that. It’s a way of doing things. How do you develop those skills within other people?”
Peter Geoghegan, ETI

“We’re looking at the process involved in helping children to become engaged. […] This work empowers the rest of the curriculum.”
Peter Geoghegan, ETI

“Our role as educators and artists is about developing individuals. How do you make practice like this accessible to all?”
Katie Sweeney, National Director for the Integration of the Arts in Education, Department of Education and Skills, Ireland


Sharon Kelly Workshop FE Gallery


It’s about the ethos of creating experiences; through doing unexpected things as a mechanism for learning.”
Katie Sweeney

“How do we measure the impact without destroying the creative spark?”
Artist Andrew Livingstone


Workshops at F.E. McWilliam Gallery

During the past two weeks, artists Ann Henderson, Ann Donnelly and Sharon Kelly have been leading a series of workshops at F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio, with local schools and schools participating on the Virtually There Project.

Sharon Kelly workshop, FE Gallery

Sharon Kelly workshop, FE GallerySharon Kelly workshop, FE GallerySharon Kelly workshop, FE Gallery





Images from Sharon Kelly’s workshops


Virtually There project pilot – Leitrim and Kerry

As part of the Tour programme, which has been running since August 2014, Kids’ Own has been working in partnership with The Education Centre, Tralee and Carrick-on-Shannon Education Centre to deliver a pilot of the Virtually There project in two Kerry schools and one Leitrim school, working with three artists through the use of virtual technologies. As these pilots now draw to a close, we share a sample of the emerging work:

Vanya Lambrecht Ward VT workshopVanya Lambrecht Ward VT workshop






Vanya Lambrecht Ward & Ardfert National School, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Contours & Maps



Naomi Draper, VT Year 8

Naomi Draper, VT Year 8






Naomi Draper & Marist National School, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim
Private spaces & shared spaces


Ruby Wallis, VT Year 8



Ruby Wallis & Raheen National School, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Tracing, Mapping & Photography