Published 22.11.2016
by Kids’ Own

Exploring new places on the Virtually There Project

In the final of our Virtually There new artist and teacher posts, we introduce you to teacher Helena Byrne from St Colman’s Bann Primary School  and artist Rhona Byrne who have joined the new phase of the Virtually There project.
Follow Kids’ Own on instagram to view our Virtually There artist take over series.

Teacher Helena Byrne at St Colman’s Bann Primary School, Laurencetown

I moved to Manchester when I was 18 to study on a four-year primary education course. I graduated and returned home to take up a position in St Colman’s Bann.

The opportunity arose to become the coordinator of The Arts, three subjects; music, art and drama that I have had a passion for from a very young age. I consider these subjects as an outlet for many, subjects that aren’t always given priority as assessments are so prominent in other core subjects such as Literacy and Numeracy. The Arts gives individuals a chance to excel in an environment they may find difficult or challenging.

The school had previous links with the Kid’s Own project and when I researched the project in more depth, I felt strongly that the children in our school would benefit greatly from such a unique learning experience. I look forward to getting started!

Dublin based artist Rhona Byrne

My practice as an artist is usually site or context responsive which means, I love exploring new places, situations, communities and possible projects. I make sculpture, performance events, installations and socially engaged projects that often lead me to collaborate with different people in different disciplines. This way of working leads to working in lots of different mediums depending on the idea. A lot of my research and adventures are taken back into the studio where I experiment and make things relating to my findings and I try to re think and stretch the capacities of materials and re-invent and-use where possible. I’ve been teaching and doing workshops since 2003 and over the years more and more with children which I really enjoy.  I see doing workshops as an extension of my art practice and process of making work, my approach is to nurture curiosity and explore art making processes while sharing my thinking and explorations at the time, so it becomes an experimental process for all rather than a teaching situation. I am very passionate about the potential and positive outcomes that creative processes can nurture within learning. There’s so much freedom in giving space to imaginative and flexible thinking, experimentation and sometimes failing and this can feed into all subjects in school.

Im really curious and nervous about working on this project virtually from my studio. It’s a whole new experience and no doubt will be a great adventure.