Published 30.04.2019
by Kids’ Own

Kids’ Own launch new book at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

Kids’ Own recently celebrated the launch of our latest book – This Giant Tent: a children’s celebration and identity in response to the Travellers’ Journey/Mincéir Misli’dexhibition at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.

Created in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Involve Youth Project, and Scoil Íosa, Ballina, the book was launched at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough, Co Mayo on Friday the 12thof April. A large audience, including the young artists and writers’ families, friends, and teachers, along with members of staff from National Museum of Ireland, Involve Youth Project, reporters fromTravellers’ Voice magazine, local politicians, and many members of the public gathered to celebrate the launch of this book.

The audience were first greeted by the authors and artists of This Giant Tent in a number of different languages, and each author later read from their book. Lynn Scarff, Director of the National Museum of Ireland, began the launch by commending the children’s work and emphasising how important it is that everyone should be able see themselves reflected in the National Collections.

Claire Mitchell, 6thclass teacher at Scoil Íosa commented on how the process of creating the book helped the children lose their inhibitions about art and to find their voice. Claire also expressed her admiration for the title of the book – This Giant Tent– which she said has lots of layers and meanings, and reminded her of the sheanfhocail or Irish saying “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”. This directly translates as “people live in each other’s shadows”,  which Claire noted suggests that people are reliant on each other. “These artists and authors are people you can rely on”, Claire said. Alice Dixon from Involve Youth Project, Ballina, highly praised the children’s work and sent her sincere thanks to all of the partners and funders, without whom projects like this would not be possible.

Artist Leanne McDonagh spoke about the value of the children’s artwork and commented on the “beautiful and amazing things that can happen when communities come together”. Leanne then presented each author with a copy of their book.

David Stanton, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality sent a special greeting and his best wishes to the young writers and artists in a video message. He congratulated the children on their work and expressed his deep admiration for the book.

Rosa Meehan, Assistant Keeper, National Museum of Ireland – County Life, who was closely involved with the project throughout, hosted and MC’ed at the launch. In her introduction to This Giant Tent, Rosa wrote “This project is an important one. The facilitators created a nurturing environment, giving young people the freedom to explore what culture and identity means to them, and to create a book about themselves. It is an important legacy from theTravellers’ Journey/Mincéir Misli’d exhibition”

To read more about the project, click here. This Giant Tent is available to buy from our online bookshop.