Published 07.05.2014
by Kids’ Own

Virtually There artist spotlight: Andrew Livingstone

Each month, we’re turning the spotlight on one of the six artists currently working on our Virtually There artist-in-residence programme.  Equipped with video conferencing software and an interactive whiteboard, the artists and children have been embracing technology as a platform for communication and creativity.

Our second artist spotlight is on Andrew Livingstone who has been working with children from Strandtown P.S. and their teacher Vanessa Patton. This project ran from January-April 2014.

Artist spotlight: Andrew Livingstone 

Andrew Livingstone self-portrait week oneSelf portraits session one


Andrew’s theme for the project is ‘Change and Duration,’ exploring time and its effect on materials. During the first session he and the children worked on self-portraits through drawings and fabric collages. A new webcam helped in discussing the work with the children individually.






Clay self-portrait session 2Virtually There Andrew Livingstone


In the second session, Andrew and the pupils worked on clay self-portraits. The unfired clay portraits were placed in the school courtyard to be documented week by week to see how they were changed by the weather.

The children learned all about transmogrification – ‘to change into a different shape or form’ – in their next session, deconstructing a clay cube and reconstructing it as a sphere.




pupil salking session 4session 4 slaking


Clay head portraits were created during another session and placed in jars, which were then covered in water. The process of ‘slaking,’ in which earth materials disintegrate and crumble when exposed to moisture, would be carefully examined by artist and children throughout the project.

Watch Andrew’s dissolving clay head here:




Andrew's butterfly session 6Children making clay butterflies


Butterflies were chosen by Andrew to illuminate the theme of ‘change and duration’ as they embody both permanence – their short lifespan – and impermanence – their preservation in museums and in the work of artists. The children made ceramic butterflies which will be fired to make a school installation.

The shard (below): the children learned how archaeologists and historians have used the shard to construct history as it is often found during excavations of the earth. They smashed up a ceramic pot and drew their own self portraits on the shards. These will be buried for future generations to find.



ShardAndrew shards and constructingShard self-portraits






Andrew Livingstone map

Mapping: The children worked on a map of their local area to locate the shards



How are the clay figures doing in the elements? By the time the project had ended, the rain had completely dissolved the clay figures until they eventually disappeared.

View the full project here:

Virtually There is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 




Clay figures disintegratingDissolving clay sculptureclay figures washed away