Published 15.07.2014
by Kids’ Own

Virtually There artist spotlight: Julie Forrester

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. Work from the project will be showcased on the Virtually There exhibition tour launching this August.

Our July artist spotlight is on Julie Forrester who has been working with pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes P.S. and their teacher Tony Doyle.

Artist spotlight: Julie Forrester 

Cave Hill Diamond, Julie ForresterBeginnings, Our Lady Of Lourdes, artist Julie ForresterThe starting point for the project was Cave Hill – the Belfast beauty spot beside the school that fired the imagination of C.S. Lewis – & diamonds … ‘the class showed me their magnificent Teepee and fabulous works around the classroom… including a mesolithic cave; one of the kids went in and I expected them to emerge in animal skins, but unfortunately the time machine wasn’t switched on today. I showed them my studio and my diamonds…

Virtuall There: CaveHillGems by Julie Forrester                                                                                                                                                                The children start creating their own response drawings to the diamond theme. They learn how to fold paper into equilateral triangles, they learn about fractals (one boy in the classroom described it as a shape that stays the same whether it gets bigger or smaller), and they grow sugar crystals in the classroom. The picture on the left shows some of the Cave Hill Gems that were created.

Julie gave the children a recipe for a random drawing (below) and throughout the residency the children created instructions for drawing, taking inspiration from the examples of artists Sol de Witt and Cesara Pietroius. Julie followed the children’s instructions to create her own drawings which were then printed out and added to by the children.
Julie Forrester Recipe for a random drawing




Julie’s recipe for a random drawing:

one piece of A4 paper
a handful of washers
 a pencil

1. Close eyes
2. Drop washer one by one
3. Keep going till one falls on the ground
4. Mark the places where each washer landed




The drawing instructions by 23 children at Our Lady of Lourdes can be viewed here 


Yard drawings


Julie plays a real visit to the classroom:

‘My plan was to work with instructions for making drawings, it was a glorious day and so we went outside, working in self-organised teams the children devised “recipes” for making drawings. The ingredients for this recipe was chalk, people and playground. The instructions were another matter….’



Yard drawings pods


‘Portals, time machines, onion, ripples in a pond, rings on a tree, time traveling both ways, going in and coming out, pods, footsteps, journeys, bundles, tents, capes, pyramids, cities, buildings, potatoes, gems … some of the words the children used to describe their yard drawings … and then they made their sculptures.’




Yard drawing wormhole

View the full project here:

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