Published 15.09.2016
by Kids’ Own

Virtually There: Introducing our new artists & teachers

To celebrate the start of the new phase of the Virtually There project, over the next few weeks we would like to introduce you to the new artists and teachers joining the project. This week we meet teacher Joanna Harriott from St John the Baptist P.S. Andersonstown and visual artist Helen Barry.

Teacher Joanna Harriott at St John the Baptist P.S. Belfast

I have always enjoyed art. I have fond memories of going to visit my Great Grandfather (who was bedridden) on Sundays with my Grandfather. When we reached the house I was always given biscuits and juice while everyone talked, and I had a great time drawing the yellow canary which always perched in a cage in the front room,.

My husband and daughters also enjoy art, architecture, visiting exhibitions, galleries and museums. I also have an eclectic love of music and musical theatre and go to see shows whenever possible. I love to travel, but hate packing for the trip. This year I’ve been to Iceland (amazing), Florida and London.

I’ve been teaching since 1972 and transferred to my present school when it opened in 1973, so I’ve experienced many changes in the educational system.

I love sharing art experiences with my pupils and this was one of the reasons why I jumped at the chance of participating in the “Virtually There” programme. I had a very special time last school year with Vanya Lambrecht Ward and I am really excited to be working with Helen Barry this year. We’ve got metallic shoes in common and I love her previous projects, so I am expecting a great collaboration.

Teacher Joanna Harriott & the BFG

















Joanna with Quentin Blake’s BFG

Dublin based Visual Artist and Early Years Arts Practitioner Helen Barry

I have been working with children, adults and families through the visual arts and creative play for over 28 years. I believe that creativity is crucial to the holistic wellbeing and emotional development of everyone. Creativity across all disciplines supports cognitive, emotional, pedagogical and social development.

My collaborations with children are an integral part of my practise. There is little separation between what is happening in the studio and what is happening in the classroom. My work encompasses belief, faith, integration, learning, self- awareness, and self-reflection. We draw, we build, we deconstruct, we print, we talk, we play as we investigate and tease out these themes. These collaborations inspire and challenge how I approach my work and have become a driving force in curating the content and editing my work.

Virtually There’ equally terrifies me as it excites me. When I enter a classroom I am compelled to turn it upside down and inside out. Logistically this now seems a daunting but not unachievable task that I know Joanna and I, in our metallic shoes will enjoy exploring with the children over the coming months.

'The Suspended City 2016' by Helen Barry

‘The Suspended City 2016’ by Helen Barry


Visual Artist Helen Barry

Visual Artist Helen Barry