On 6th February St Fanahan’s College Mitchelstown 2nd year art class went on an art and cultural trip to Cork city. We arrived in the city at 9.45am and first walked across the city over the river Lee. We saw many interesting buildings such as the Shandon Bells.
The first place we went to see was White Street car park Graffiti wall. There were many interesting pieces of graffiti such as writing and faces, with a vast selection of colours and styles. You could tell that the artists had put in a huge amount of time and effort into their art. Next, we went to the ‘Cork Community Artlink’ warehouse where we saw preparations for floats for the St. Patricks Day Parade. They have an underwater theme this year and they are making their floats out of sellotape, cardboard, wire and paper mache. We then went round the corner to the National Sculpture Factory. We had a tour of the factory and found out that it used to be a train garage. On our tour we saw many artists such as Alex Penteck ad Maud Cotter work on sculptures. We also saw the huge variety of different equipment and materials used.
After that we had a demonstration by a very famous stone sculptor called Mick Wilkins. We all got to try carving some limestone. Then Gwenda Forde and her assistants showed us their work in clay and allowed us to make our own pots from clay. We also had a tour of the Crawford Art Gallery where we saw part of their collection of Irish artists and found a painting with a classmate’s granduncle in it painted by Sean Keating. We really enjoyed looking at all the different types of art on display and we will definitely go back because it is in the middle of the city centre and free to go in and the exhibitions change every few months.
From there we visited a real studio of a painter. His name is Tony O’Connor and he is an equine artist. He also draws and paints several other native and domestic animals. His work was very good and realistic.
Then we went to the English Market where we had a treasure hunt and had to go to different stalls such as the cheese stall, olive stall, fish stall etc. We found quite the adventure and the smells and sights were really unusual. We saw a mural called the ‘Pana Shuffle’ by the artist Anthony Ruby. We saw how the mural shows different parts of the market that we saw on our treasure hunt. It is about 25 metres in length and shows scenes from the market and things familiar with the history of Cork. We then spoke to the artist of the mural on the phone which was very interesting as he is now living in London. Our teachers Ms. O’Sullivan and Ms. Rath had bought some unusual and local food from the market for us to taste such as Quince, chilli Mackerel, black olives, Mozzarella made in Macroom, semi sundried tomatoes, Hegarty’s cheddar cheese, handmade bread, basil hummus and pretzels. Our trip was then over and we headed back to Mitchelstown.
We had a fantastic day and saw so many different types of art. We would like to thank all the staff of Cork Community Artlink, all the staff and artists of the sculpture factory, Elma O’Donovan, Mick Wilkins and Gwenda Forde, Crawford Art Gallery, Tony O’Connor equine artist, Joanne Buckley and all the stall owners and staff in the English Market, and last but not least Carolyn Treacy and Anthony Ruby.
Written by 2nd year Art students from St.Fanahan’s College, Mitchelstown.