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Primary Schools

The Visual Encounters Programme for Primary Schools explores West Cork Arts Centre and its exhibition, education and community programmes as resources to the teacher and the child in the classroom. Through classroom-based projects, gallery visits, practical workshops, and talks and discussions for teachers, it aims to develop the teacher’s understanding and experience of contemporary visual art and its connection to Visual Arts Education and delivery of the Primary Curriculum.

Visual Encounters seeks to create an atmosphere of genuine exploration, encouraging freedom to respond, interpret, experience, react, perceive and express, therefore coming to a greater knowledge of oneself and one’s place in the world. The programme is designed to be open, explorative and child-centred, to create space for each child’s vision and to use the visual arts as a conduit to explore a child’s view of the world.

Visual Encounters 2017 

This years Visual Encounters Programme was based on the exhibition Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone which took place during January and February 2017. Six participating school groups visited the exhibition for gallery tours and practical workshops with Schools Coordinator Alison Trim.  Back in the classroom they created their own artwork in response to what they’d seen. They considered the ideas presented in Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone including how we respond physically to artwork, the creative potential of hybrids, the impact of technology on the body, and blurring the boundaries between natural and manmade. The resulting work was shown in an exhibition, Art, Space and the Body, in the Stairwell Gallery in April 2017. 

The next opportunity to participate in Visual Encounters will be in January 2018, through a visit to the upcoming exhibition Buzz and Hum by Samuel Walsh and Richard Gorman.

Creative Dance Workshops for Primary Schools 

This autumn we are offering Primary Schools the opportunity to engage with our Contemporary Dance Programme by participating in workshops with Uillinn Dance Artist in Residence, Helga Deasy. The workshops give an introduction to the creative process used to develop Helica, a new dance performance work choreographed by Helga as part of her residency. Helga's approach will encourage children to explore shape, lines, directions, spiralling and turning actions in the body and movement, and investigate their connection and relation to one another.  The workshops are developed to link with the Primary School Physical Education curriculum and will support work within the Maths and Science curricula in their creative explorations of geometry and shape in nature, movement and the body. 

Workshops will take place between September and November 2017 and are suitable for classes of 25 pupils or less, aged 2nd - 4th class.  There is a fee of €25 to participate in the project.

Uillinn Christmas Installation Project 

Each year we invite Primary Schools to take part in the creation of an art installation in the gallery as part of the Uillinn Christmas Fair. The installation is devised by Schools Coordinator Alison Trim to enable school children across West Cork to create their own contribution to a large seasonal installation. Teachers are invited to a workshop to learn the techniques needed to work with the children back in the classroom. This project is free to participate in.   

Summer Tours

Gallery tours are available for Primary School groups at all times of year, if you are interested in booking a tour for your schools summer tour, contact us in advance to find out what we have available. Tours cost €2 per student or €3 if you want to include a practical activity and booking is essential.


For more information on any of our Primary School Programmes contact Alison on 028 22090. 

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