What is Art? is a journal created by Alan, Clara, Clodagh, David, Donna, Feidhlim, Ferdia, Jamie, Jesse, Maggie, Niall, Niamh and Roisin - young people from our Solas programme, to encourage and inspire people of all ages to experience and respond to contemporary art in a more fulfilling and refreshing way. Bring it with you when you visit galleries – there’s room for you to add your own thoughts and doodles as you go!
Why and how did we do it?
Solas is the Butler Gallery’s programme for children aged 5-12 run by artists Jean Conroy and Jenny Dunne, who realise creative responses to exhibitions with children in the Gallery. It celebrated its 10th birthday in 2010, and we wanted to find a way to share the insight and perspectives of those who have participated in recent years.
We contacted Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership in Sligo who agreed to partner with us on the idea of making a book by children from the Solas programme, for people of all ages to get more out of visits to galleries. Kids’ Own facilitated initial workshops with children establishing their opinions on what sort of books they did and didn’t like, from which emerged a group of 13 young people who worked with us to realise the final product.
The group of 13 embarked on a year of investigation into the exhibition programme of the Butler Gallery in 2010, interviewing 4 exhibiting artists - multimedia and performance artist Aideen Barry, painter George Vaughan, photographer Jackie Nickerson and performance artist Declan Rooney. The outcome of these interviews informed the final content of the book. During further workshops in late 2010 and early 2011, the final content was created and agreed upon by the group. In the words of one of the young participants, this is ‘a publication that is everything to do with art’.
How will we use the money?
While a number of funding partners have supported the development of this project (taxback.com, Leader Rural Funds, Kilkenny Education Centre and Kilkenny County Council Arts Office and Libraries), we are still in need of the remaining €4,500 to print the final draft of the book.
Thank you for your support of this exciting project!