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Indepth Arts News:

"Multimedia Maps: Artists in Schools"
2003-04-18 until 2003-07-20
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Dublin, , IE

An exhibition based on the results of a number of artists residencies in schools, both north and south of the border, opens to the public on Thursday 17 April at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition, entitled Multimedia Maps, is organised by the Museum’s Education and Community Department and the Sligo based Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership. It will be opened by Jerome Morrisey, Director of the National Centre for Technology in Education, Dublin City University.

Multimedia Maps is the result of a three-year project initiated and run by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership. The project placed artists in school communities in the border counties in Ireland to investigate the use of new technologies as tools for creativity and the exchange of ideas. From 2000 to 2001 over 500 children in the border counties of Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Sligo and Tyrone, worked with six artists – Owen Crawford, Julie Forrester, Angela Ginn, Rachel Glynne, Ann Henderson and Sharon Kelly - in a series of residencies as part of the Multimedia Maps project. The exhibition shows some of the work created during those residencies and represents some of the most exciting work by young people using new technologies in Ireland.  Works range from sand and water drawings to maps made from felt, maps based on aerial photography, and traditional charcoal drawings.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art has always been interested in artists’ practice and the many ways in which artists work. The Museum’s Education and Community Department has developed a series of projects which explore the way artists work outside their studios. Multimedia Maps is the third in a series of exhibitions, along with Equivalence and John the Painter, presented to the public over the past six months in which the practice of artists working outside the studio is revealed. The staging of an exhibition based on this work serves to underline the importance which the Museum places on making the outcome of such projects available to a wider public. This policy has been endorsed by the level of interest shown in such projects by both museum professionals within Ireland and internationally, and by the general gallery going public.

Commenting on the exhibition, Helen O’Donoghue, Head of Education and Community, IMMA said: “ What is new for IMMA in Multimedia Maps is the outcome of the experiences of teachers, artists and children, mapping a new terrain in new technologies. What is visible in the final work is the familiar playfulness of a child exploring their world, fusing the natural environment with the virtual, linking what has been known and is familiar in childhood for centuries with the ‘new world’ of virtual space. This project is, as in all successful contemporary art practice, built upon the history and knowledge of children’s art and offers a new way of re-examining and re-looking at what is universal and stable in the ever changing world – the voice and the viewpoint of childhood. It respects the visual language of early childhood and the drawings that children produce to make their mark – making being the centre of the process.”

Julie Forrester

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