We decided on a three dimensional sculpture of a Soldier’s Jacket through which we could represent our thoughts and feelings on the plight of Ireland in 1916. The students had covered the Rising as part of their studies in History class and had attended a talk given by local experts on how the Rising became intertwined in the lives of local people here in the Edenderry region at the time. The sculpture became a wonderful medium for the students to express their reactions to what they had been exposed to in other subjects and on the national airwaves concerning the Rising. The students were set an extra challenge whereby they were only to use found materials to build and create the sculpture. Materials to hand were: wire, plastic, tea stained tissue paper, packaging, old leather articles and hessian woven fabric lying around in the art room. The soldier’s hat is made from a discarded ‘Celebrations’ sweet tin! Limiting the students in this way forces them to become more resourceful and creative with their designs and surface treatments.
The jacket looks one hundred years old, worn away and frayed. We collaged the images in such a way as to make them look like memories fading in and out of our consciousness. One has to look carefully to find some of the references. Images of the children are there as are images of the women who contributed so much to the rebellion. Snippets of text from the proclamation and phraises in Gaeilge are visible as are the names of the poets who wrote so eloquently on the subject. These poets were familiar to the students from their English class.
The students are so looking forward to the unveiling of their sculpture during our commemoration celebrations in the school and to the public in our local library on culture night.