Nestled Amongst Dandelions & Bluebells
- Mary Wallace
- Ballymurphy NS
- Science, Geography
There is something quite special about the Irish countryside. Over five days in April/May I worked on a mural with 39 children in Ballymurphy, a wee village nestling in the Blackstairs Mountains. Talk about a magical place. Banks of bluebells all along the hedgerows, interspersed with glorious dandelions. Mountains all around with the road winding up and down past fields with sheep, cattle, horses. When I arrived that first morning I told them what a special place it is they live in.
Working with the entire school we created a mural based on the children's research and learning about their local Flora & Fauna. Discussion and drawing inspired the composition which reflects the mountainous landscape and includes large scale bluebells, whitebells, dandelion, thistle, poppy, wheat, a mouse, a wild rabbit, a fox, a hedgehog, a ladybird, bees , butterflies and housemartins.
Over 100 drawings were made to inspire the final mural composition. Every child can say they designed and drew some section of the mural. They assisted in marking up and transposing the design to the wall. Every single one of them one painted on the wall - five year olds to Sixth Class seniors!
Only three colours were used – red, yellow and blue - to mix all the colours we needed. The children learned new skills and techniques first hand – drawing and planning a design, scaling up the design, transposing to the wall, mixing colours, painting on a large scale, teamwork.
The mural, which is 10m long and 2m high, is a focus point for the school's Outdoor Classroom. There has been a huge response by the local community as the artwork is visible from the road and has become quite a talking point.