Art Attack

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Sackville Street Art project

2016 is a big year for Ireland. The ambition of Ireland 2016 is that people everywhere, in Ireland and overseas, will discover more about 1916 and that period in our history, will participate in events that are being held all around the country and abroad, and will discover historical and cultural material about 1916. The theme of the year is to remember, reflect ans re-imagine.

This year is perfect for any student to come and visit. They will get to experience the Irish culture, history and togetherness first hand. Get to attend numerous events and create some fantastic memories. Without even realising this their English will improve immensely.

One student who has been immersed in the history has been Leonie. He entered an art competition with his class in school and while having fun creating their masterpiece, learned some valuable history along the way. Have a read for yourself.

“One of my best experiences during my exchange in Ireland was to create together with the 5th year art class, one of the 262 houses for the Sackville Street Art Project. Each house represents one civilian who died during the 1916 rising.  All houses will be displayed in the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin. The exhibition is considered to be one of the biggest about the 1916 rising.

So our Project included a lot of historical research. The first weeks have been really exiting. After every lessons we had more information or at least updated information.

The civilian we were commemorating with our sculpture was Joseph O’ Donoghue. We found out that he was born at Galway City around 1874. In the 1911 census he was listed as a tenant in the household of Arthur McQuillan at 31 Cabra Park, Phibsborough. He was a manager in clothes shop. He died on the first of May 1916. He was shot on the cross gun’s bridge. We found out that there was a barricade on the bride during the rising. We assume he was on his way to work or on the way back. We were sad to know, that no medical attendant was present to help him. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The main structure of our house was made out of cardboard. We got his address 31 Cabra Park, Dublin on his death cert so were able to find a picture of the house on Google maps. We used this information to design the front of the House. We created a red brick effect with a mixture of sand, glue and acrylic paint.  One gable of the house shows an old advertisement of the drapery he worked in. We gave it a tea-stained look with watercolor. On the top of this side we placed the date of his death. The other gable is decorated by a tailor’s dummy, dressed in a tweed suit with hanky in the pocked to symbolize his innocence. We embroidered his name with red thread on it. The mannequin was collaged with the newspaper articles from the day of his death. On the back of the house is a map of the area embroidered on dark green fabric. The way from his house to the cross gun’s bridge where he died is marked with red thread. Over the map, there are two crossed guns as an image of the bridge but also as symbol for the both sides of the rebellion. The roof is cover with 262 buttons to remember of the 262 deaths of innocent people.

Sackville Art Project Sackville art project 1 Sackville art project 2

It was not only a good experience because I love art. It also gave me the opportunity to talk to the other students who became really good friends. I adore the idea of the Sackville Street Art Project and I am really proud to be a part of it. It is good to remember these people because to be forgotten is to die twice.

Unfortunately, I will be in Germany when the exhibition is opened to the public Friday April 8th so I won’t be able to go there together with my art class but there will be a book about the exhibition. My art teacher already promised to send it to me in Germany. I am looking forward to see what other artists and schools did.”

by: Leonie Frendel

To check out some of the other entries head over to

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