Week 7 –  20 Repeat Participants, 16 New Participants

Total Landmark Participants: 128

Location: Ardee Library 

Participant Feedback:

“Each stone on the ground has it’s own identity and can be seen in different views just like every human being. Using mud is lots of fun, and feels nice on my fingers. Looking at nature closely, we can see lots of amazing shapes and sculptures, something we might not notice at a quick glance” Ardee Educate Together National School, Teacher, (5/6th Class)

“The variety of mediums for the children were brilliant. The children enjoyed the experience of being at one with nature. It was a very stimulating and fun experience for the children. I would like to use more nature in the classroom. I loved the bird sounds” Tir na Nog Montessori Playschool Teacher, Dunleer

“A wonderful relaxing fun time workshop. Pamela has set up a truly inspiring room with loads of exciting pictures and pieces of art. Loads of paints, pastels, and objects of fun to experiment with. My daughter and myself have enjoyed the class and will definitely be coming back” Parent, Saturday Family Workshop

“A really enjoyable and stimulating time spent with lots of natural materials and working them into art. The most enjoyable piece is that there was no right or wrong way of doing the art or of using any of the materials. It was lovely to have free expressiveness through art” Parent, Saturday Family Workshop

The themes for this week’s artwork were three dimensional nature collage and wood and nature prints.

The natural collages pictured here were made by students of Ardee Educate Together National School. They were inspired by the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy, a land artist who works within natural landscapes assembling natural elements into sculptural forms. Andy Goldsworthy photographs his site-specific sculptures before they float away, melt, decay, or fall to the ground. “Movement, change, light, growth, and decay are the life-blood of nature, the energies I try to tap through my work. When I work with a leaf, rock, stick, it is not just material in itself, it is an opening into the processes of life within and around it” (Andy Goldsworthy quoted in Balance: Art and Nature by John K. Grande).

Wood and nature prints were explored within a Saturday Family Workshop at the Ardee Library. Copper and bronze paint was applied to blocks of chopped wood, pine cones, stones, and oak leaves to produce abstract impressions upon paper. These prints captured textures and the surfaces of natural objects in an experimental way.

Nature Classroom

March 20, 2011


Week 6 – 46 Repeat Participants, 1 New Participant

Total Landmark Participants: 112

Location: Ardee Library and Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire National School, County Louth


“The children had a great use of natural materials. They became familiar with how flexible willow branches are and every child used a willow branch to create a ‘crown’ for their heads. The sheep’s wool was a great material for the girls to work with!”

“Over the past four weeks we have been working with various natural materials, creating the most fantastic art! We have brought the outdoors inside our classroom! This experience has been brilliant for the girls as it has most certainly enabled them to become more open and expressive with nature” Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire, Teacher (4/5th Class)

Thirty-one students of Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire National School participated in four Landmarks workshops. They created an installation of nature based artworks for their classroom.

When asked about the project, the students offered the following responses:

“Our classroom feels like a forest”

“The art from nature creates a nice atmosphere in the classroom”

“I like to feel nature around me, while I work”

“Sometimes I am distracted by the art, because I like to look at it”

“It makes me feel more awake, warm and cosy”

“I feel more relaxed with nature around me”

“I like the scent of the pine, it makes my mind clearer”

“I feels like I can be outside, even when I’m inside”

“It makes me more relaxed and I think differently”

The students also created a word list describing their experience after their final workshop in the Ardee Library:

“Happy, cheerful, free, joyful, creative, excited, warm, cool, relaxed, calm, an adventure”

The photos are the hands of students working with willow, a wool crown and artist books by students of Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire.

Word Pictures

March 12, 2011


Week 5 – 28 Repeat Participants

Total Landmark Participants: 111

Location: Ardee Library, County Louth


“Walking art worked beautifully with the girls. Using mud enabled the children to easily create pathways throughout their art books! The Word Art also allowed the children to pinpoint exactly what they were thinking” Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire National School (Ardee, County Louth), Teacher (4/5th Class)

Word pictures are a collection of individual words which create an image both in our mind and on paper. Within the Landmarks project, children are asked to write down what they see within pictures of landscapes, magnified photographs of plants, and the characteristics of natural objects. They follow an indoor path studying these photographs and observing a variety of natural objects, writing down words as they go along. Spelling and punctuation are not important in this exercise, so that the words create a meandering path across the page. Everyone’s perspective about what they see is different. The words are a list of observations. A class can be divided into groups, and each group of children can combine their list of words to create a collaborative piece of writing.

The following words were written by students from 4/5th Class Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire, Ardee.

“Moss, purple seed, flowers growing, pinecones, bog, earth, daffodils, a ring of stone, trees, soil, mud, wind”

“Nature, ice, hut, fog”

“Adventure, mud, moss, grass, flowers”

“Twig, grass, smoke, tree”

“Pinecone, soil, green moss”

“Moss, wind, leaves, rocks”

“Earth and wind”

“Clouds, stones, trees, den, tree house”

“Wind to wind, who is me?”

The photographs on this page are books made by students from Collon National School, Ardee Educate Together and Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire.


Week 4 – 32 New Participants, 30 Repeat Participants

Total Landmark Participants: 111

Location: Ardee Library, County Louth


“We had a lovely morning – it was so relaxing and I could tell that all of the children enjoyed themselves so much – something that isn’t always easy in the classroom. They used all the materials and created beautiful pieces of art work, which look so creative and natural in the classroom! Collon National School, Teacher (2nd Class).

“It’s the best nature place to be in,Student (2nd Class), Collon National School

“It felt like being in a cave,” Student (2nd Class), Collon National School

“It was the best day,” Student (2nd Class), Collon National School

Each Landmarks workshop, involves walking a path of art stations, which contain different art materials and activities. Walking and making art through an indoor route, can be like walking a path outdoors, observing and engaging with different experiences along the way.

Children are offered an opportunity to work in silence, while natures sounds are playing in the background. Each week one or more different land artists are profiled. This includes showing pictures of their art and talking about their methods of making art from natural materials, or within natural environments. The land artists’ ways of making art, are an engaging starting point for children to learn about how to work creatively with nature. Artists can re-shape our ideas about life experience in general, and in the case of land artists they also re-shape how we perceive and interact with the natural world.

Drawing on their ‘feel’ of mud, bog, branches, moss, leaves, charcoal and natural wool children can instinctively mark the pages of their artist books with their own inner experiences. The opportunity to work freely, through touch and instinct, can fuel both imagination and ideas. By working through stops along an indoor path of art materials (within a limited period of time) children can focus their expression, and be involved in the activity of ‘making’. Changing the pace and materials of their art making, means that children do not have time to ‘get in right,’ but instead work with what’s at hand and the impulse to experiment. These are skills that can be transferred to other areas of their life, as the ability to experiment can be useful for learning and developing self confidence.

The pictures are small artist books created by Collon National School students, 2nd Class.