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Photo: Artwork by children in Blackrock Park

The Art Hive movement is an international network of community art studios where everyone is an artist. “It’s a welcoming place to talk, make art and build communities” and “fosters self-directed experiences of creativity, learning, and skill sharing” (www.arthives.org). For more information visit the Art Hive website: http://arthives.org

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The Blackrock Park Art Hive is located in Blackrock, County Louth. Blackrock is a traditional seaside village located on the east coast of Ireland.

The Blackrock Park Art Hive is supported by Create Louth: The Arts Service of County Louth, An Táin Arts Centre, Blackrock Park and Blackrock Tidy Towns.

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Blackrock Park is a community crafted park, designed and cultivated by hundreds of adults and children who live nearby the park. The gardens in the park are biodiversity and pollinator friendly. There is a forest garden (with edible wild foods), a medieval garden, a Celtic garden, an intergenerational flower garden, a wildflower garden, and a composting education area. These gardens also showcase the artistic and horticultural talents of environmental volunteers and local school children. Three local primary schools have created nature habitats in the park accompanied by pubic celebrations including music, dance, poetry, wild foods, and environmental education.

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During the summer of 2018, the Blackrock Park Art Hive will generate outdoor studios for families who will work with natural park materials to make art accompanied by creative writing, spoken word performances and installations within the park environment.

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Photos: Children with art works made with flowers, flower pigments and leaf prints

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An Táin Arts Centre (Dundalk, County Louth) is a partner of the Art Hive outdoor studio. An Táin families will learn about gardening as an environmental art, creating art with nature, and working within outdoor studios. The goal is to also encourage families to link walks with the foraging of art materials. Ultimately these found and foraged materials will compose the home studio, where each family member contributes their art to the home environment. Working as an artist collective, families will designate a space in their home for the artful exploration of the natural world, their locality, and what is found along the walking routes of their travels together.

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Photo: Dried flower Art Hive Display, An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk, County Louth

Art Projects at the Blackrock Park Art Hive 

  1. Flower Assemblages: Compositions of flowers and displays of flower pigments.
  2. Flowers for Land Art: Creating larger scale shapes with flowers.
  3. Biodiversity Print Making: Using leaves and wild plants for prints on paper.
  4. Lughnasadh Celebration: A community procession to mark the Celtic harvest season with poetry and artworks made with natural materials.

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Blackrock Park has been designated pollinator friendly and has developed habitats for solitary bees. Wildflowers and perennial flowers, long grass, clay banks, log piles, and decaying wood are all homes to different varieties of solitary bees. The park’s orchard and soft fruit area directly benefit from these bee habitats, which can be closely observed by park visitors.

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Photos: Participants at the Blackrock Park Art Hive

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