Living Arts Project 2024

Saturday 30 March – Wednesday 1 May 2024
Living Arts Project 2024 | Saturday 30 March – Wednesday 1 May 2024 | Wexford Arts Centre | Image: two schoolkids seated at a table, modelling clay; we’re looking from across the table; they have white to[ps and colourful headbands; behind them is what looks somewhat like a kitchen sink, with a white counter top, red cupboard and red tiles on the wall; we’re presumably in the craft room of the school; the schoolkid on the left is modelling clay with both hands, the one on the right is gesturing, both hands near each other and floating above what seems to be a large, wet, round plop of modelling clay

In 2013, the Living Arts Project was established as an artist-in-residency scheme in primary schools, supporting the existing partnership between the Arts Department of Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre. The aim of this project is to provide children with an understanding and appreciation of contemporary visual art. The Living Arts Project exhibition represents a selection of work produced by the participating primary schools and offers pupils a chance to see their work presented in a professional gallery.

The following artists and schools were selected for the 2023-24 programme: Caoimhe Dunn and Ilaria Berardi with Ballymurn NS (Enniscorthy), Deirdre Meehan-Buttimer and Mandy Galvin with Gaelscoil Moshíológ (Gorey), Kate Murphy and Kate Tyrrell with St. Aidan’s NS (Enniscorthy), and David Begley and Hanneke van Ryswyk with St. Anne’s NS (Rathangan).

By learning new techniques and embracing creative practices, pupils were encouraged to experiment and play, discovering their own artistic potential. Themes from mythology, folklore and the history of ancient Ireland were explored through puppetry, sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing processes. This has resulted in a playful and experimental exhibition filled with storytelling and joyful investigation.

A mentorship programme ran alongside each residency which helped to ensure the effectiveness of the project while also providing a positive critique for the resident artists. In addition, it served to refine methods of engaging with the children throughout each residency. The mentors involved were Frank Abruzezze, Hilary Fennell, Martina Furlong, Eamonn Maxwell, Lar O’Toole, Emma Roche, Karla Sánchez ZepedaSarah Scallonand Gerda Teljeur.

The Arts Department of Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre would like to take this opportunity to thank all schools, artists and mentors involved in the project, and the local community for their support and interest in the project to date.


Assistant Artist St. Anne’s N.S. (Rathangan)

Hanneke van Ryswyk is a Welsh-Dutch visual artist living on the Wexford coast. She paints the natural world, its vulnerability, beauty, and the effects of extreme weather on land and sea.

She has held eight Irish solo exhibitions and has been selected to exhibit in the UK, Australia and nationally at the RHA, Dublin, VISUAL Carlow, The Model, Sligo, The Lavit Gallery, Cork and at Wexford County Council.

She has been awarded residencies at Cill Rialaig, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Kultivera – Tranås, Sweden, and has been awarded Visual Arts Bursaries by ArtLinks in 2014 and 2019. Her work can be found in the Collections of the Office of Public Works and Wexford County Council.


Lead Artist Ballymurn N.S. (Enniscorthy)

Caoimhe Dunn is a Wexford based artist with nearly 20 years of experience working in the arts.  An IADT graduate of both Fine Art and Model Making, she has been involved for many years in street arts and spectacle, community, and youth arts.

Caoimhe is continually fascinated by science, history, and folklore and takes inspiration from these subjects for her work. Her street theatre show ‘A Snail’s Tale’, premiered at Spraoi Festival in Waterford, and was inspired by the margins of medieval manuscripts and the fascinating biology of snails.

She is a recipient of an Arts Council Project Award in Street Arts and Spectacle 2022, an Artlinks Bursary 2022, an Agility Award 2021, and Wexford County Council’s Tyrone Guthrie Bursary 2022.


Assistant Artist Ballymurn N.S. (Enniscorthy)

Ilaria Berardi, an Italian artist based in Wexford, graduated in Art and Design from South East Technological University in 2023.

She works across multiple mediums such as photography, painting, and sculptural installation.  Through research and documentation, she aims to explore the connections between humans and nature from different perspectives, be it cultural, sociological, or environmental. In her work she prefers to focus on the creative process, which is experimental, and results in works that are organic and nonlinear in form. Ilaria’s true aspiration in relation to creating art is to explore the world of sustainable art and to develop her practice through the inclusion of the community in her projects.


Lead Artist Gaelscoil Moshíológ (Gorey)

Deirdre Meehan-Buttimer graduated from the Wexford Campus School of Art & Design, SETU, in 2016 and successfully transitioned to build a strong participatory arts practice.

Deirdre was awarded Creative Communities Awards by Wexford County Council to undertake projects with Wexford Women’s Refuge exploring coercive control, with adult service users of Windmill Therapeutic exploring intellectual disability isolation, and with Soroptimists International (Wexford) exploring gender-based violence. She has also been the lead artist on the Living Arts Project in 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.

Deirdre’s practice is experimental in nature, driven by an intuitive and curious approach. Her processes have a strong photographic/drawing element, using inks and mixed media.  She uses non-standard surfaces and everyday objects as mark-making tools, and facilitates others to narrate their stories in a collective, collaborative way, using their everyday possessions.


Assistant Artist Gaelscoil Moshíológ (Gorey)

Mandy graduated from Plymouth College of Art and Design in the UK in 2000, where she studied Metal Design and related subjects. Stemming from this, she has been creating sculptures and bespoke furniture mainly through commissions. Painting has been a constant in her life mostly as a way to relax but she has also had success exhibiting. Currently she works at Wexford Arts Centre which has a full vibrant programme in all the arts. It was here she started facilitating children’s art classes and loved it, so therefore the Living Arts Project was a natural progression.

Mandy Galvin’s journey into the arts began while living and travelling in her bus; it was accidental and organic, connecting with various creative outlets but primarily with contemporary circus’ Mutoid Waste Company and Archaos, forerunner to the now better-known Cirque du Soleil.  It was with the aforementioned that working with metal became a passion, learning to weld and fabricate, gaining qualifications along the way.


Lead Artist St. Aidan’s N.S. (Enniscorthy)

Kate Murphy graduated from the National College of Art & Design in 2000 with an Honour’s Degree in Fine Art.  She has held a number of solo exhibitions in galleries in Dublin and Wexford and has shown nationally and internationally. Most recently she exhibited her work at Claremorris Gallery, Co. Mayo in 2023 and had a solo show at the Molesworth Gallery in Dublin in March 2024.

Kate’s paintings have been purchased by the Office of Public Works, Bank of Ireland, Wexford County Council, Wicklow County Council and by private collectors.

She has worked collaboratively with communities, schools and institutions for the past 13 years.


Assistant Artist St. Aidan’s N.S. (Enniscorthy)

Kate Tyrrell has been an educator and practising craftswoman for over a decade. She had a solo exhibition titled Found at Presentation Arts Centre in 2021.

Kate’s work has roots in her home by the sea and takes on a therapeutic nature. Seaweed, shells and organic matter are collected and go through an industrial curing process before use. Her process is habitual, reminiscent of the collecting habits of an animal preparing for winter.  This process of collecting, taking home and being with the items, gives her work an unusual, familiar, almost historic quality.

Kate’s experience to date working with children and community groups has benefited her in many ways and allowed her to engage fully in the Assistant Artist strand of the Living Arts Project.


Lead Artist St. Anne’s N.S. (Rathangan)

David Begley is a visual artist, writer, and arts educator.  He has exhibited his animations, drawings, paintings, monotype prints and films nationally and internationally since 1996.

David has held solo exhibitions at Wexford Arts Centre, The Linenhall, Mayo, Cross Gallery, Dublin, and was Ancient Connections artist-in-residence (Ferns, Co. Wexford) from 2020-2023.  His work can be found in the Collections of Wexford County Council, OPW, EPA, INTO, and Contemporary Irish Art Society.

David has facilitated many projects for children including Drawing as a Universal LanguageThe Wexford Whale animation, and The Monk’s Garden – a visual art, heritage and gardening project.

David’s documentary The Keepers (2023) was selected for EKO Film Festival, Czech Republic, Inheritance Environmental Festival, UK, and Louth International Film Festival in 2023.

If your school is interested in participating in the Living Arts Project 2024-25 please contact Curator Catherine Bowe on +353 (0)53 9123764 or email or visit

The Living Art Project is funded by the Arts Department of Wexford County Council, The Arts Council and participating schools.  The project is progammed by Wexford Arts Centre.

Saturday 30 March – Wednesday 1 May 2024
Wexford Arts Centre
Cornmarket, Wexford
Telephone: +353 53 9123764
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Admission / price: Free

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