Virtually There is a long-term virtual artist-in-residence project run by Kids’ Own and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Armagh Bainbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. The project explores the potential for creative engagement between artists working from their studio and children in the classroom through the use of video-conferencing technology.

Virtually There is a continuation of the Space and Place project, which began in 2007, in which artist Ann Henderson worked with children from Ballydown Primary School in Co. Down both through real and remote communication. 

The artists, teachers and children participating in this phase of the project are:

Artist                                    Teacher                                          School/Class 

Ann Henderson                     Judith White & Julie Orr                Ballydown PS

Ann Donnelly                         Marcella Wilson                               Donaghey PS

Sharon Kelly                           Fionnuala Hughes                            St Patricks PS

Helen Barry                            Joanna Harriott                                St John the Baptist 

Rhona Byrne                          Helena Byrne                                     St Colman’s Bann PS

Andrew Livingstone             Paula Courtenay                                Strandtown PS

Naomi Draper                        Stella Cross                                        St James PS

Julie Forrester                       Wendy Davey                                    Killard House School 

John D’Arcy                           Chris McCambridge                         St Colman’s PS

Lisa Cahill                              Leanne Kyle                                       Aughnacloy PS

This online journal provides a space for the artists, teachers and children to reflect on their learning through out the programme.

About the technology

Since its inception, Virtually There has been supported by C2k who provide the infrastructure and services to support the enhanced use of ICT in schools in Northern Ireland.

How does it work?

Each pairing of artists and teachers have a different methodology for engagement, worked out between themselves. The software allows artists and children to speak to and hear one another, to see each other via the webcam, to share and view documents together and to used a shared interactive whiteboard space, which can be written on and have images uploaded to it. There are many more functions, which the artists are continually exploring. It takes time to accustomise to working online via virtual technology. The artists often spend time with the children discussing ideas and brainstorming on the whiteboard before any activity takes place. To find out more about the communication and processes of enquiry, read each artist’s, teacher’s or class group’s journal.

We are delighted to announce a new four-year phase of the project which will begin in September 2016 to be funded through a ‘More and Better’ Grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts-based Learning Fund.


Comments are closed.