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.