16 June 2022
By Tom Collins
There are 2 Exhibitions – The Fossil Freaks Exhibit and the Irish Fossils Alive Exhibit, both running until 19th of June – https://www.ucc.ie/en/fossil-heritage/
University College Cork’s education programme Ireland’s Fossil Heritage is launching a new children’s art exhibition on the 9th of June in the Glucksman Gallery. The exhibition will celebrate the artwork of Irish schoolchildren – and fossils – in two exciting new collections, FOSSIL FREAKS and IRISH FOSSILS ALIVE.
FOSSIL FREAKS features art pieces created by students from St. Mary’s on the Hill National School in Knocknaheeny and Cork Educate Together National School in Cork city. The artworks are inspired by strange and unusual fossils from around the world and were created during a series of school workshops integrating art and palaeontology. The workshops were developed by Cork-based artists Susie Walsh and Leah Murphy (who co-deliver the Tools of the Trade schools art programme) in collaboration with palaeontologists from Ireland’s Fossil Heritage at the School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC.
“We introduced the children to the idea of the palaeoartist who uses a combination of fossil evidence, evolution and imagination to reconstruct prehistory”, said Cork-based artists Susie Walsh and Leah Murphy, who led the workshops. “We showed the children images of enigmatic fossils as a starting point. Then, using a range of art materials and techniques in our interactive workshops, they brought these mysterious creatures to life, some of which existed more than 500 million years ago.”
“Children are naturally fascinated by fossils,” said Dr Jess Franklin of Ireland’s Fossil Heritage. “The students let their imaginations run wild for these workshops. The creative process really allowed them to envisage these weird fossils as living, breathing creatures.”
IRISH FOSSILS ALIVE features the winning art pieces from the 2022 National Fossil Art Contest across four age categories: under 8 years, 9 – 12 years, 13 – 15 years and 16 – 18 years. The winning entries are inspired by Irish fossils and were submitted by school students from all over Ireland. The lucky winners will receive amazing prizes that include a visit to UCC’s palaeontology labs, visits to their schools by UCC palaeontologists, T-shirts and more.