Art project exploring secrets of the ocean

Students Èabha, Lauryn and David, from Scòil Pàdraig Naofa, Cregmore, with Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute (left) and artist Louise Manifold.
Students Èabha, Lauryn and David, from Scòil Pàdraig Naofa, Cregmore, with Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute (left) and artist Louise Manifold.

TULCA Festival of Visual art is collaborating with artist Louise Manifold and the Galway Marine Institute in Rinville for a special project as part of this year’s Sea-Fest, which will kick off in late June.

The event is part of the TULCA OFFshore programme, an initiative that helps promote Ireland’s maritime heritage and identity.

Louise is working with fourth-class students at Cregmore National School on a visual art and science project entitled Build your own Unknown.

Students will create an installation and a short film re-enacting the Irish-led marine scientific discovery of the Moytirra deep-sea hydrothermal vent field, the first to be explored along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, north of the Azores, in 2011.

Moytirra was named after a mythological Irish battlefield (meaning plain of pillars). This unique eco-system, 3,000 metres under the sea, consists of gigantic rock formations, lava vents over ten metres high, and unusual marine species.

The Cregmore students will create their own expedition, based on photographs, videos and stills captured by the remotely operated submarine, ROV Holland I. These include rarely seen images from the depths of the ocean.

“As an artist, I’ve always been fascinated by relationship between science and cinema,” says Louise Manifold. “Often, our connections to ocean space is formed through our childhood imagination, from sci-fi films to childhood games and mythical stories.

“Build your own Unknown is not only about understanding our connections to the ocean, it is about valuing human curiosity”, she adds. Louise is confident that the students will “make amazing work that celebrates this.”

TULCA’s Education Co-ordinator Joanne McGlynn feels the role of arts in education is invaluable.

“Learning through the arts encourages reflective thinking, problem solving, decision making, self-expression, experimentation and communication,” she says.

The project will also result in an art-science project module, lesson plans and resources for the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme. These will be available on www.explorers.ie later this year.

Build your own Unknown video and installation will be shown at SeaFest which runs from June 30-July 2 in Galway.