GOOD COUNSEL LIFFEY GAELS GAA & CAMOGIE CLUB X BLOOM | THE ART PROJECT
Location: Drimnagh, Co. Dublin
Theme of Workshops: Good Counsel Liffey Gaels GAA & Camogie Club & surrounding areas
A collaboration between Dublin City Culture Company, The Luas and Bloom | The Art Project to work with members of Good Counsel Liffey Gaels GAA & Camogie Club to develop ideas for an upcoming mural that will represent them, their local community & their collective ideals.
On November 16th we ventured out to Good Counsel GAA Club, Drimnagh to begin the first in a series of creative workshops that would provide them with information and insights into the Good Counsel Community & aid in the co-creation of a large scale mural on the grounds of the club.
The first group we met with were some senior members of the club. They were a lovely introduction to the ethos, spirit and legacy of the club. Through a series of creative activities they reflected on their role within the club and what being involved means to them. There is a welcomed role for everyone in the club and this is passed down through the generations. Naturally, GAA was a very strong discussion point, as the women discussed their roles helping with teams through the years, their children’s participation and the sense of meaning that attending matches still gives them, getting them out of the house and chatting with familiar faces.
They referred to Good Counsel GAA and the GAA itself as a “home away from home” for many and wanted this represented on the mural. As well as this, imagery relating to family and intergenerational involvement in the club was discussed. The idea that through sport, the club provided a new platform for familial relationships to develop and strengthen. Providing a space for parents and children to relate and spend time with each other. Friendship was undoubtedly another strong theme. It didn’t take long to appreciate the laughter, history and love that existed among the group.
By the end of the workshop, we had a very strong understanding of how much the club meant to the group in terms of friendship, family and the future. How they wished for the mural to represent all these aspects.
The following day, Wednesday 17th November, we made our way back to the club house for another workshop with a vibrant, energetic and imaginative group of approx. twenty 6-7 year olds. After some fun warm up drawing games, they jumped straight into making a mini story book titled “Me & My Club”. Through this story book they answered prompts such as; what is their favourite thing about their club? What do they do in their club? What about their club makes them happy? They drew out pictures and imagery as answers to these questions and from this we had a group discussion about them and Good Counsel GAA. Emerging themes here included their friends & family, playing GAA and being happy while in the club. It was clear through their imagery and stories that being around their friends and family was very important for them all. We knew that this is something we had to represent on the mural.
After this we wanted to explore more ideas for the mural with them. We chatted through the concept of a mural and what we needed to hear from them, what they wanted to see and what colours & styles they thought would work for the mural. This is when it got very messy (but fun!). The kids were put into groups and given large pieces of paper, different coloured paints & different mediums to paint with (sponges, ridged cardboard, paintbrushes). Through team work they decorated, painted & brought all their designs and colours together. The results were terrific. There was a sea of colour and happy faces as they all got stuck in.
There were some beautiful, warm landscape posters completed, which we thought could potentially be a great element to include on the mural.
All in all, we left with a firm understanding of the life, vibrancy and friendship that the kids wanted the mural to portray,
Thursday 18th, brought a workshop with the U14 Camogie team. We chatted to them about the Tea & Chats initiative and some of the ideas brought forward from previous workshops during the week. With these in mind, the girls went on to do an individual writing piece answering prompts about their club & the mural; What does your club mean to you? What do you want the mural to represent? What do you want to see on the mural (imagery & text)?
They then got stuck into the development of the mural design in groups. The activity was broken down into imagery, text and background (colours & styles). In their groups they discussed and agreed on what imagery they wanted to use, what text / wording they wanted to include and what the background would look like. They used everything from paint to glitter and created some really vibrant designs.
Through the writing piece & designing their own mini murals, it was clear that Good Counsel GAA Club to them was a warm, safe & positive space where they spent time with friends. They wanted the mural to represent this. They also wanted imagery & text to represent the GAA as they were proud of their achievements in sport and spoke highly of how it allowed them to change their mood & make memories with their friends. They also suggested representing Drimnagh as a whole on the mural, including the surrounding areas, the canal & the luas line.
On Friday 19th November, we travelled to Drimnagh for the last workshop of the week. The final group were the members of the U14 Hurling & Football team. They were a very a spirited bunch who had quite a lot to say when it came to their club and what they would like to see on the mural.
They created imagery and text that they would like to see on the mural. We were very impressed with the effort and thought they put into their designs. Strong imagery like GAA balls, hurls, sliotars and football pitches were created. Once completed, these were put aside and the main activity of the evening kicked off – building a wall! Each participant was given a box to assemble, paint and then decorate with their imagery and texts. Engrossed in the craftsmanship, it wasn’t long before time was up and the wall was assembled. It was great to see everyone’s ideas brought together so strongly, with common threads and themes woven throughout the final piece.
Their designs & development of the wall included a very strong GAA theme. It represented people playing GAA, trophies representing their achievements with their team and finally friendship, experiencing all this with their best mates.
Safe to say we cannot wait to begin the painting process to bring this mural to life in early 2022!