Art Out Loud is a permissive space for children to talk about their lives surrounded by artworks from the Louth Local Authorities’ Art Collection (Taisce Lú). As an environment for both speculation and discussion, the Basement Gallery, Dundalk offers a supportive structure for considering ideas that impact children’s analysis of both themselves and others. Here the stories of artists connect with the stories of children. As a result children examine their own perspectives, in relation to what they learn about the role of contemporary art as a channel for communicating life’s complexity.
An art gallery offers the potential of new knowledge, the possibility of reflecting upon identity and well being. It is a place to find one’s bearings, to gather thoughts and to make sense of one’s place in the world at large. Art offers a springboard for communication; it is a way to connect with others, to discuss points of view, and to disagree. Children aged 10-12 have described contemporary art as a way of making something out of nothing, of building ideas with materials, and learning about life in different ways.
In conjunction with the exhibition, participating children are developing an installation composed of personal items that reflect their lives (i.e. toys, games, books, DVD’s, trinkets, etc.). The theme of this ongoing installation is “making a space a place”, and highlights the use of found objects and readymades in contemporary art. The children are donating their own collections of personal paraphernalia, while discussing how their lives can also be a form of art in the making.
Teachers have noted that pupils have responded to the art exhibition in ways that far exceeded their expectations, including producing fascinating artworks from personally significant everyday materials.
For more information about the project, contact Pamela Whitaker firstname.lastname@example.org. The project is supported by Create Louth, Louth Local Authorities, and The Basement Gallery Dundalk.