Na Dealbha Beo



Shoppers in Ennis could have been forgiven recently for thinking that the statues had come to life and gone walking among them.

But it was only the students of Ennis Community College and Gaelcholáiste an Chláir, with an innovative art project designed to promote the upcoming Winter Fashion Show and Christmas Fair being held in aid of the schools.

Each ‘statue’ was played by a student, dressed in a costume made from fabric stiffened with glue and painted to create the effect of stone. Each represented a well known figure associated with French history and culture, such as Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Marcel Marceau, Coco Chanel, footballer Eric Cantona and the band Daft Punk.

The idea arose recently during preparations for ‘French Day’ at the two schools which share one campus in Harmony Row. French teacher Mr Brendan Carragher came up with the idea of depicting well-known French figures, and the concept of the statues came from art teacher Ms Saoirse McDermott.

“I spent two years working at St. Catherine’s Moorlands, a private Scottish school in Buenos Aires, Argentina”, explained Ms McDermott.

“They have a big annual celebration called Teachers’ Day, and we came up with the idea of the moving statues there. It was a great success and I was looking for an opportunity to recreate it when I returned to Ireland”.

It turned out to be an exciting project for the art students, engaging them in the creative process from conception to completion. Staff and students donated clothes which were then stuffed to emphasise the creases, covered in PVA glue to keep them in place and painted with black and grey paint to resemble stonework from head to toe, literally! The painting also included the models’ faces and hair.

The students involved in the project included Craig Daziel, Freya Ziemann, Cait Ni Éilí, James Slattery, Jennifer Ní Mharacháin, Chloe Levy, Marzena Malysko, Linda Gayda, Carlos Garcia, and Patriciya Maknev. The brave models were Jack Mac an Rí, Diarmuid Ó Ceallaigh, Roisín Ní Fhallúin, Grainne Nic Niallghais, Rebecca De Blanca, Clark Ó Broin and Aoife Ní Sheannáin.

Staff and students were extremely receptive to the idea; so too were members of the public who were impressed with the spectacle on the streets of the town.

The ‘statues’ distributed flyers to promote the Winter Fashion Show and Christmas Fair being organised by the schools at Treacys’ West County Hotel in Ennis on November 26.

That event will feature clothes from local shops including ladies formal and evening wear, mens’ suits, debs dresses, sports and bridal wear, casual clothes, designer fashions, and communion and confirmation outfits.

Amateur models from staff and students will share the catwalk with professionals, coordinated by local agency Coast Model Management, and the event will also feature a Christmas Fair with a range of gift ideas from over 40 local traders.

The show will also feature entertainment, music and dance with a festive flavour and a range of spot prizes sponsored by local merchants. Tickets available on the door; doors open at 6:45pm.

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