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PHOTOS – Mary I & LSAD ‘Particles or Waves’






Mary Immaculate College and Limerick School of Art and Design present ‘Particles or Waves’





by Cleary & Connolly with Anne Marie Morrin, Niall Quinn, Maria Finucane and Mary Queen of Ireland Girls National School – Monaleen National School – Saint Nessan’s National School – Presentation Primary School – Limerick School Project National School – Scoil Mháthair Dé – Scoil Carmel – Saint Clements College – Coláiste Mhichíl, CBS Sexton Street – Crescent College Comprehensive – Castletroy College – St. Nessan’s Community College – Visual Art Elective students, Mary Immaculate College, Art and Design – Teacher Education, Limerick School of Art & Design – LIT.

Photos by Caleb Purcell for 2014. All Rights Reserved


Augustinian Lane, 3 June 2014. Photograph Declan Green.

Augustinian Lane, 3 June 2014. Photograph Declan Green.

12 local schools have been paired with 6 illuminated artworks in the Bows and Lanes of Limerick City – The project will be officially launched at 9 pm on Midsummer’s Night Saturday 21st of June 2014 by the renowned artist John Shinnors at Blades Barber Shop, Foxes Bow, Limerick City.
Of the many evocatively named lane ways that wound through medieval Limerick few remain : Playhouse lane, Hogg Lane, Pencil Lane and Forkers lane have all disappeared! Reading from the register of the old CBS School on John’s Street (recorded sometime during the 1850’s) a list of schoolboys names along with the name of those lanes where they lived, it seemed to us that the people and places are linked, each schoolboy “particle” was part of the wave of Limerick back then.
Particles or Waves 3We are all particles, freely spinning in space or time, but we remain irresistibly held within the waves that define our lives, history, society, a city. Fortunately there are still lanes in Limerick, and schoolboys, and schoolgirls too. We paired 12 schools with 6 of the surviving lanes: Foxes Bow, Pikes Bow, Todd’s Bow, Augustinian Lane, Post Office Lane, and Woolworth’s Lane. Taking that age old dilemma…is light made up of particles, or is it a wave?, each school got to work, drawing, thinking and talking about light, but also researching their lane, it’s history, the people, places and businesses that once were there. These drawings now illuminate the entrances to 5 of Limerick’s lanes. In total over 280 people worked on this project – 230 school children, students and staff from Mary Immaculate College and Limerick School of Art and Design, the artists Cleary and Connolly, printers, installers and electricians. Each one of us a particle in a bigger wave of light that is sweeping Limerick.


A collaborative interdisciplinary educational project funded by Limerick City of Culture.

Particles or Waves 2

Todds Bow, 3 June 2014. Photograph Declan Green.

“The children’s constructive response was paramount to the success of the project, the open minded approach the children
embraced encouraged students to be more experimental and motivated then to develop their own creative approach to the theme”

“Facilitating children to develop creative and imaginative skills with the anticipation that they may generate original artwork is a priority for visual art educators. Thus from an educational standpoint the intention of ‘Particles or Waves?’ was to use art practice to enhance teaching and learning in order to develop these skills in participants. The premise of this project was to take a big idea like ‘how light travels’ and use art making and thinking to ‘make sense’ of the idea. The project uses new developments in lighting technology in a highly innovative manner to display the artwork in a manner that is engaging and stimulating for both the creators and the audience. Over the course of the project visual art elective students from MIC were immersed in art and scientific thinking, using drawing to develop perceptive, conceptual, and expressive skills. The creative experiential nature of the workshops allowed space where investigation was encouraged and making mistakes was embraced. One student says “We thoroughly enjoyed this experience; both working in the studio and developing our ideas in the school. We looked forward to experimenting and interpreting the various aspects of the project with the children each week. This has been an invaluable learning experience for us, one which we can bring into play in the classroom in our future teaching professions.”
The theme was received with enthusiasm by the children as they engaged cognitively and linguistically, making links across the sciences and connecting with every day lived experiences. The children’s responses and art work stimulated and inspired the preservice teachers, demonstrating that art, science or history are not closed, isolated disciplines, but rather are all inter related and opened up a world of marvelous ideas and possibilities.”
– Anne Marie Morrin, Visual Art Education in MIC, June 2014.

“If the main streets are the arteries of the city then these little lanes are the network of veins and capillaries that bring oxygen to the whole body – let them decay and the body will die just as surely as if the arteries break down. We wanted to bring attention back to these places, the bows are something very particular to Limerick, and maybe set a wave of light going that could spread
right through the city, the whole project is about connections really…children, business owners, banks, electricians, teachers, artists, printers…and the idea that if you could set something in motion by having enough people involved then things could really start happening. As a member of the Academy of Urbanism (London) the urban challenge of Limerick is particularly interesting to me, I hope to be able to present the results of the project to the academy later in the year.”
– Anne Cleary, Artist/Architect, June 2014.

“Participation in the visual art project ‘Particles or Waves?’ provided a platform for student teachers involved in initial teacher education at Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) to collaborate with visual art elective students from Mary Immaculate College (MIC) in order to collectively observe and discuss visual responses to the theme ‘particles or waves’ through imaginative drawing and animation. While the impetus for the digital contribution from students at LSAD in this instance stems from ongoing developments within the programme to integrate digital media practice into the art, craft and design curriculum at second level, it also provided a valuable opportunity for student teachers implementing visual art curricula in both primary and secondary settings to share and discuss their experiences of making art with their pupils.”
– Maria Finucane, Art and Design Teacher Education.

To find out more about the “Particles or Waves” project go to

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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