The photos here do not do justice to how stunning this peace of Art is. To explain exactly the reason and meaning behind the mural here it is from the amazing artist herself Ruth Miggin.....
As Clonmellon National School is part of the Green Schools Initiative and had been awarded four flags at that time of the start of the project. Art forms which reflect that ethos and commitment were the theme. Such works would reinforce the importance of nature and biodiversity ,incoporating Art into the theme.
One of the most important elements of our biodiversity is our trees. With that in mind I created a large mural of a tree that extended up the stairwell at the entrance. I painted a silhouette of a native tree which in Irish folklore, symbolises protection and strength. The tree reaches out and up from its location, protecting all who pass.
The leaves of the tree change with the seasons matching the natural world outside. Under the tree I created a silhouette looking upwards representing two young children being sheltered by the tree.
I conducted several workshops with the children which was a key part of the whole project. This involved the creation of leaves to adorn the tree by the children in the workshops. These leaves will change with the seasons. This gives the children a sense of ownership of the art as well as reinforcing the connection between them and nature.
As part of the workshops, I taught the children about the Ogham alphabet which was then incorporated on to the leaves. Ogham is the earliest written Irish language. In Ogham, the names of various trees are ascribed to individual letters. For this reason, Ogham is known as the Celtic / Irish alphabet. For example B - Beithe is Birch, S - Saille is Willow.
With this in mind, in the workshops the children translated their names into Ogham and drew them on to the leaves which they painted. Their names in Ogham became the veins of the leaves. All the leaves are then attached to the tree mural.
Another workshop with the children was to create blossoms symbolising happiness and hope. I did this by teaching the children finger-knitting and attaching them to the tree. The blossoms tied again to the theme of biodiversity and the importance of pollinators. I also added butterflies, a ladybird and birds to the murals of the plants located at the base of the tree upon which they feed on to reinforce this theme.