Artists Interviews

August 2013: Cliodhna Noonan

"I see you, I hear you" : Helen Barry

Artist Helen Barry & Buí explaining what we are going to create

As my own work was developing an enriching and collaborative early years visual arts practice, I was aware of the growth and quality in this area across all art forms. In September 2012 I approached axis:Ballymun to seek their support for a daylong event that centred on Early Years Arts Practice. In February 2013 I curated and produced ‘I See You, I Hear You’, an early years arts event which had three main aims;

Parents, children & artist Helen Barry creating a den together

• To provide a forum for professionals working across all areas of early years to come together to observe and experience early years arts in practice with the audience that it has specifically been designed for.
• To focus on the importance of the triangular relationship between the early years child, the parent/guardian and the artist.
• To highlight and celebrate the early years child.

Children with artist Helen Barry play chasing through the den they have created

It was a hugely valuable day that has led to partnerships and a mentorship programme from conversations started on that day in early February. Cross pollination with other early years arts practitioners across different art forms has opened up the creative potential for ‘Seilmide’ (Snail): a creature that takes it’s house/ home / shelter with it a new early years arts initiative that I am currently working on. It is a very exciting time to be working in early years arts practice and I have been continuously engaged in work on the ground with early years children, crèche workers, parents, teachers and policy makers.

Playing Hide & Seek with artist Helen Barry

‘I See You, I Hear You’ Early Years Arts Event was supported by axis: Ballymun, Dublin City Council Arts Office and North West Area Office and The Arts Council’s Documenting Early Childhood Arts Projects, 2013 scheme which enabled me to produce a short documentary film of ‘I See You, I Hear You’ Early Years Arts Event for on-line viewing.

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