British Council Ireland and the British Embassy in Dublin are proud to have supported this Creative Postcard exchange. Over three itterations (as of February 2024) thie project has seen the involvement of over 1,600 young people from over 75 schools across Ireland and the UK. This schools network was founded and led by Fergal Killkenny, an art teacher from St, Louis Secondary School in Dundalk, and has grown from project to project, covering the topics of war, climate change, and identity. More information on each itteration of the Creative Postcards project can be found below. You can also download the full catalogue from each year at the bottom of this page.
The schools network worked with their teachers in the classroom to produce creative postcards on the theme of identity. This project comprised of artwork from approximately 740 students from 20 schools across Ireland and the UK. The painter Sir John Lavery, and his work 'Lavery on Location' which was shown in National Gallery of Ireland from 7 October 2023 - 14 January 2024, acted as the primary inspiration for students. Lavery was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1856; he died in Co Kilkenny, Ireland in 1941 and was educated in Glasgow, Scotland and in London, England. A prolific and internationally renowned painter, he is the only individual to receive the Freedom of both Dublin and Belfast in the inter-war period, in a divided Ireland. Through his life and his work students will be able to begin to explore the complexity of identity across these islands.
The students were able to participate in a virtual workshop with National Gallery if Ireland on the work of Lavery and several students were able to visit the collection in person. The work was then displayed in the Irish Museum of Modern Art on 22 Janaury 2024, where the showcase was launched by the British Ambassador to Ireland, HMA Paul Johnston and British Council Deputy CEO Kate Ewart-Biggs. you can view photos from that event here. The work has also been shown in the F.E McWilliams Gallery in Banbridge where it was displayed from 8-10 February 2024. You can view the photo's from that event here.
The Climate Postcards project comprised of artwork from approximately 36 secondary schools in Ireland and the UK who took as their inspiration Turner: The Sun is God exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland, which was on show from October 2022 to February 2023. The schools network comprised approximately 760+ students (aged 12-18yrs) and in early November 2022 students began working with their teachers in the classroom to produce creative postcards on the theme of climate. They also engaged with the education department of the National Gallery of Ireland; visited the Rediscovery Centre, Ballymun (National Centre for Circular Economy) and Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun, to be inspired and also to learn about important issues such as sustainability, circular economy and climate justice with expert, Susan Adams.
Inspired by these experiences, students creatively expressed their thoughts and responses in the form of postcards which were featured in an exhibition, a catalogue, and which they then exchanged with each other. The postcard exhibition was launched in the British Embassy in Dublin on the 23 January 2023, and will then shown in Leicester Grammar School in the UK on the 06 March 2023.
The first itteration of the Postcards Project, War Postcards consisted of 27 schools in Ireland, UK and Spain (studying the UK curriculum) and comprised of 492 students aged 16-18yrs. This project ran from February 2022-August 2022 and the project culminated in an exhibition in Dundalk Gaol, Co. Louth.