Patrician Academy art exhibition to celebrate multiculturalism in the school By students Roman Borkowski-Hogan and Ciaran Heavin

The Global Citizenship Class at the Patrician Academy which will hold a week of activities to celebrate diversity in the school. An art exhibition will also be held from Monday to Thursday next in Mallow Library.

Since September of last year, the Global Citizenship Class at the Patrician Academy has been involved in planning a week of activities to celebrate diversity in our school and our community. This will take place in Mallow Library from Monday next, 16th January, to Thursday 19th. Some of the activities that will take place include an International Jersey Day, a Diversity Table Quiz, guest speakers, an LGBTQ+ workshop and an Intercultural Day with music, food and information.
The students of the Patrician Academy were tasked with creating a piece of art that celebrates interculturalism in our school society. A powerpoint presentation was presented to all students to assist and inspire us. As part of the research, a survey was carried out to find out how many nationalities were represented in the school and what the students knew about the different countries. Based on the survey, students chose a country and were tasked to design a stamp or a poster based on that country.
Other students chose to work on a sculpted piece to celebrate the diversity in our school and wider community. The sculpture depicts lots of different hands all reaching up towards the globe to show equality, and the many different strengths that bring us together as global citizens.
Once the idea had been finalised, the students set to work on creating the finished piece. For the hands they decided the best approach would be to construct metal rods as a sort of scaffold or skeleton to wrap newspaper and cardboard around. This would make the shape rough for the hands. Next, they applied papier mache to achieve a realistic look for the hands. They also used different shades of paper to represent the many ethnicities present globally.
For the globe they thought of many ideas and settled on covering a yoga ball in papier mache after much consideration. The ball was big enough to be seen clearly, but not too big to work on easily. They used the traditional green and blue colours to differentiate between the sea and land but saw that it was initially too plain so decided to show the mountain ranges and topography of all the continents. They also used deeper blues for the sea, and darker colours such as browns and reds to indicate significant height changes on the land areas. Additionally, they included a bit of height by putting layers of papier mache to physically show the topography of the world.
To accompany the globe and hands, other students worked on a mural. After brainstorming, they finally came to the decision to paint silhouettes of different men and women from all across the globe and overlap them to show that we are all equal and share similar, if not the same qualities, as each other. To further enhance the mural, the students have written out the word ‘Hello’ in seventeen different languages as a welcome to all students and anyone viewing the mural.
Through the completion of these artworks, we the students agree that we have significantly more knowledge of the deep and rich cultures from around the world that exist in our community here in Mallow. We have a better understanding of both our own and other cultures, and particularly the similarities and differences between them.
We would like to invite all those interested to attend the launch of our exhibition on Thursday 19th January at 2.30pm in Mallow Library.