The year may be drawing to an end, but let’s return to the beginning of the year, and our trip to Newgrange . As you probably know already, Newgrange is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions . It is one of the oldest structures in the country . It was constructed over (an impressive!) 5,000 years ago, making it even older than Stonehenge in Britain . Our contemporary roofs are built based on the techniques used by these ancient people to construct the corbelled roof of Newgrange, and the megalithic tomb reveals to us that the ancient Celts had a remarkable understanding of mathematics and an amazing awareness of the skies, and our position in space . But of course, being the art(y) class, we were far more intrigued by the cryptic art which decorates the kerbstones, set within the foundations of the building . The tour began in the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre . Here, various artefacts and models were on display, allowing us to engage and identify with the people who created this monumental tomb . A full scale model of a megalith, or big rock, was supported by several large logs, and bound with ropes . This was how the ancient hunter gatherers would have transported these enormous rocks, an almost unimaginable feat when taking into consideration the very limited means available to the people of Ancient Ireland .
After watching a short documentary, detailing the importance of the light chamber and the skills involved in constructing it, we then proceeded on a leisurely walk towards the transport area . The bus journey was not long, however we had to waituntil the previous tour had fi nished . We used this time to take pictures and observe the smaller stone structures scattered throughout the surrounding greenery . The Entrance Stone and Kerbstone 52 were of particular interest to us, as the art work consisted of abstract designs . We found this interesting as we, the art class, could contemplate their possible meanings . These two stones also greatly relate to the roof box, as the dividing line within the two emulates the direction of the light shone through the passage on the 21st December each year .
The tomb has been restored, but much of the interior looked and felt as though it had not been disturbed since its very creation . One of the most fascinating aspects of the tomb for me was the graffi ti dating back as far as the 1600’s! We were given a simulation of the light effect, but fi rst the passage had to be darkened . The air in the small, cruciform chamber was heavy with stifl ing heat and feelings of claustrophobia . The gradual lighting of the chamber highlighted just how profound an awareness these people had of their world . Shortly after, we got another bus to Knowth, a satellite tomb of Newgrange . We greatly enjoyed ourselves, running around the tombs and crawling through underground passages . Not only did the ancients build fantastic monuments of spiritual and ceremonial importance, but they were masters of defensive structures . Knowth also had a much wider variety of abstract art and structures, but unfortunately none of it was relevant to the course! All in all, despite having to walk a lot, it was a very enjoyable day and I hope future art classes enjoy the experience too! And of course I must thank Ms . Horan and Ms . Gale for organizing and overseeing the trip!
New School jacket together with the School Scarf
Parents — the primary educators — and the school work in partnership, like an extension of the family. The school involves them as fully as possible in decisions about their daughter. Close links are maintained with home, indeed the philosophy and objectives of the school cannbot be achieved withouth the cooperation and support of parents/guardians.