An Architectural Art Project

Year 10 Art students from the Royal School Armagh have begun a project which involves researching cathedral architecture, which will lead to an exhibition of the students’ artwork in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh.

The students are studying examples of eighteenth-century prints of cathedrals in Belgium, England and France, as well as of Armagh Cathedral itself. The print collection is held in Armagh Robinson Library, having been left to the Library by its founder Archbishop Richard Robinson.  In addition to looking at the prints in the Library, students are viewing the architecture in No 5 Vicars’ Hill, which has many of its original features from 1772.

Once the research stage has been completed, the students will visit the Cathedral to decide what architectural aspects they will choose to draw.  The drawings will form an exhibition, which will be judged and a prize awarded.

Head of Art, Ms Ruth McDowell, with colleagues Miss Wendy Fleming and Mr Adrian Morrow, have accompanied the students and encouraged them to participate in the project. Speaking about the project, Ms McDowell said, “Both the students and staff are excited about being able to facilitate this historical and art-based venture. The students’ theme is ‘Structure and the Built Environment in Armagh’. It is fantastic that we have been able to give the students some historical context to the cathedral and Armagh by visiting No. 5 Vicars’ Hill and Armagh Robinson Library, prior to them commencing their drawing visits at St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Mark’s Church. The students respond really well to learning outside of the classroom, and we are grateful for the opportunity to use these wonderful locations in Armagh. The students are enthusiastic about producing work that will form part of an exhibition in the Cathedral.”

The Very Revd Shane Forster, Keeper of Armagh Robinson Library and Dean of Armagh said, “In Armagh we have a wealth of architectural heritage around us which can so easily go unnoticed.   It has been a real pleasure to welcome the Year 10 pupils from the Royal School to the Hill of Armagh and to give them the opportunity to learn more about these significant buildings which have shaped our history and are part of the skyline of the City.’

Year 10D students participated in the first stage of the art project, along with their teacher, Ms Ruth McDowell, and Mr Adrian Morrow from the Royal School Armagh. Also featured were Dr Stephen Day, Registry Officer for No 5 Vicars’ Hill, the Very Revd Shane Forster, Dean of Armagh and Keeper of Armagh Robinson Library and Ms Carol Conlin, the Library’s Assistant Keeper.