Jennie Guy



Thinking Visual is an initiative of Wicklow County Council Arts Office, managed by the Mermaid Arts Centre and supported by the Arts Council, where secondary school students experience contemporary visual art by meeting and working directly with professional artists.

Thinking Visual – Sarah Pierce and Jennie Guy

Sarah Pierce and Jennie Guy working with students in Blessington.

In 2015, Jennie Guy – curator of Art School – developed two projects featuring five artists for Thinking Visual: Playing with Elaine Leader and Sarah Pierce in Blessington Community College and Magnetic Fields with Sven Anderson, John Beattie, and Michael West in Scoil Chonglais Baltinglass.

Playing took place in Blessington Community College between September and November 2015, working with art teacher Turlough O’Donnell and a group of transition year students meeting with two artists for six two-hour workshop sessions each. The project title Playing casually emerged from one artist’s interest in showing the students Jacques Tati’s seminal film Playtime and and the other artist’s impulse to work with the students to develop a play.

Video documentation of Sarah Pierce’s residency for Playing.

Sarah Pierce used Bertolt Brecht’s experimental plays without an audience as a starting point for developing a new work with the students in which they would be the authors, the cast and the audience, resulting in a one-time-only performance titled The Square.

Playing – Sarah Pierce

Performing The Square.

Playing – Sarah Pierce

Rehearsing for performance.

Elaine Leader used her own work as a framework within which the students explored themes related to the built environment, developing a series of models before working with the students to produce larger-scale interventions that altered the architecture of the school.

Video documentation of Elaine Leader’s residency for Playing.

Playing – Elaine Leader

Elaine Leader discussing model-making.

Playing – Elaine Leader

Students developing models for architectural interventions.