Eight-year-old Ella Taylor from Scoil Mhuire nGael, Dundalk has been chosen as one of Ireland’s best young painters for her entry to the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards 2018.
Ella’s (Climate Controller Station Bringing Fairness to all Nations) painting was inspired by the competition theme of “Put Us In The Picture” and is a regional winner in the Ulster/Connaught 3rd/4th class category.
Also highly commended by the judges for her artwork was Alice O’Shaugnessy Larkin (age 6, An Edible Land) from Scoil Mhuire na Ngael in Dundalk and Chloe Crosby (age 10, Braille) from St. Joseph's National School in Dundalk.
Competition was as strong as ever with children from hundreds of primary schools across the country entering the very popular annual art competition. Ella is one of the fifteen finalists picked to have their paintings displayed at an awards ceremony in Dublin on April 17th where the overall winners will be revealed.
The Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards aims to inspire Irish children to express their artistic talent through painting whilst developing an appreciation of the importance and value of their sight and to bring awareness of the important work Sightsavers carries out in developing countries to prevent avoidable blindness and promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
This year’s ‘Put Us In The Picture’ theme inspired colourful, imaginative and creative entries. One of this year’s judges, disability campaigner Sinéad Burke, said “In the year that Ireland will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, it was inspiring to see the appetite that children, teachers and communities have in exploring the nuanced conversation surrounding disability. I was incredibly impressed by the children's pairing of artistry and intellect as they approached complex topics including identity, the social model of disability, allyship and othering. However, I was most moved and inspired by how their work was rooted in empathy and that even the youngest of entries were focused on constructive solutions to how we can make the world a fairer and equal place for all.”
Fellow judge, illustrator and Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch commented “Having just spent a few happy hours judging the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards, I was hugely impressed by the standard of the art submitted. As well as terrific drawing and beautiful painting, the children came up with lots of very thoughtful ideas where they imagined what it’s like to be disadvantaged in some way, and how we might make the world a better place for everyone to live in. It’s great to see that our next generation of artists is so talented and inspiring!”
Each of the fifteen regional winners will have the opportunity to see their work displayed at a special Awards Day ceremony in April where three overall national winners will be announced. The national winners will receive cash prizes for their schools, sponsored by The Book Centre and Barker and Jones bookshop, and memberships and ‘toolboxes’ full of arts and crafts materials from ReCreate Ireland.