Children of Clare show off spectacular artwork at Circular Revolution Exhibition

Bite sized plastics for Sea-Birds; artwork from Coore National School. Photo by Michael Mulcaire PhotographyThe Circular Revolution - Towards Zero children's marine art exhibition (15th April – 3rd of May), was launched last night at Cultúrlann Sweeney, Kilkee Co Clare where the exhibition includes over 20 exquisite art installations highlighting the unique opportunity of reusing plastics, all sourced from the local seBig Blue Ball; save our Coral Reef"; Jo O Brien; Cratloe National School with Cushla Dromgoll-Regan; Marine Institute. Photo by Michael Mulcaire PhotographyNoirin Burke; Artist Carmel Madigan; Loophead Summer Hedge School; Dr. Margaret Rae; Marine Institute and Cushla Dromgool- Regan; Marine Institute with some of the young artists. Photo by Michael Mulcaire Photographyashores in County Clare.

Curated by artist Carmel Madigan from Loophead Summer Hedge School, the artwork was created by 750 primary school children who had taken part in the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme.

Launching the exhibition Dr Margaret Rae and Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute congratulated the primary school students and Carmel Madigan on the collection of artwork, describing it as thought provoking and a wonderful example of using creative solutions to reuse discarded materials from their local beaches, generating zero-waste.

"The standard of work on display, many pieces worthy of professional artists and designers, powerfully expresses the students concern and deep understanding of the issues of marine litter. This resonates with countries across the Atlantic Ocean, who face similar challenges in promoting a healthy and well-understood ocean," said Dr Margaret Rae, Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination & Support Action, Marine Institute.

As part of this project, over 100 rubbish bags of plastic were collected from the local seashores in County Clare. This included a wide range of plastics such as cling film, fishing nets, coat hangers, bottles, bottle caps, and children's discarded toys. With a little bit of cleaning and sorting Carmel Madigan explained, "the discarded items of plastic used in the classroom for the first time, have provided amazing opportunities for the student to consider stories of where the plastic originally came from. It also led to conversations about the amount of single use plastic that is being produced in the world today."

Emotions for our Oceans; Artworks by Holy Family School Ennis. Photo by Michael Mulcaire PhotographyThe exhibit provides an incredible level of information reminding us of the impact that marine litter is having on the world ocean including the Atlantic. "Striving towards a plastics-free ocean, the students proposed small behaviour changes offering significant solutions for a healthier ocean, starting in our schools and at home with recycling, reusing and replacing plastics. It is uplifting to see first-hand how an Atlantic Ocean community here in Co. Clare is being built by such fully engaged citizens – starting at such a young age," Dr Rae further said.

The Explorers Education Programme is supported by the Marine Institute, and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.

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Photos by Michael Mulcaire Photography: