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Per Cent for Art

Visual Artist and Composer awarded Per Cent for Art Commission for Emo National School, Emo, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

The principal, staff and board of management of Emo National School under the Department of Education & Science, Per Cent for Art scheme are very excited to

Caroline Conway and Dr. Greg Caffrey

announce that visual artist, Caroline Conway and composer, Dr. Greg Caffrey have been awarded the Per Cent for Art Commission for the creation of new artworks for the new school building. The commission fund has been split with Caroline receiving €16,000 for the creation and installation of her artwork, a carved low relief woodcut, painted, inked and sealed that will work over two levels internally and Greg receiving €6,000 for the creation of a musical composition and school anthem. Both Caroline and Greg will be working directly with the children and teachers over the coming months.

After an open competition, two stage selection process, Caroline Conway was awarded the commission for her project proposal “Places we love to be, things we love to do”, which looks very much at the local natural environment of Emo, the special character of the village married with the schools vibrant atmosphere and the importance of music, sport and art amongst other activities to the school community. She will be working with the school children on developing themes and collected ideas for the final piece through a series of workshops. Caroline has already begun her research and has created a webpage to allow the children, their families, teachers and anyone who is interested to follow the project on

Caroline has recently developed her practice as a relief printmaker having initially studied architecture before returning to Art College in the 1980’s. Since her graduation she has worked as a professional artist primarily with large scale woodcuts and low relief carved woodblock pieces. Caroline also comes to this project with a vast experience of working with children and youth groups on other public art commissions and from her involvement in the ‘Artists in Schools’ programme.
Following a limited competition assisted by the Contemporary Music Centre Ireland and their ‘Composers in Schools’ programme, Greg was selected for his very ambitious and detailed proposal to write a series of short pieces. These pieces will be closely related but each with its own character, perhaps 5 or 6 or more. Being pedagogic in nature, each designed to broaden the musical experience of the young people towards an appreciation of a contemporary music sound-world, while at the same time being technically realistic. Greg noted from his visits to the school the rich local history and would also like to develop this concept within the work. Greg’s proposal further includes a performance and a recording of the final pieces.

Greg was born in Belfast and studied music at Queen’s University, Belfast. In 2002, he completed his PhD in composition under Piers Hellawell and James Clarke. He has received awards and his compositions have been performed throughout Europe and the US. He performs and has received commissions from many performers and ensembles as well as from RTE and BBC Radio 3. Greg lectures in Music and Music Technology at the South Eastern Regional College. For further information and to listen to samples of Greg’s work go to www.gregcaffrey.com

It is very exciting for Emo NS to be associated with Caroline and Greg and to be involved in the conception of the final pieces. It is intended that the commissioned artworks will be completed for April/May 2011. We very much look forward to seeing what both Caroline and Greg will create for us here at Emo NS, the extended school and local community.

For further information, please contact:
Mr. Cyril Duggan, Principal, Emo NS, Emo, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Tel. 057 – 8646725 or principal@emons.ie