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Watch: Full steam ahead for flat-out students with printing project

STUDENTS from Ballincollig have found inventive new ways produce stylish artwork by using industrial machinery more often seen on building sites. 

An industrial road roller arrived at the gates of Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, to do some serious, large-scale printmaking.

Transition Year Art teacher Mary O’Mahony came up with the novel idea as a new way to challenge students to 'think outside the box' in their approach to art. 

She has encouraged them to delve into current and traditional art practices and find their own opinion as individuals and as artists. 

She thus enlisted the help of Fiona Kelly, a practicing contemporary artist, who took part in Ireland's inaugural Road Roller Printmaking event run by Cork Printmakers in 2010 to assist and facilitate her great vision.

Ms O'Mahony said: "The Art Project, which started in the classrooms back in January, was initiated to have the student voices heard in the guise of a permanent, large scale Artwork. Relief Printmaking was chosen as it is historically a populist medium whose bold graphic qualities cannot be disregarded. 

"The participating students, both from Coláiste Choilm agus Gaelcholáiste Choilm agreed to combine their talents and work collaboratively on two large pieces, one representing each school celebrating the value of diversity and opening a dialogue on the benefits which that diversity brings to our schools and our society at large."

The project culminated with an outdoor printmaking event for the students and the installation of the finished print works will now be mounted in a symbolic site chosen by the young artists themselves - within the connecting corridors which link both schools. 

"The dreadful weather did not put this determined group of youngsters off one little bit and we think that the end results speak for themselves. Specialist equipment for the production of this project was been kindly donated by the Cork Printmakers," said Ms O'Mahony.