#MarineScience - Fourth-class pupils from Cregmore National School in Co Galway are creating a marine science and art installation and short film with artist Louise Manifold that re-enacts the 2011 discovery of the Moytirra deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Build Your Own Unknown sees the school children use images and footage from the ROV Holland I for inspiration to recreate the discovery of the gigantic rock formations, ‘smoking’ lava vents over 10m high, and areas teeming with unusual species new to science at the Moytirra vent field in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, some 3km below the surface north of the Azores.
Louise Manifold, the local artist leading the project, said: "As an artist I have always been fascinated by relationship between science and cinema, where often our connections to ocean is formed through our childhood imagination, from sci-fi films to childhood games and mythical stories.
“Build Your Own Unknown is not only about understanding our connections to the ocean, but it is about valuing human curiosity, and I am really enjoying the opportunity to work with the pupils of Cregmore to make an amazing piece of work that celebrates this."
Supported through the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme and the Tulca OFFshore programme, the marine science/art collaboration is welcomed by Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.
"This is an innovative opportunity for artists, marine scientists and educators to engage and increase our awareness about the value, opportunities and societal benefits that the ocean provides us,” he said.
"Rediscovering the mystery of the ocean through the eyes of a scientist, the children have been given the opportunity to work with the Institute and Dr Andy Wheeler from UCC, who was the chief scientist on the research vessel RV Celtic Explorer, that had explored and aptly named Moytirra vents after a mythological Irish battlefield meaning plain of pillars.”
Build Your Own Unknown will be on show at SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival from 30 June to 2 July, which will promote the importance of ocean exploration as well as engage the wider community through visual arts.
The project will also include the development of cross-curricular education lesson plans and resources that teachers will be able to use for their own art-science project module. These will be available later this year at www.explorers.ie.