The airport’s Community Fund supported the creative ‘Porcelain Envelope’ project which gave seventy-two P7 pupils from two of the airport’s adopted schools in East Belfast - St. Joseph’s Primary School and Victoria Park Primary School – the opportunity to recreate a historical collection of airmailed letters from the 1940s and 1950s into an inventive museum exhibition whilst exploring the history of their schools and communities.
The pupils worked with local artist Lynda B, alongside the Ulster Museum’s education team, to make their own individual envelope from unglazed porcelain, all of which are now displayed in the Ulster Museum’s interactive Discover Art zone where they were created.
Michelle Hatfield, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Belfast City Airport, said: “One of the aims of our Community Fund is to provide unique opportunities and valuable experiences to young people in our neighbouring area, which is why we were so keen to sponsor this wonderful initiative that has not only given the pupils the opportunity to work with an esteemed professional artist, but also the privilege of having their work displayed in the Ulster Museum.
“Through speaking with the children, it is clear that this distinctive combination of history and art has truly engaged their senses and has supported their artistic and educational curiosity.
“By spending time in the Ulster Museum’s applied art gallery, the pupils were able to view ceramic and porcelain objects up close and then use the workshop time to ask questions and learn of the processes or porcelain art.
“It has been a pleasure to support this project and I am delighted that the work will eventually be displayed in the airport’s terminal and showcased to the 2.5 million passengers that use the airport each year.”
After learning the techniques required for porcelain art from Lynda B, the pupils embarked on an extensive research project reviewing old registers from the schools past and addressing their porcelain envelopes based on their findings. St. Joseph’s Primary School chose to address their letters to a variety of famous people.
Colleen Watters, Head of Learning and Partnership at the Ulster Museum, said: “We had so much fun with this project and many congratulations to the talented P7 children for their excellent envelopes.
“We used the Ulster Museum’s Belleek collection as well as a recent donationof old airmail envelopes to inspire and help the children create their own pieces.
“Local artist Lynda B was involved from the beginning, teaching the children the necessary skills involved in making porcelain.
“My sincere thanks go to Lynda B, Belfast City Airport for their support and, of course, the children for creating such wonderful designs and making this a worthwhile and enjoyable project.”
The ‘Porcelain Envelopes’ display will be on display in the Ulster Museum’s Discover Art zone until the 22nd June 2014.
Andrea Gourley, Principal at Victoria Park Primary School, said: “The ‘Porcelain Envelope’ project has been fantastic for our children.
“We are always keen to provide our pupils with unique learning opportunities, particularly the P7 children who are preparing for secondary school, and I am grateful for the support we have received from Belfast City Airport and the Ulster Museum in facilitating that.
“This is the first time they have ever worked with porcelain clay and were all extremely excited to work with a new material in the inspirational setting of the Ulster Museum.”
For more information on how your school, group or project can apply to the Belfast City Airport Community Fund, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org