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Five Continents One People

Artist Name(s) Ceara Conway
Artwork title Five Continents One People
Context/Background Creagh Primary School had just had a large extension added to their old school. They are situated in Ballinasloe, County Galway. The school is very creative in its essence and prides itself on supporting children to undertake creative ventures at school; this has included publishing their own newsletter, taking part in parades, winning numerous awards for creative projects. There is also a very high attendance of children of nationalities from all over the world. The school has created their own policy and code of respecting other cultures and it is from this that their motto, Five Continents One People, came about.

Creagh Primary wished to commission a sculpture to be created and installed in the grounds of their school and they wanted it to reflect the ethos of the school. After a number of consultations with teachers and children we created a small group of children that I would consult with on the design of the sculpture.

As I came up with some initial ideas, I would discuss these with the children and their opinions were taken into account. Working from the school motto, Five Continents One People, I decided to create five pieces of work which would be placed outside the front of the school.

In terms of scale and form I wanted the work to be different from the linear form of the school. I also wanted the work to be large enough that it was visible from the main road that ran in front of the school.

I asked the children to bring in their favourite objects from the various continents with the view to casting them into blocks which would be inserted into the spheres. After much discussion with fellow artists and consideration of the budget, I cast the objects into spherical shapes and that they were placed into a tripod structure that would allow them to be spun/ rotate.

We had so many objects brought in, that one of the teachers developed a separate exhibition for the objects, which is now displayed inside the school.


Ceara Conway studied at the Edinburgh College of Art, Alfred College of Art, New York and NCAD. She then set up a Glass Blowing Studio in Rome for two years before returning live and work in the west of Ireland.

Her area and interest of practice focuses on participatory arts where she has the opportunity to address issues that are of interest to her. She does this through her collaborations with communities, artists residencies and public commissions.

Specializing in glass and photography she often uses whatever media and collaborations she feels suits her most current ideas. Her current commissions include a Per Cent for Art commission with Offaly County Council and a pilot project called Correspond with the Galway Hospital Arts Trust

As well as her public works she is currently focusing on making smaller pieces for exhibitions. She has been a recipient of an Arts Council Bursary and Galway City and County Council Awards.

Commission Type Schools/Colleges
Commissioner Name Creagh Primary School
Commissioning process Direct commission
Project commission dates March 31, 2009 - August 31, 2010
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Galway County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 31/03/2009
Project commission end date 31/08/2010
Location Creagh primary school, Ballinasloe
County Galway
Town Ballinasloe
Content contributor(s) Ceara Conway
Relationship to project Artist 
Public engagement

A group of children who attend the school engaged in the process of designing the work. Parents and families of the children were invited to take part through their submission of personal objects which were then cast in resin.

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

CMA- Mouldform- UK
Spectrum Tooling Engineers - Galway