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Your Seedling Language

Artist Name(s) Adam Gibney
Artwork title Your Seedling Language
Context/Background St. Catherine’s is a 320 pupil school located in St Catherine’s Estate, Rush North County Dublin. It is a co-educational school with children from over 40 different countries, many from Eastern Europe and Africa. Approximately 30% of the school’s children are from countries other than Ireland and many of these start with little or no English. The school has 12 mainstream classes and two special classes for children with autism. They also have a Montessori pre-school on the premises who operate two classes. One is run through English and the other through Irish. St. Catherine’s National School are very proud of their multi-cultural environment and feel that this is of tremendous benefit to the children in their school. In 2016, St. Catherine’s had a new school built. This Per Cent for Art commission emerged from this project.

A site-specific artwork created for St. Catherine’s National School in Rush, County Dublin. It is made up of two parts: a cluster of sound-and-light-producing sculptures in the school’s entry stairwell, and a sensor tower outside of the school. Curated by Jennie Guy, the commission was funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the Per Cent for Art Scheme

Launched in 2019, Your Seedling Language is comprised of two parts: a cluster of sound-and-light-producing sculptures in the school’s entry stairwell, and a sensor tower outside of the school. The artwork will behave differently on a bright, sunny day than on a cold, dark evening, or during a rainy week.

The artwork utilises environmental data that is commonly related to the growth of plants. The moisture of the soil, light and temperature outside of the school provides organic compositional parameters that manipulate a generative, eight-channel vocal composition. With over 1,000 syllabic samples to call upon, the artwork unravels ideas surrounding the theory of biolinguistics, providing the school with a language of its own.

The development of this work stemmed from research into Fingal’s rich multicultural history and how this influenced the now unused Fingallian dialect. Your Seedling Language celebrates the mixture of cultures and languages that flourish in this school.


Adam Gibney is a Dublin-based artist who engages with sound, electronics and sculpture as a means to unravel the impossibilities in understanding key elements of our objective reality. His practice often deals with the philosophical implications of knowledge generated by Science and Philosophy and their points of intersection. Sound-manipulation, electronic design and computer programming act as catalyst for digesting the philosophical conundrums that his practice investigates. He was the recipient of several awards including the Aileen MacKeogh Award (awarded to the most outstanding, creative student in IADT) and the Siamsa Tíre Emerging Artist Award. Adam has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Adam’s most recent solo exhibitions include Projective Verse 9: Deep Breadths (Daegu Foundation of Culture, 2017) and Euclid, I miss you…(Artbox, 2016). Other recent and notable exhibitions include Scaffold (The Bomb Factory, 2019), The Voyage (CB1 Gallery, 2016) and Futures (Royal Hibernian Academy, 2014). In 2016, Adam represented Ireland in the V Moscow Biennale for Young Art – Deep Inside. He is currently working towards a solo-exhibition for The Oonagh Young Gallery and a public art commission for Fingal County Council’s Infrastructure programme.

Jennie Guy is a curator, artist and educator based in Dublin, Ireland. She regularly consults on, and curates major public art commissions in Ireland. She is the founder and director of Art School, a framework that explores strategies for placing artists within sites of education through in-school artist residencies and workshop programmes. Building on the momentum developed through Art School, Guy curated the EVA 2018 schools programme. In 2016 Guy launched Artists’ Exercises with Stine Marie Jacobsen, providing an online platform for distributing fragments of artists’ educational strategies featuring contributions from over fifty international artists. She is the editor of Curriculum: Contemporary Art Goes to School distributed internationally by Intellect Books (summer 2020). As curator in residence with Rua Red Arts Centre she curated the exhibitions Field Recording (2018) and It's Very New School (2017). She has been a member of The Enquiry Reading Group, The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) since 2009. Guy is also currently the Manager of Programme and Operations at Fire Station Artists’ Studios.

Commission Type Government Department
Commissioner Name St. Catherine’s National School
Commissioning process Curated process
Project commission dates October 1, 2017 - July 1, 2019
Public Presentation dates July 1, 2019 - January 1, 1970
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Department of Education and Skills
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Project commission start date 01/10/2017
Project commission end date 01/07/2019
Location St Catherine's National School
County Dublin
Town Rush
Street Address The Avenue, Rush, Fingal.
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Jennie Guy
Relationship to project Curator
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Ger ÓSé – School Principal

Jennie Guy – Curator / Project Manager

BA Steel Fabricators – Stainless Steel Fabrication

Kristian Doherty – Wood Turning

Caitríona Ní Mhurchú – Voice artist

Les Keye (Arad Studios) – Recording Sound Engineer

Jim Mansfield – Structural Enginner

Conor McCague - Install Technician