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Astronomy and art brings generations together in Making Space

NUI Galway and Croí na Gaillimhe have been working together with the community in Galway on an inter-generational project creating art that celebrates science and astronomy.

Making Space brought together students from Our Lady’s College and an active retirement group, working with local artist Finbar McHugh to create art based on the latest developments in science and astronomy.

The programme included trips to the University and to Birr Castle in Offaly, the location of the i-Lofar Radio Observatory, the newest astronomical observatory in Ireland.

On Tuesday, May 21 there will be a showcase event presenting the work done in Making Space where certificates will be presented to the participants by Professor Steve Millar from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Prof Andy Shearer from the Centre for Astronomy at NUIG said that the goal of Making Space was to bring astronomy to communities that wouldn’t normally take part in scientific outreach.


“We also wanted to explore different ways of communicating scientific ideas, can artists help scientists tell the public what they do?”

“We were delighted to work with Croí na Gaillimhe to develop better links with community groups outside of the University.”

Croí na Gaillimhe will also mark the end of their Galway 2020 ‘Small Towns Big Ideas’ project, Mill Street Quilters with a ceremony at the O’Donoghue Centre at NUIG.

This was a collaboration of the sewing group at Croí na Gaillimhe and the inter-generational group Young Hearts.

Working together they created three quilts based on the Galway 2020 themes of Language, Landscape and Migration.

The Mill Street Quilters met regularly, with young and older working together to hand craft these quilts under the eye of their experienced tutor Marcella Morgan.

Loretta Needham, Manager of Croí na Gaillimhe, spoke about the importance of Making Space available to the community and learning in places other than just the classroom.

“It is true to say that young and old participants have broadened their horizons,” she said, adding “community education is what Croí na Gaillimhe is about.”

“It is learning that promotes change and transformation, and promotes empowerment for those marginalised or oppressed.”

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