To celebrate Northern Ireland’s year of food, the Causeway Enterprise Agency delivered an arts and cultural heritage project to six local schools entitled a ‘Feast for Heritage’.
In association with Coleraine Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, the project was delivered in two phases. The first relating to understanding heritage through arts and crafts provided by willow artist Louise McLean, and the second was the link with our year of Food and Drink, supported by celebrity chef Paula McIntyre.
The aim was to engage with schools and facilitate a series of arts and heritage skills workshops which included teaching traditional weaving techniques using many locally grown willows.
Over 150 children from Ballysally, Killowen, Millburn, St. John’s primary schools, Coleraine College, and North Coast Integrated College, attended the programme to make their specialised willow baskets.
Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of the CEA said: “Each school was provided with 12 hours of workshop sessions facilitated by Louise, as she helped them to choose willow and learn how to use the techniques available.
“The children produced a range of baskets to showcase the variety of foods each one related to. For example, each held either potatoes, fish, bread or other types of vegetables.”
One of the themes was to learn where willow comes from and the significance of names locally, such as ‘Ballysally’ Willow names in places, how our ancestors used it and how they may use it in the future
Ms D McHenry, fromMillburn Primary School, one of the teachers supporting the event, said: “Louise was a terrific facilitator and all the pupils greatly enjoyed the workshops and the sharing of her talents.” A celebration event was hosted at the Causeway Coast Vineyard Conference Centre where the children got the opportunity to meet our very own local celebrity chef, Paula McIntrye