Plant-tastic: Inspired by Nature -Space holder
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A collaboration between Birr Theatre & Arts Centre and Offaly Local Development Company, supported by Creative Ireland Offaly 

Plant-tastic: Inspired by Nature.


London based designer & public artist Cristina Ottonello will engage with up to 10 young people ages 12 - 14 on the Ashbrooke, Chesterfield Close and McAuley estates in Birr and explore a range of Offaly plants and their usefulness. 

With a local botanist, the artist and participants through a period of creative research will investigate the extraordinary characteristics of local plants, and how these plants have and can inspire innovation and creativity. 

A specific number of ‘hero’ plants will be identified and the botanical features/components that have biomimetic and adaptation features will be creatively replicated/reinterpreted through crafting processes, and include reusable and recyclable materials. These specific features will be magnified in scale to explore the textures, shapes and unique elements to their botanical structure. The resulting artworks will not be exact botanical replicas of the original plant. The installation of artworks will be situated at Birr Courthouse as part of Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival, 29 July – 7 August.

A number of public talks will take place at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre including a thrilling presentation from Lara Jewitt, Science Collection Coordinator/ Head of Tropical Nursery at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on orchids and their adaptability, with incredible stories such as the Brazilian bat orchid, Coryanthes speciosa, that traps bees in its bucket-like labellum until they have pollinated it. 
The young participants and audiences will have the opportunity to find out more about local plants - developing their understanding of the usefulness of plants through the lens of biomimicry and adaptation features.

This project is a collaboration between Birr Theatre & Arts Centre and Offaly Local Development Company - Community, Education & Youth Work and supported by Creative Ireland Offaly as part of the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Offaly County Council

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About the artist :

Italian born, Cristina Ottonello is an artist and designer specialising in outdoor art and in the creation of large-scale temporary installations with a strong visual impact and wide-reaching public involvement.

Her work uses a surreal approach to the world of nature that is reinvented as an irreverent fantasy of intriguing objects and wonderful creatures that provide an unexpected and fairy-tale presence in the urban landscape.

For more information on Cristina's work take a look at her website:

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