The Fishers of Knowledge
Lucan, Co. Dublin
'Fishers of knowledge'. Creative space
This project is funded by the Per Cent for Art scheme. It was envisaged by the school that the outdoor space consists of a relaxed, informal seating arrangement that should accommodate up to 32 children and a teacher. The school was also keen to accommodate a contribution from the students and an opportunity to liaise with the artist to incorporate student participation.
The design of this outdoor space is based on the theme of St. Andrew, represented in fluid motions of waves, currents and sails. The project is titled ‘Fishers of Knowledge’ which is a play on the phrase “fishers of men” which was spoken by Jesus when He was calling two of His disciples, Simon and Andrew, to follow Him.
From a distance, the dominant feature of the outdoor space is the two large standing stone slabs which reach a height of almost 3 meters. These stone slabs represent the sails of a ship and stand behind the teacher’s stone chair. Spanning out on either side of the teacher’s chair are two tiers of stone walls. The stonework in these walls is flowing and spiralling, representing waves. Seasonal flowers are planted between and behind these walls to encourage wildlife into the area and give the students a greater sense of being in nature.
A dominant feature of the floor is the two bands of natural stone pebble and tile mosaic which represent fish travelling up water currents. Staying with the theme are 6 fluid shaped benches, which comfortably seat 32 students. The 6 benches within the outdoor space are designed so that the tops can be brought indoors into the classroom so that they can be designed and mosaiced by students. Under the guidance of the artist, the students will mosaic the bench top with the assistance and supervision of their teachers.
A competition was held in the school for the students to design the bench tops keeping in the theme of St. Andrew and the ocean. Each year got to design one of the 6 benches. There were many fantastic designs. The winning designs that went on to be transferred onto the beautifully handcrafted timber benches, created by carpenter, Frank Wieler of Wieler Woodwork.