Visual Arts - Other

Art Competition: A Sense of Place

Children Art-competition-2022

2022 Laois Series: A Sense of Place

Close your eyes for a moment and think of the places that are important to you. Is there a certain place you loved exploring, such as a woodlands, park, pond, etc? A favorite climbing tree or place to build a fort? How about a market, museum, or places you like to go to with your friends? How do you feel about this place, what makes it special, important, familiar to you? What memories do you have of this place? What significance does it hold for you?
Chances are that you have strong emotional connections to special places in your childhood and life. Places can also hold significance in terms of family and friend connections, heritage, culture, nature. For all of us our 'sense of place' is primarily the emotional attachment associated with places that give places meaning. But it can also be used to describe the distinctiveness or unique character of particular localities and regions.

Create a piece of art inspired by your SENSE OF PLACE. Your artwork can be a drawing, painting, Lego, sculpture, print, collage, digital photography, mixed media, graffiti, etc.

Ages: Under 6 | 6-8 | 9-11 | 12-14| 15-18

Deadline for submissions is Wednesday 25th May

Upload your entry here

Teachers upload entries for your class here

One winner from each age category will be selected and exhibited at Dunamaise Arts Centre café, and also available as a series of postcards.

For children and young people living in Laois.

From The Heart of Ukraine To The Walls of Laois

-A Fundraising Exhibition by 7 Year Old Sasha Britanova-Listratenko-


Dunamaise Arts Centre is so proud and humbled to host a beautiful exhibition of artworks by 7-year-old Sasha Britanova-Listratenko, who arrived in Ireland from Ukraine on Saturday last, from Friday 18 March until Friday 1April. Prints from the exhibition will be on sale with all proceeds going to the Irish Red Cross.

A journey of 3,000 kms from war torn Ukraine to Co Laois started with a leap of faith for one Ukraine mum and her seven-year-old daughter. The brave duo, who spent six nights in a bomb shelter before making their escape, heard of a lift going to Ireland. 

“We travelled for five days to get here – it was a sudden decision. I was looking for the opportunity to go to an English-speaking country and I heard that there was a lift going to Ireland,” said Iryna Britanova-Listratenko who arrived in Ireland on Saturday. 

“I left my parents, relatives, and my husband all back in the Ukraine. They can’t leave their home, but it is not safe to stay in Ukraine- so I had to go with my daughter Sasha. I come from the East of Ukraine, and this is part of my country that is being bombed- the war started in my hometown of Kharkov, and it is being bombed every single day since. A lot of people have died already, including kids. We had to stay in a bomb shelter for six days and after that we were lucky to leave. When they started bombing houses, we left the city very early in the morning. We found some safe roads and drove to another part of the country where it was safe and where we heard about the lift to Ireland through the Red Cross. My parents worried about taking the lift, but we were assured that we would be safe, and this decision is what saved us.” 

Iryna, who is currently staying locally with a family outside Abbeyleix, says she is still in a state of disarray since fleeing for their lives but very thankful to be here.  She had heard of Ireland through her love of U2 before taking a chance to come here.

She is a fluent English speaker as well as Primary school teacher with a master’s degree so the first thing she wants to do is to find a job teaching and accommodation for herself and Sasha. 

"I don’t feel comfortable here without a job as I don't have enough money with me so first I would like to find a job and a place to stay.” 

Until then they have found a novel way to fundraise and give back to the Red Cross by selling prints of Sasha’s art. Sasha not only speaks English and plays the piano, but she is also an accomplished artist.  Sasha's paintings will go on display at Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise from Friday, March 18 until April 1 and all proceeds will go to the Red Cross to support their humanitarian efforts in war torn Ukraine.

“When she was smaller, we noticed her gift for painting,” said Iryna. “She had a private teacher and has done some amazing pictures. This is a way for us to say thanks and to give back to those still in need in Ukraine."

Meanwhile since their arrival, the local community has rallied around the pair since they arrived with a school place for Sasha at Raheen primary school as well as a free uniform and seat on the local bus.  

“Sasha is starting school here and I believe she will be ok as when she was only 3 years old, I took her to live in China where I worked for 5 years. She was surrounded by Chinese children at her nursery and had to learn to speak the language. She is more comfortable here in Ireland speaking English.”  

Iryna still talks with her family every day since arriving in Ireland. 

“For now, they are in a safe place, and we can get in touch every day,” she said. “Sasha still cries every single day. She is only seven and she cries because her dad is staying in Ukraine. I tried to tell her that we will reunite again in the future, but nobody knows when.” 

And as for Sasha she already sees the similarities between her home country and Ireland telling her mum that both countries have 'a lot of goodness and kind-hearted people'.

Unframed prints of Sasha’s art are available to purchase from Dunamaise Arts Centre, with all proceeds going to the Irish Red Cross. To enquire, please visit her exhibition where you can order a print directly, prices start at €10 but higher donations will be gladly accepted. To purchase a print over the phone or online, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,  Tel: 057 8663355. (Price of print may be subject to post & packaging where applicable).  

Sasha's exhibition will be on display at Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise from Friday, March 18until April 30. Dunamaise Arts Centre wish to thank M&M Framing for kindly framing each piece in the exhibition, free of charge.

Unframed prints of Sasha’s art are available to purcahse, from Dunamaise Arts Centre, with all proceeds going to the Irish Red Cross. To enquire, please visit her exhibition where you can order a print directly, prices start at €10 but higher donations will be gladly accepted. To purchase a print over the phone or online, Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or go to Tel: 057 8663355. (Price of print may be subject to post & packaging where applicable).

Freelance Strategic Consultant Sought for Research in Visual Arts

Dunamaise is working with six other arts centres to enhance the visual arts offer across our venues, to share resources, to extend the life and value of art works developed and to build audiences.

The group: Draíocht (Blanchardstown), Dunamaise Arts Centre (Portlaoise), glór (Ennis), Linenhall Arts Centre (Castlebar), Mermaid Arts Centre (Bray), Síamsa Tíre (Tralee) and The Source (Thurles) came together to undertake a research project as a launchpad to potentially developing as a network.

Each venue presents year-round visual arts programmes and are keen to collaborate and share resources and knowledge to enhance and develop our programmes and increase opportunities for visual arts to tour.

Research includes: To assess the viability and focus of a Visual Arts Network for this group of arts centres; formulate shared goals and ways of collaborating; gain expert curatorial input on visual arts practise nationally and audience appetite; create a deliverable plan about ways to initiate the Network and co-operate efficiently and to diversify our programmes and our partners.

Work includes: Venue Needs Analysis; Audience Analysis; Devising of Strategy; Development of an Implementation Plan and investigation of funding applications for initial collaborative projects. To be undertaken from March – September 2022.

Applications are welcome from those able to demonstrate a wide knowledge of the Visual Arts environment in Ireland; Strategic thinking, planning and development; programming and curating models in a visual arts context; Strong interpersonal, organisational, project management and report writing skills. Availability and capacity to deliver the project on time. A Quotation document, max. 1000 words and appendices are required.

Full details here.

Applications by email only to: Alan Troy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it before 5pm on Tuesday 1st March 2022 with subject line Visual Arts Network Consultation.

Please note that shortlisted applicants may be invited to discuss their proposal in more detail via remote meeting.

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Dunamaise Arts Centre

Church Street Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Contact The Dunamaise Arts Centre

Dunamaise Opening Hours:
Box Office: Tuesday to Saturday: 1-5pm
And 1 hour prior to events.  

Box Office: 057 866 3355

General Enquiries:

Our Sponsors

The Arts Council Laois County Council

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