If Trees Could Talk Project

If Trees Could Talk

Artist Louis Haugh and educator Anne Bradley at Saint Marnock's Primary School, Portmarnock, Fingal.

Please enjoy our project documentary here.

If Trees Could Talk is an exploration of artist Louis Haugh’s photographic work for primary school children.  His photographs are presented on a billboard and several bus shelters in Portmarnock during May and June 2021 enabling children to view the work at scale (locations: Strand Road, Carrickhill Road, Wendell Avenue). 

The project has three elements – large scale public photographic works, digital activity packs and classroom-based workshops with the artist. The project is introducing children to Louis’ photographic works as a starting point for conversations about trees. These photographs are a result of Louis’ body of research on the history of commercial forestry in Ireland and how Sitka spruce plantations have shaped the Irish landscape for the last 100 years. 

Louis is joined by educator Anne Bradley and together they are facilitating a series of engaging and practical workshops designed to explore a number of themes including botany, seed collecting, landscape, mythology and storytelling from indigenous North American culture where the Sitka spruce is a native tree.

Guided by Louis and Anne the children are experimenting with a number of visual processes including large scale photography, drawing, mapping and artist lead discussions on his photographic practice. Each child in the class has received a multi-sensory discovery pack as part of these classroom-based workshops.

An element of this project is now available digitally to all primary schools and all people in Fingal. In this inspirational digital workshop you can learn more about Louis Haugh's photographic work CLICK HERE TO BEGIN

Louis Haugh is a visual artist, photographer, and educator based in Dublin. Working both independently and collaboratively, his practice sits at the intersection of art and ecology while his research is underpinned by ongoing engagements with archives and botanical collections. Using photography as his primary medium, Haugh creates meaningful opportunities for audiences to discover and engage with the work he makes.

Anne Bradley is an art educator and primary school teacher based in Dublin. Through her work she designs and organises projects that enable younger children to explore contemporary art practice. Recent projects include The Make Space, a multi-sensory interactive response room as part of Elemental, a sculptural exhibition for children in VISUAL, Carlow 2020.

For more information on this project contact Julie Clarke, Youth & Education Officer, Fingal Arts Office Julie.clarke@fingal.ie Art images courtesy of Louis Haugh.