Talisman exhibition launch

Fingal Arts Office invites you to the launch of

Talisman - A collaborative exhibition between St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush, and artist Barbara Knežević.

12th June 2021


Newbridge House & Farm, Donabate.

The exhibition will be launched by Cllr. David Healy Mayor of Fingal in the presence of Minister Darragh O’Brien and guests.

Talisman forms part of Fingal’s Cruinniú na nOg Programme. We look forward to seeing you there, and to celebrating these young people who have demonstrated incredible creativity and skill during this project. 

Social distancing and public safety guidelines will be observed. For this reason we will have a guest list at reception to manage numbers on arrival.

Please RSVP to Julie Clarke, Youth & Education Officer, by emailing: Julie.clarke@fingal.ie or phoning 01 8905000.


About our Talisman Project

A creative collaboration between young people from St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush and artist Barbara Knežević. 

Commissioned by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office on the occasion of Cruinniú na nóg 2021.

The project introduced TY students of St. Joseph’s Secondary School to Barbara’s artistic practice and the idea of ‘a collection’.  Through virtual engagements the students learned about materials such as precious stones, clay and wax used by Barbara in her work. The group explored the collection of Newbridge House, Donabate and discussed why people collect objects, what makes some objects more precious to us than others and what meaning materials and objects can carry.

Newbridge House is home to a beautiful collection of artwork and treasured objects collected by the Cobbe family. Curator of Newbridge House, Cathal Dowd Smith, provided a virtual tour of the historic collection and introduced students to the Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, initiated by Lady Betty Cobbe (1733-1806). This collection contains everything from sea shells and geological oddities, to personal objects, tools, weapons, clothing, jewellery and furniture. These curiosities come from as far as China and New Zealand and were selected based on the Cobbe Families interests.

Participants were invited to consider objects in their everyday lives and to select one object that is of special interest to them for presentation to the group.  They reflected on their object’s original or renewed function, physical materiality and how it came into their possession.

Bringing together the student’s precious objects and those collected by the Cobbe Family, Barbara created a large printed fabric artwork which reflects these two collections, creating connections between different types of objects across time and space. Inspired by their journey each student created a clay vessel which now sit in conversation with Barbara’s fabric artwork.

Participants were responsible for all elements of the final exhibition, and in collaboration with Barbara decided how they would like their work mediated to the public.

The students and Barbara Knežević are very proud to present the exhibition ‘Talisman’ at Newbridge House, Donabate on June 12th, 13th, 19th 20th 2021.

A documentary film of the process will be available soon.

For further information contact Julie Clarke, Youth & Education Officer, Julie.clarke@fingal.ie 

Image attached, Courtesy of artist Barbara Knežević