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Butterflies by Maeve Gallagher

Maeve Gallagher and the Transition Students in Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway

Why Butterflies

When a person has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, they are in their own cocoon, withdrawn and turn into a different person, but they’re still the same person – something like a Butterfly, this is why the Butterfly is the symbol for Alzheimer or Dementia. The Butterfly is a symbol of hope.

Initially Maeve Gallagher teamed up with both her local Day Centre – Claregalway & District Day Centre (CDDC), where some of the users have Alzeimers or Dementia and the transition year in the local secondary school, Coláiste Bhaile Chláir. She was going to bring both together so that both ages could get together, learn from one another and also have artwork, ceramic butterflies for the new building in CDDC.

It’s an opportunity for TY’s to learn about clay and assist in a display in the CDDC and also an understanding of Alzheimers and Dementia. What better way to gift the new Day Centre with something for their new build and have them involved in making the butterflies.

Fast forward, with Covid 19 hitting the countries firstly the Day Centre and then the schools, both closing. The butterflies were delayed until September/October 2020, with only the (Transition Year’s) TY’s in Coláiste Bhaile Chláir.

The transition students really got into making the butterflies and enjoyed the process and firstly they sketched butterflies and cut out their own templates.  From there they rolled out the clay and cut out their butterflies, in some cases they raised their wings, to imitate them flying. These were bisque fired and glazed.

Thanks to the Transition Students in Coláiste Bhaile Chláir and their art teacher, Karina French

For more information about the artist.