St. Patrick's P.S. | Artist Journal
Artist Sharon Kelly, Brace

St. Patrick's P.S. | Artist Journal : Artist Sharon Kelly


February 27, 2019

We spent the main bit of our session today discussing the idea of BRACING.. to prepare for impact. In fact a good 40 minutes talking… that bracing could mean:

stabilise like additional bike wheels;

clamping – for woodwork;

braces for holding teeth in place;

being firmly rooted…

We then tried to take a stance with a partner and  hold ourselves so that they could not push us over using accumulated pressure.

Then we spoke about armour that the ancient Celts might have worn – soft armour, not made of heavy metal. I introduced the life and work of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist (1907 – 1954). Frida was physical affected by polio as a child, then severely injured her spine in a tram accident at age 18. She wore a special plaster cast around her torso to keep her spine supported. We discussed this and spent a while reacting to her Self Portrait painting with a monkey…

Finally the children had a go in groups, at making a special protective brace/ corset. They utilised their very considerable cardboard handling skills to do this! I watched patiently, adding some suggestions about shaping and fit. They reported back, assessing the corsets/ braces one by one and testing them.

As a final few thoughts I asked them what the brace protected them from?


Somethings that bump into us;

hurt by force say an accident;

if you were in a war zone or in the army;

if you were a fireman and needed a special vest to shield you;




And then the thought that this protects us from physical things that might affect us  –    how can we brace for INVISIBLE things that might affect our MINDS?