OASES Exhibition Launch in St. Patrick's Trian

A new interdisciplinary exhibition combining arts, science and education was opened on Monday 9 November in St Patrick's Trian, Armagh. The exhibition's title, "Over us All is the SElfsame Sky" (OASES), a verse from the "Ulster Names" poem by John Hewitt, emphasizes an obvious but rather neglected point: that we all share the same beautiful sky. The exhibition is the first example of a new astronomy-outreach programme that highlights the power of astronomy to stimulate the mind and provide a source of inspiration for everyone, and young children in particular.

The innovative and very colourful exhibition contains paintings by astronomer Miruna Popescu of Armagh Observatory and artist Dara Vallely of the Armagh Rhymers, as well as about 100 paintings created by children during International Year of Astronomy Astro-Art Fun workshops and entries to the Second Cross-Border Schools Conference art competition, both events organized by the Armagh Observatory with the help of other partners.

The exhibition was opened by Professor Mark Bailey, Director of the Armagh Observatory, in the presence of Maria McAlister from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Anne Hart, Brenda Campbell and Briege Delaney from Mount St. Catherine's Primary School and Ann Swann from the Royal School Armagh, with a performance of music, poetry and dance by the Armagh Rhymers and more than 50 pupils from the two schools.

The launch coincided with the beginning of the Science Week in Ireland, which aims to promote the relevance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our everyday lives and to demonstrate the importance of these STEM disciplines for the future development of society and the economy.

This exhibition and the Armagh Observatory's associated International Year of Astronomy activities during 2009 have been supported by the Republic of Ireland's "Discover Science and Engineering" (DSE) programme and the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure through core funding to the Armagh Observatory, while the Rhymers are supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Foras na Gaelige.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Miruna Popescu at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; mdpat signarm.ac.uk.

Last Revised: 2009 November 13th