SIX year old Poppy Norton was recently recognised as one of the best young artists in Ireland for her entry to the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards.
Poppy’s painting entitled ‘My Dream is Sinosaurus to Come Alive!’ was inspired by this year’s competition theme, ‘i: dream’ and was a winner in the Junior/Senior Infants Leinster category.
With thousands of entries from over 170 primary schools nationwide, Poppy, who attends St Paul’s National School in Moutmellick, is one of the 15 finalists that will have their painting displayed at the awards day this month where the overall national winners will be selected. She will also receive a special regional prize in recognition of her amazing achievement.
Drawing inspiration from this year’s theme, ‘i:dream’, some of the most popular topics from entrants included a world where no one lived in darkness; meeting One Direction; dreams of money growing on trees; being on The X- Factor; learning to drive a tractor; world peace; and winning in the Olympics.
The Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards is designed to inspire Irish children to express their artistic talent through painting whilst developing an appreciation of the importance and value of their sight.
The competition, which was open to primary school students of all ages nationwide, has grown over the last four years and the 2012 competition has proven to be one of the most popular to date. Recognising the difficulties schools are finding themselves in due to cut backs, this year cash prizes have been donated for the schools of the overall winning students along with a variety of top art prizes.
Through the competition, children learned about Sightsavers’ important work in preventing avoidable blindness and restoring sight for millions of people in the developing world. Sightsavers also works to ensure that both children and adults who are blind receive an education and training to lead full independent lives.
Two-time Academy Award nominee and founder of Brown Bag Films, Darragh O’Connell, who is on the judging panel, said: “It’s a truly difficult task to ‘judge art’ and all of the judges were blown away by the standard of the work. Sometimes we couldn’t believe that the paintings were created by children so young. We had to double check their ages. It was really enjoyable seeing so much imagination expressed through art and we could really feel the fun that the children had creating these masterpieces. I hope the winners are inspired to continue painting and improving on their creations. I would urge those who didn’t win to never give up and keep practising.”