Naoise is big in Japan!
STUDENT artist Naoise Hennessy (16) from Craanford, Gorey has had a very busy few months since she won the Texaco Children’s Art Competition in April with her masterpiece ‘Lifelines,’ and she has just returned from a trip of a lifetime in Japan.
Naoise’s artwork was displayed in Tokyo’s National Art Centre at special exhibition, the International High School Arts Festival and she visited the city along with her mother Maria on invitation from Japan’s International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC).
Naoise’s ‘Lifelines,’ which had been on display most recently at Gorey Library during the Market House Festival, was placed alongside some 400 other artworks by students worldwide.
Naoise’s mother Marie, who is a librarian at Carnew Library, said that she was very proud of her daughter for representing her country internationally.
‘Naoise has certainly had a great time this summer. We didn’t realise there would be so much involved from winning the Texaco art competition. Going to Japan was like a dream come true for us. It was really special but a bit surreal, we couldn’t believe we were there at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo.
‘We were taken on site seeing tours, we were well fed and just treated so nicely and with such welcome by everyone. It was unbelievable,’ said Marie Hennessy.
Naoise starts back into fifth year at Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew in September but she says she will keep up her art alongside her Leaving Certificate studies.
‘Winning and being part of the Texaco Art competition has given me a lot more opportunities. It has boosted my confidence, especially with public speaking as I had never done that before. It has been a very busy summer but I want to thank my parents Marie and Christy for supporting me, and all at the Japanese IFAC and Texaco for their help,’ she said.
‘Japan was fantastic. I was surprised by the people being so nice, respectful and welcoming. Japan’s art scene was something on a higher level than I’ve seen before, it was amazing. I will have to focus on my Leaving Cert now in fifth year, but I’ll continue my art work’.
To those thinking of taking inspiration from Naoise and entering the competition next year, Naoise says go right ahead.
‘I’d say to those thinking about it, give it your all because you never know what might happen. This was my first time to enter and I didn’t know it would turn out this way. I’ve had so many new opportunities since, like raising a flag at my old school Ballyellis National School,’ she said.
As well as her recent trip to Japan, Naoise took home a cash prize of €1,500 back in April.
Naoise Hennessy with her winning portrait during her visit to Japan alongside some new friends.