Mosaic Map by Sean Corcoran

This project was undertaken by Sean Corcoran and the pupils and staff of Knockmahon National School. Following discussions with the principal it was decided to create a Mosaic Map of the area.

Sean Corcoran met with staff and pupils to discuss things in greater detail and at this stage the following things were decided;

The Mosaic Map would be hung indoors and a size was agreed.

The materials would all be recycled.

The materials would all be gathered by the pupils.

The location of everyone’s home would be included on the Mosaic Map.

The Process;

  • We viewed and discussed a book of artworks created by Sean Corcoran.
  • We watched and discussed A DVD of art mosaics from around the world.
  • We looked at a wide variety of printed maps and discussed them.
  • We agreed on the benefits of creating the Mosaic Map.
  • We wrote a list of the materials, equipment, technology and software needed.
  • We discussed what art media and techniques would be involved.
  • We learned how to use Google Earth mapping software.
  • We identified the location of everyone’s home using Google Earth.
  • We created a prototype map with all the main features of the area.
  • We spoke about artistic licence in relation to scale and orientation.
  • We manipulated the prototype map using Photoshop to fit everything in.
  • We simplified the main detail of the map to suit the limitations of mosaic.
  • We made and painted a plywood backing board and frame.
  • We projected and traced the completed layout of the map onto the board.
  • We gathered all the recycled materials.
  • We glued all the pieces onto the board.
  • We grouted and cleaned the Mosaic Map.
  • We took a photo portrait of all the staff and pupils.
  • We printed stickers of these and stuck them on at each persons home.
  • We hung the Mosaic Map on the wall.
  • We unveiled the Mosaic Map at a community gathering at the school.
  • We plan to continue adding stickers of buildings, animals, new pupils etc.

Mosaic Launch

The Mosaic Map has been part of 3 Awards;

Eco Unesco recognised and rewarded the project with a grant to showcase it at the Eco Unesco National Youth Forum at the Mansion House in Dublin this November as part of the Eco UNESCO Art and Design Young Environmentalist awards.

 An Taisce awarded the school their 6th green flag for their Schools Biodiversity project of which the mosaic map was part of.

Waterford County Council, on assessing the Mosaic Map project decided to grant the school a special achievement award.

Unveiling the Mosaic Map. Image courtesy of Keith Fitzgerald


To follow is a reference from Gretta Whelan, principal of Knockmahon National School;

To whom it concerns,

Sean Corcoran worked as an art tutor in our school during the school year Sept 2011/June 2012. He undertook a project, creating a mosaic map with the pupils.

Sean demonstrated an ability to plan teaching and learning activities suitable for the age and abilities of the pupils. He delivered well structured introductions; focused teaching and learning activities and suitable conclusions. He has effective communication skills and gives clear explanations and instructions. He differentiated lessons and activities for children with special educational needs.

The process of planning and making the mosaic map proved to be a creative experience for the pupils on many levels. They were involved in exploring, investigating, experimenting, inventing, designing and making. Sean introduced skills and techniques to enable the children to use expression, resourcefulness and individuality. They were encouraged to use a range of visual arts media.

Sean created opportunities for linkage and integration with other curriculum subjects. He recognised the importance of language in stimulating ideas and recalling events. He provided opportunities for the children to explore and discuss the work of other artists.

The mosaic map project has proved to be an exciting journey for our pupils and staff. It is a living work of art since present and future pupils will continue to mark their homes, townslands, local events and wildlife on this map.

The mosaic map was entered into the Eco Unesco Art and Design Young Environmentalist awards. Our pupils and staff have received grant aid to showcase the mosaic at the Eco Unesco National Youth Forum at the Mansion House, Dublin in November 2012. It was also included in our schools biodiversity project for An Taisce. We were awarded our sixth green flag for this project. On assessing this work Waterford Co.Council decided to grant us a special achievement award. We also detailed the processes used in the making of this map in our Discover Primary Science and Maths project and achieved an award of Science and Maths Excellence for our school.

I have no hesitation in recommending Sean Corcoran as an art tutor. Please contact me if you need any further information.

Yours Sincerely,


Gretta Whelan.



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