The Meaning of the Ceramic Mural


The Meaning of the Ceramic Wall Mural

The Ceramic Wall Mural was designed and created to celebrate St. Declan’s School’s 50th Anniversary in 2008 by artist Niamh Synnott.  The teachers, staff, children, past pupils and ex-staff all worked together to produce this very special piece of art.


The rings of the mural represent the growth-rings of a tree in line with our motto ‘Openness to Growth’.  Each class is represented by a ring.  The rings are crossed by silver flashes which are the natural cracks that occur when a log dries out.  These ‘flashes’ stand for the difficult moments and sufferings that naturally occur as we grow.  Everyone involved in creating the mural made a ceramic ‘stamp’ which expresses each persons individuality. 

 The final element is the birds, which fly out from the centre of the mural, and these symbolise a new maturity; when we spread our wings and leave the nest.  Each child who leaves St. Declan’s creates his or her own bird which is added to the mural each year.  Past pupils were invited to represent themselves as birds which fly out from the centre as the community of St. Declan’s moves beyond the secure environment of the school.

Ten-year-old Luke told us that his stamp has a head with two ears; “one small ear for the old days not listening and one large ear is for now as I’m listening a lot more”.

The mural encapsulates the moments in ‘circle time’ where the children share experiences of how they attempt to grow, recalling Carl Jung’s comment: ‘those who have a higher conception of education will prize most the method of cultivating a tree so that it fulfils to perfection its own natural conditions of growth’.

You can find more of Niamh’s work at